On November 27, 2019, the University of Lahore (UOL) joined Akhuwat Foundation (AF), a vastly experienced global Islamic micro-finance institution offering small-scale industry loans to low income-earning families in celebrating the realization of Rs I bn disbursement of interest-free soft loans since 2001. AF, as a poverty alleviation initiative, seeks to sustain a social system based on mutual support for beneficiaries to gain self-reliance and escape from the clutches of poverty.
Dr. Muhammad Amjad Saqib, the founding chairman of AF, while addressing the celebrants at the colorful event organized at UOL’s Defence Road Campus, Lahore recalled the genesis of the now world-famed micro-finance institution, saying that he started it by giving a loan of Rs. 10,000 to a widow for earning bread and butter to her family.
“Upon returning the funds, she requested me to give the same to some other needy person as a loan. The process continued like that up to date,” he said. Dr. Saqib advised the youth to rise from their shells and try to help others. “I believe that if each one of us helps at least one needy person, soon there wouldn’t be poverty in our country,” he remarked. He encouraged the students to donate attires and utensils through AF for the benefit of the deprived.
Stressing the charitable spirit, the UOL Chairman Board of Governors, Mr. Awais Raoof, observed: “If we have more organizations like Akhuwat, we shall be in position to overcome poverty in our community”. He congratulated Mr. Saqib for founding the now world’s biggest non-interest micro-finance institution.
Mr. Nasir Mehmood (CEO Engineering Projects), Dr. Rabia Akhtar (Director CSSPR and HOD, SISS), Mr. Naseem Khan Achakzai (Executive Director of CSRP, UOL), Heads of various departments and the students of the UOL attended this event that also featured a short video documentary explaining the 20 year journey of the AF and its projects.
During the occasion, two interactive question-answer sessions on the expression of social issues in the social media were conducted by Ms. Aleena and Ms. Michael from Akhuwat. The event ended with the exchange of files of a partnership pact between AF and the UOL.