Islamabad - Feb 4th, 2014: Ufone, an Etisalat group company, has collaborated with Buksh Foundation, a microfinance organization, to bring convenience through electricity by becoming a part of thelatter’s ‘Lighting a Million Lives’ campaign. The pilot project has been initiated in two villages in Chiniot and through this campaign Ufone intends to facilitate the access and use of solar lighting devices among Pakistan’s rural communities as part of its CSR program.
A Solar Charging Station with five solar panels and five junction boxes has been set up in two villages, Thata Deva and Kalas. Lanterns have been distributed within households and these may be recharged through these solar panels.This initiative will remove the need for kerosene oil lamps and therefore, reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere in the long run. It also aims to empower women as these stations will be run by selected women from the two villages, where they will be in charge of renting out and selling equipment at the charging stations. Considering that about 43% (80 million people) of the total population of Pakistan lives without access to electricity, this will really illuminate the lives and homes of many village residents.
Mr. Asher Yaqub Khan, Chief Commercial Officer Ufone said, “Pakistan is facing a serious power problem. “A large section of the population in Pakistan’s rural areas is deprived of energy supply. Our partners at the Buksh Foundation are providing the technical support to boost energy security in rural areas like Chiniot where we have connected several houses through Solar Based Domestic Lighting Systems.”
“Ufone has always been a socially responsible company, we believe it is a great initiative for usto be able to work together and cooperate with Buksh foundation in the spirit of benefiting our country.” He further added.
Fiza Farhan Chief Executive Officer Buksh Foundation said"Buksh Foundation is extremely proud of this new partnership with Ufone which promises immense impact in the targeted communities as we provide them with Solar charging stations, while furthering women empowerment and economic activity in the areas. With the support of Ufone we will be able to provide clean energy to those households that were earlier living in the dark; enabling them to get access to better education, health, economic activities, mobilization- simply a better life. This is the way forward towards the paradigm shift in CSR for larger corporates towards real time developmental impact - which is certain to lead to real change in Pakistan."
About Ufone: Ufone the leader in innovation is an Etisalat Group Company with its presence in all the major cities of Pakistan along with a comprehensive coverage across all major towns, villages and tehsil headquarters of the country. The company employs more than 3,850 people and operates with a network of more than 380 franchises and 23 company-owned customer service centers along with a distribution network of 150,000 outlets nationwide.
About BF: Buksh Foundation is a non-profit impact led microfinance institution operating in Pakistan since 2009 with a diverse portfolio of client driven loan products. Microfinance in Pakistan is a young emerging industry in Pakistan at the introductory stages with only a small fraction of the market, less than 8% having access and this organization continues to change the microfinance scenario with various development initiatives in Pakistan. The Buksh Foundation aims to change more and more lives by providing for the less privileged, creating equity in society via microfinance endeavors and making a difference and paving a path for a better future. Buksh Foundation has received 4 awards including international awards since its inception in 2009. The first being the Citibank Micro Entrepreneurship Award-2010, the Best Social Performance at an international level-2011, the Hanson Wade Award for commitment to Social Transparency in Micro-Finance Institutions (MFI) at the Asian level - 2011, the C5’s Microfinance Investment Summit Geneva Edition-2011 and the Global Micro-Finance Achievement Award for the Best Social Performance. The institution is known widely for its ‘Lighting a Million Lives’ (LaML) project.