TheIsmaili > Family & Wellbeing > Family & Wellbeing
A day in the life of a farmer: GE Expedition participants join in an early morning excursion with Ismaili farmers.

In December 2019, Global Encounters (GE) Expedition brought together young Ismailis from 13 countries to the rural areas of Southern Saurashtra in Gujarat to engage with the local Jamat and study the work of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). The impact of Expedition on its participants is well known, but the impact that Expedition has on the Jamat in Southern Saurashtra is equally profound.

Sharmin Barolia stands in front of a plaque with the names of past honorees of the Embrace Civility Award.

In the eight short months, Sharmin Barolia has lived in the United States, she has already begun to leave a significant impact in the various communities of which she is a part. Sharmin is an active member of Los Angeles Headquarters Jamatkhana, her community of the greater Los Angeles area, and her workplace, the City of Beverly Hills.

Participants enroute, via boat, to the Arcadia Education Project. The school, which won the 2019 Award, is an amphibious structure, built on land, that is flood-prone.

It’s a cool and damp morning at a school in South Kanarchor, on the outskirts of Dhaka. As the children break for recess, they’re greeted by the sight of six young visitors, approaching the school by boat. The children clamour around the bamboo railings excitedly. Nestled in the heart of South Kanarchor is the Arcadia Education Project, one of the winners of the 2019 cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA). Built on land that floods regularly, the amphibious structure is an innovative solution that responds to climate, context, and community. And that’s exactly what the visitors were there to learn about.

The early years of life are critical for the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive formation of every young child. On the occasion of the UN’s International Day of Education, we learn about the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF)’s work in Early Childhood Development (ECD) in India. By supporting government ECD centres, AKF facilitates a safe, healthy, and joyful environment where children can learn.

School in Aliabad where the Karmali girls taught morning sessions. (Left to right) Alizeh Karmali, Ayla Karmali, Ammana Karmali.

My extended stay in Pakistan began with a family vacation from our home in Seattle, to Karachi, in February of 2019. We had gone to visit family and see where our parents had grown up, and in the process had visited some community schools, hospitals, and neighborhoods. Seeing the situations in which people were living -- conditions filled with need and poverty -- made me realize I needed to do something to help. Thus, we approached the Aga Khan Education Board (AKEB) in Pakistan to see if they could use our assistance.

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