Akhuwat - A decade of hope -
Akhuwat
Akhuwat has reached more than 1.9 billion rupees in micro-loans disbursement      Akhuwat's 55th Branch at Muzafargarh launched on 28th May, 2011     Google Inc. Charitable Giving Fund of Tides Foundation has supported Akhuwat for its relief efforts in flood hit areas of Pakistan      Akhuwat is rehabilitating 10,000 flood affected families of Distt. Rajanpur      Presence in 34 cities      Model replicated by over 10 NGOs      Akhuwat working in collaboration with PUKAAR in Nowshera, KPK
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News & Events

Simultaneous Khatam-e-Quran

"On Friday, 7th Sep, 2012, by the Grace of Almighty Allah, Akhuwat inaugurated 82 new branches across the country. We are grateful to have been able to double our capacity, going from 81 to 163 branches. In Pakistan, no micro-finance institution has ever opened so many branches in one day. Simultaneous khatam-e-quran was held in every branch of Akhuwat, followed by a dua, to mark this auspicious occasion and to pray for the success of Akhuwat and reiterate our commitment to poverty alleviation through access to interest-free microfinance. Dr. Amjad Saqib, Founder and Executive Director of Akhuwat, thanked the supporters of Akhuwat and acknowledged the unparalleled dedication and commitment shown by Akhuwat staff. He also remarked that Akhuwat’s vision remains the same, creating a system based on the principles of social justice and mutual support. This system is articulated through the distribution of wealth, social guidance, capacity building, volunteerism, and community based programs of socio-economic development. We are proud of the spirit of brotherhood that we have been able to inculcate, not only in our own members but also in the communities where we operate. This spirit is what strengthens our mission. A mission of compassion, of brotherhood and of social justice."

Global Islamic Microfinance Forum

Islamic Microfinance Awareness Symposium

Dr. Amjad Saqib has been invited to present the Akhuwat model at an Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) supported Symposium, being held in Jordan on 4-5 September 2012. The Symposium, titled “Islamic Microfinance Awareness Symposium”, aims to bring together leaders of finance and increase the outreach of Islamic Microfinance in the Middle East and North African region, where it is currently very limited.

713 loans disbursed,PIDSA-Akhuwat Collaboration

On November 27, 2011, interest-free loans worth Rs. 10,000,000 were disbursed to 713 impoverished households at Liaqut Hall, Rawalpindi. His Excellency Mr. Vincenzo Prati, Ambassador of Italy to Pakistan, graced the evening as Cheif Guest, and was enthusiasitically welcomed by the members of Akhuwat Rawalpindi Steering Committee, as well as office bearers of Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, along with the borrowers and volunteers at Akhuwat. Mr. Marco Marchetti, Co-Project Director, PIDSA and Dr Amjad Saqib, Executive Director were also present at the event. The collaboration between PIDSA and Akhuwat has benefited over 9, 000 low income households in various parts of Pakistan through interest free loans worth over PRK 45 Million.

Dr. Muhammad Amjad Saqib honored by USEFP



During the conference titled "Giving Back: The Role of Alumni in the Socio-economic Development of Pakistan" held on October 7-9th, 2011 the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan [USEFP] presented its Special Achievements shield to Dr. Muhammad Amjad Saqib for his role in development and poverty alleviation efforts in Pakistan.

Dr. Saqib is a prominent social worker, volunteer and development professional. He graduated from King Edward Medical College Lahore, completed Master's degree in Public Administration (MPA) and Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship from the American University, Washington D.C. He is the founder of Akhuwat, the first ever interest free microfinance program. This program operates from mosques and churches and has opened new vistas in the domain of social mobilization and poverty alleviation. This is the largest individual based lending program in the country and is referred to in many international universities as a unique and innovative model in microfinance. Dr. Saqib is Akhuwat's Executive Director and main driving force since its inception in 2001. The president of Pakistan bestowed on him the Sitara-e-Imtiaz, a coveted civil award, on 23 March, 2010.

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Seminar on the Spirit of Volunteerism held at NUST

On October 20th 2011, NUST Volunteers Club (NVC) organized an event on the ‘Spirit of Volunteerism’ which aimed at reflecting the purpose and ideology of the association. The event also catered to serve another objective of launching phase-II of NVC’s Flood Relief Campaign 2011. Therefore, the event in itself fulfilled a dual purpose of evoking the spirit of volunteerism among the students of NUST and appealing for donations for the victims of the flood-hit areas.

The highlight of the event was a lecture on volunteerism which was delivered by Dr. Amjad Saqib, an eminent social worker, who institutionalized the innovative system of interest-free microfinance based on the principles of Qard-e-Hasana. As mentioned in the lecture, Akhuwat started off with a fund of Rs. 10,000 but has now successfully grown to become a renowned national organization with a credit pool of over 1.2 billion and a client base of more than hundred thousand families.

Dr. Amjad Saqib commenced his lecture by asserting volunteerism as a distinctive quality of Prophets, Saints, and Sufis. He stated that the spirit of volunteerism was the soul of any living society that believes in fostering compassion and empathy for others, especially those in need. During the lecture, Dr. Amjad Saqib quoted numerous examples from his personal life and also shared various success stories of Akhuwat which contributed towards the evolution and strengthening of the foundations of the organization. The affirmative impact of Dr. Amjad Saqib’s emotionally and intellectually stimulating speech was evident from the way the audience was immersed in the lecture; the audience not only comprised of the students of NUST but also the prominent members of the university along with the senior faculty.

Following the lecture, Dr. Amjad Saqib held a special meeting with the Commandant College of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (EME) Major General Shahid Mehmood, Dean of EME Brigadier Dr.Younus Butt, Associate Dean Dr. Mujib bin Ehsan, and faculty members. All expressed appreciation and need for such lectures in the future as well. Dr.Younus Butt articulated his desire to make such lectures a regular part of curriculum in courses such as Communication Skills, Ethics, and Pakistan Studies.

Apart from the success of the event, Dr. Amjad Saqib, who was over-whelmed to see the active participation of NUST Volunteers Club, announced a contribution from Akhuwat of amount Rs. 50,000 for the NVC Flood Relief Campaign 2011.

Dr. Amjad Saqib visits Cadet College Larkana

Dr. Amjad Saqib, Executive Director, Akhuwat was invited as a special guest at the Foundation Day of the Cadet College Larakana where he also gave a detailed presentation on the Akhuwat Model, with many students and faculty expressing their desire to volunteer to Akhuwat.

Dr. Muhammad Amjad Saqib, Executive Director Akhuwat, visited Cadet College Larkana as a special guest to attend the college’s Foundation Day on 26th September 2011. Performances and speeches of the students at this occasion were profound and left an impression on the audience. Afterwards, Dr. Saqib addressed the gathering of 600 students and faculty members. He congratulated them on their remarkable performances and reinforced the idea of our collective duty to Pakistan. Later in the evening, Dr. Saqib also gave a detailed presentation on the Akhuwat model to members of the faculty and senior students. The audience took a keen interest in Akhuwat with many of the students expressing their desire and intention to volunteer for Akhuwat. Akhuwat is currently exploring possibilities of initiating a Qard-e-Hasan program in Larkana.

Cadet College Larkana was established in 1992 and has emerged as an exemplary institution in Pakistan. Professor S. M. Yousaf, Founder, Principal and Project Director of the institution, has shown remarkable commitment and devotion in steering the College towards greater heights. The College remains the largest amongst the Cadet Colleges in the country and also owns and maintains one of the largest libraries in Pakistan.

Akhuwat Internship Award Distribution Ceremony

On 16th August, 2011, Akhuwat in collaboration with Citi Foundation and University of Central Punjab hosted an Award Ceremony to honour the work of its young interns. Justice (R) Khalil-ur-Rehman Khan was the chief guest of the function who made a thought provoking speech highlighting the importance of social work. Dr Amjad Saqib, Executive Driector, Akhuwat also addressed the audience of over 250 guests. He emphasized that Akhuwat’s model of poverty alleviation was based on the concept of mutual support and thus it was vital that the youth of the country embraced their own responsibility of helping the poor.

Two successful rounds of the internship program were completed in the summer of 2011. 34 students of hailing from Lahore University of Management Sciences [LUMS], Institute of Business Administration [IBA], University of the Punjab [PU], Lahore Grammar School, Beaconhouse School System and Kinnaird College had participated in the program. The internship program was a journey which took the interns through the streets of Lahore but as much as it was a physical journey, it was also an inward journey for the interns who were compelled to explore their own values, priorities and goals in life.

Throughout the Ceremony, interns delivered passionate speeches relating their journey with Akhuwat and also showcased the projects they had undertaken during the course of the internship program. They spoke of how their experience at Akhuwat had impacted them and reinforced their commitment to help the poor of the society. Videos showcasing their experience were also showcased at the event.

‘Brotherhood,’ the literal meaning of the metaphor Akhuwat is the underlying philosophy that drives the organization. It is evident in the dedication of its staff, the generosity of its donors, the commitments of its borrowers and the compassion of its volunteers. The aim of Akhuwat’s internship program was to instill this spirit of brotherhood in the hearts of the youth of Pakistan.

Certificates were distributed at the end of the ceremony by notable members of the audience who appreciated the interns’ passion to serve the poor of Pakistan.

Discussion with students at Harvard University

Through video conferencing, the staff, volunteers and borrowers of Akhuwat addressed the students of Social Development in Pakistan, a course being offered at Harvard University in summer 2011.

The unique summer course brought together U.S.-based participants and Pakistani civic leaders, scholars, and change makers working on social development. The course entitled Social Development in Pakistan was being taught by Maggie Ronkin. Akhuwat was invited to share its model of poverty alleviation and its involvement in rebuilding the lives of flood affected populations. The session took place on 20th June 2011 in Islamabad with students based in Islamabad and at the Harvard Campus.

Dr Amjad Saqib, Executive Director Akhuwat gave an exhaustive overview of Akhuwat's philosophy and operations. He discussed Akhuwat's deviation from some trends in conventional microfinance movement and demonstrated the impact Akhuwat's efforts had had in Pakistan. Dr Kamran Shams, Chief Executive officer Punjab Educational Endowment Fund and Mr. Humayun Ehsaan - Principal, Pakistan College of Law, who also serve on the Board of Directors of Akhuwat spoke of the need for community based efforts of poverty alleviation. This was followed by experience sharing of three borrowers of Akhuwat who recounted their own journey with Akhuwat. The students interviewed the borrowers at length and got a more holistic picture of the efforts of Akhuwat. Towards the end, three of Akhuwat's young volunteers, Imran Sarwar, Amna Hassan and Fatima Rasheed spoke of their motivation and commitment to the cause of Akhuwat.

An enthusiastic question and answer session followed where students and faculty members not only showed their appreciation of the Akhuwat model but some also expressed their desire to volunteer for Akhuwat. The instructor of the course, Maggie Ronkin, is an anthropologist who has worked extensively in Pakistan.

International Conference on Islamic Microfinance

On 13th June, 2011, the International Conference on Islamic Microfinance was held at the Faisal Mosque Auditorium, Islamabad which brought conference brought together international researchers, academics and practitioners to highlight various models and practices of Islamic Microfinance. Akhuwat was invited to present its model of Qarz-e-Hassan to a wider audience.

Akhuwat partnered with AlHuda Center of Islamic Banking and Islamic Economics (CIBE), in organizing an International Conference on Islamic Microfinance at the Faisal Mosque Auditorium, Islamabad on the 13th of June, 2011. This conference brought together international researchers, academics and practitioners to highlight various models and practices of Islamic Microfinance. With a special focus on the application of Qarz-e-Hassan, the conference explored various means of poverty alleviation that are in line with Sharia principles and brought forth new dimensions that Islamic Microfinance has to offer to this end.

Dr Amjad Saqib, Executive Director, delivered the welcome address at the conference where he highlighted the paradigm shift in conventional microfinance and stressed on the features and philosophy of Islamic microfinance which gives the world an and a practical approach in achieving the aim of poverty alleviation.

During the third session of the conference, Akhuwat presented its model of Qarz-e-Hasna to a wider audience of national and international experts. The session on Akhuwat was chaired by Dr Amjad Saqib, Executive Director, Akhuwat and Dr. Rashid Bajwa, CEO of National Rural Support Program.

Prof. Athar Azim Khan, Faculty of Commerce, University of Central Punjab discussed the salient features of the Akhuwat model. Khawaja Zakauddin, President, Khud Kifalat Rozgar Trust, talked of linkages between microfinance and the business community by drawing on his own experience of introducing the Akhuwat model through the Khud Kifalat Rozgar Trust which is supported by members of Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Syed Qaiser Ali, Founder and President of Akhuwat Sindh, CEO of M/S Bilkish Associates Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd highlighted the challenges and opportunities in replicating the Akhuwat Model. Akhuwat Sindh was one of the first replications of the Akhuwat Model.

To give participants of the conference an insight to Akhuwat's operations, at the end of the conference loan disbursement to borrowers took place. Dr Amjad Saqib addressed the crowd of borrowers explaining the philosophy of Akhuwat and highlighting broader development agendas including female education, environmental conservation, ethics in business and respecting local laws.

Pictures from the event are available here.

For further information, please log on to the official conference webpage.

Akhuwat's Journey to One Billion

From the first loan of Rupees 10,000, Akhuwat has achieved a significant milestone; the disbursement of 1 Billion Rupees as interest free loans to over 90, 000 poor families in Pakistan. To mark this milestone in Akhuwat's journey, a series of events between 22nd March and 27th March, 2011 took place in Lahore.

• Dua-e-Khair, 22nd March, 2011
• Diya Jalaye Rakhna Hai - Pakistan Day Vigil, 23rd March 2011
• Akhuwat Fundraising Dinner 2011, 24th March, 2011
• Akhuwat; Exploring New Horixons in Microfinance, 25th March 2011
• Loan Disbursement at the Data Ganj Baksh Mosque, 27th March 2011

Dua-e-Khair

On 22nd March, 2011, three hundred borrowers, supporters and employees of Akhuwat gathered at the 'Baba Shah Jamal' Mosque, Shah Jamal Colony, Lahore. Shah Jamal Mosque is home to one of the earliest branches of Akhuwat opened in Lahore. The event began with a recitation from the Holy Quran to recognize that all of Akhuwat's success has been possible only because of Allah's Approval and Benevolence. Afterwards the participants prayed for blessings and Baraka' from Allah Rab-ul-Izzat in their tasks and efforts for poverty alleviation. They reinforced their commitment to fight against interest, which is prohibited in Islam, and build a society according to the principles of brotherhood, compassion and social justice.

Diya Jalaye Rakhna Hai - Pakistan Day Vigil

On the evening of Pakistan's National Day, 23rd March, the youth of Lahore came together with Akhuwat to show their solidarity with the poor. Through their energy and passion, scores of young people voiced their commitment to work together to alleviate poverty from their country.

Over 1, 500 students from various schools and universities including King Edward Medical College University, Lahore University of Management Sciences, University of Central Punjab, Punjab University, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Government College University, and Lahore Grammar School gathered along the canal between Jail Road and Mall Road to join hands with the enthusiastic borrowers and the supportive staff of Akhuwat. They were holding diyay (earthen lamps) and misha'l (torches) to symbolize breaking out of the darkness and despair of poverty. The lamps and torches that marked the evening sky of Lahore was a testament of the hope that Akhuwat had rekindled in the hearts of the citizens of Pakistan. The young people echoed the desire to play their parts in changing the future of Pakistan by embracing their own responsibility to the poor. Affirming their unity, the youth of Lahore stood shoulder to shoulder with Akhuwat's borrowers and staff members, displaying to the world that the light of change had been lit.

Pictures of the event are available here.

Akhuwat Fundraising Dinner 2011

To share the inspirational success of Akhuwat's journey, a fundraising dinner was organized at Royal Palm, Lahore on 24th March, 2011. Prominent TV anchor Nur-ul-Hasan hosted the proceedings prior to the dinner. Dr. Amjad Saqib (Executive Director, Akhuwat) opened the floor with a passionate presentation of his vision for Akhuwat. He recalled the humble beginnings of Akhuwat and how through the sheer dedication of its staff, the support of its borrowers and the generosity of the community, it had reached the milestone of one billion rupees. What began as a philanthropic experiment has now emerged as a movement that has transformed the lives of 90, 000 families in Pakistan. This was followed by a screening of a documentary which traced the lives of Akhuwat's oldest borrowers showcasing the vision for change that underlies Akhuwat's operations. The moving narration of the borrowers as they related their experiences of how they had built their lives with support from Akhuwat was a testament to the impact Akhuwat's efforts of poverty alleviation had. The evening progressed with words of appreciation for Akhuwat from eminent guests including Justice (r) Nasira Javed Iqbal; Mr. Abdus Salam Ashshareef - Country Director, Pakistan for Kuwait Fund; Mian Amir Mehmood ,Chairman, University of Central Punjab and renowned columnist Mr. Haroon Rashid. Final vote of thanks was delivered by Mr. Humayun Ehsaan - Principal, Pakistan College of Law. This was followed by dinner and the evening came to an end after many pledges and donations were made for Akhuwat.

Pictures of the event are available here.

International Conference: "Exploring New Horizon in Microfinance – Akhuwat"

On 25th March 2011, an international conference entitled 'Akhuwat-Exploring New Horizons in Microfinance' was held at University of Central Punjab, Lahore. The event brought together eminent scholars, experts and practitioners who through their exhaustive analysis, brought forth the salient features of the Akhuwat model that continue to define its philosophy and operation. The conference was attended by a wide array of social development professionals from various microfinance institutions, academics and scholars from Pakistan and students from a University of Central Punjab, Government College University, Lahore University of Management Sciences and Riphah University, Islamabad.

Following is a list of speakers who presented at the conference:

Speaker Topic
Professor Malcolm Harper,
Emeritus Professor of Enterprise Development, Cranfield School of Management, United Kingdom
Akhuwat - My favorite microfinance institution…Why?
Dr. Khalid Zaheer,
Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Central Punjab
Role of mosque in socioeconomic development – Akhuwat experience
Mr. Saleem Ullah,
Director Islamic Banking Department at State Bank of Pakistan
Islamic Microfinance – Potential and Possibilities: Role of Akhuwat
Agha Ali Jawad,
General Manager, National Rural Support Program
Sustainability and growth in Akhuwat – A myth or reality?
Dr. Faheem ul Islam,
Associate Professor, Suleman Dawood School of Business, LUMS
Sustainability, scalability and impact of Akhuwat
Dr. Zeeshan Ahmed,
Director BSc Accounting & Finance, Suleman Dawood School of Business, LUMS
‘Waqf’ – a way forward for Akhuwat
Dr. Grace Clark,
Professor, Department of Sociology, Forman Christian College (University)
The importance of a microfinance system that is consistent with culture
Professor Ather Azim,
Professor, Faculty of Commerce, University of Central Punjab
Achieving Triple bottom line: Sustainability, Growth and Welfare - A Case of Akhuwat
Prof. Mubeen ul Haq and Prof. A. G. Ghaffari,
University of Management & Technology
Metaphor as a source of Organizational Development: A case study of Akhuwat

Pictures of the event are available here.

Loan Disbursement at Data Ganj Baksh Mosque

On 27th March 2011, 3,000 loans worth 40 million rupees were disbursed at Lahore's historical Data GanjBaksh Mosque which formally marked Akhuwat surpassing the One Billion rupee mark in interest-free loans. The Chief Minister Punjab, Muhammad Shahbaz Shariz was the chief guest on this occasion and appreciated the work of Akhuwat and expressed his wish that the Government of Punjab and Akhuwat should work together for poverty alleviation. Sama'a Hall at the mosque was brimming with a gathering of over 4000 people; a combination of borrowers, supporters and volunteers of Akhuwat. Dr Amjad Saqib, Executive Drector, Akhuwat also addressed the enthusiastic crowd and highlighted that the Akhuwat's success was due to the support, trust and generosity of the borrowers of the organization.

Pictures of the event are available here.

Akhuwat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

In line with its aim to expand the operations of Akhuwat in order to alleviate poverty, Akhuwat has initiated its operations in the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa province.

Akhuwat has collaborated with Kawish Welfare Trust in providing sewing machines on interest free basis to 250 poor families of Charsaddah, Khyber Paktunkhawa. A revolving fund has been established for this purpose which will continue to serve the poor in Charsaddah.

Akhuwat has also conducted a survey for opening a branch in Nowshera for which staff for the new branch is currently receiving training. This branch will be operational after 15th of November, 2010 and will be launched in association with Nur Foundation. Donors interested in contributing to this branch are invited to contact Akhuwat at info@akhuwat.org.pk

Akhuwat in Muzafargarh

Akhuwat has selected Kot Addu Union Council in District Muzafargarh for the launch of 'Build a Home Project'. This project has been initiated in collaboration with The Eissar Trust.

Pictures of the event are available here.

Akhuwat in the United Kingdom

Akhuwat is aware of the passion that the Pakistani diaspora adorns for helping the poor in their homeland. To facilitate their efforts, Akhuwat has now registered its subsidiary in the United Kingdom.

Akhuwat is now registered in United Kingdom as "Akhuwat (UK) Trust" under Registration No. 1136317. The bank account details for the trust are as follows:

Account Title: Akhuwat UK Trust
Account Number: 42010410
Bank Name: HSBC
Bank Branch Sort Code: 40-35-20
Bank's Address: 3A Queen's Road, Town Centre, Nuneaton CV115JL

Supporters and philanthropists in the United Kingdom are encouraged to contribute to the Akhuwat [UK] trust. For further details, please contact info@akhuwat.org.pk

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