Volunteers In Action
In the bustling corridors of the French Medical Institute for Mothers and Children (FMIC) in Kabul, an unsung hero quietly navigated the intricate world of pathology – Dr. Zahir Moloo, a TKN volunteer and seasoned Consultant Pathologist from Canada. His comprehensive TKN assignment focused on transformation within FMIC's Department of Pathology, closely collaborating with and receiving valuable assistance from Dr. Maseh Haidray, the Head of the Department, and Mohammad Edris Wahdey, Assistant Manager Laboratory. They worked together on an ambitious change strategy that focused on several vital healthcare processes in the institution.
Based on Mawlana Hazar Imam’s guidance, the Crossroads Youth Camp is designed to nurture pluralistic and ethically grounded youth who can look to their future with hope and become ambassadors for the Jamat. It seeks to cater to the needs and aspirations of youth aged 12 to 14 years who are confronted with multifaceted contemporary challenges in their personal and professional lives.
Coastal ecosystems, often referred to as “nature's green lungs,” serve as a critical line of defense against climate change, while protecting vulnerable shorelines, and sustaining rich biodiversity. This year, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) recruited Dr Hafeez Jamal on a TKN assignment to help design a community and ecosystem-based approach to coastal regeneration in Kenya and Tanzania.
The University of Central Asia (UCA) is an internationally chartered, secular, private, not-for-profit university with a mission to improve the quality of life of mountain societies. It was founded in 2000 through an International Treaty signed by the Ismaili Imamat together with the Governments of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan, ratified by their respective parliaments and registered with the United Nations. UCA’s three campuses, nestled in rural mountainous towns along the historic Silk Road, are at the heart of the economic, social, and intellectual transformation taking place in the region.
The below eight University of Central Asia (UCA) TKN volunteers were invited to attend the UCA Convocation held in June 2023, in recognition of their exemplary voluntary service to UCA. Among the distinguished guests were UCA trustees, including Princess Zahra Aga Khan. These TKN volunteers had the unique opportunity to be introduced to Princess Zahra at a special event - see above photograph of the TKN volunteers pictured with Princess Zahra. Photos and brief summaries of the volunteers’ exceptional TKN contributions to UCA are provided below.
Imagine the thunderous claps and cheers of the audience as dancers, singers, athletes and artists own the stage with the beats of their feet, and the graceful arcs of their shots into the basketball hoop. This is what many TKN volunteers from around the world are thinking about and looking forward to experiencing at the Global Encounters Festival in 2024.
In the vibrant city of Dubai last month, Central and South Asia's top 12 most promising tech-enabled startups took the stage at SlingShot's Demo Day to pitch for global recognition and investment. The top four startups were selected from each of the participating countries: Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. After two months of acceleration programming, they competed in Dubai for the chance to win seed funding and support from external investors.
The University of Central Asia (UCA) has made significant progress in its performance management systems in recent years. A TKN assignment was intended to build upon this by providing additional training in several key areas.
The early years of a child are crucial in developing an adaptable and agile mind. A child’s experiences in the preschool years have lasting effects on the foundation of the child’s behaviour, emotions and education in the future. Despite research on the critical importance of Early Childhood Development (ECD), there continues to be a lack of awareness. In particular, ECD implementation in Pakistan’s most remote and rural areas is imperative.
The most recent TKN volunteers to visit The Aga Khan Medical Centre in Gilgit are Shabir and Salma Somani. The Somanis live in Seattle, USA, and are passionate about giving back to the Jamat. They travelled to the remote mountains and valleys of Northern Pakistan to improve pharmacy services in the region.
It is a rare person who sets aside a dynamic business career to become a volunteer – not just for a week or a month, but for years. Yet that is what Azmina Jivan did more than a decade ago. And she has not looked back.
The Academic Skills Support Team in the Department of Graduate Studies at the Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS) is tasked with raising the number of high-quality applicants for the Institute’s graduate programmes from priority countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Syria and Tajikistan. In particular, we focus on finding excellent candidates to apply for the Secondary Teacher Education Programme (STEP). This in itself has not been difficult; year after year, we find people with fantastic teaching potential, motivation and commitment to the Jamat. However, getting their academic skills up to a level where they could undertake the rigours of a dual programme including a Master’s and PGDip is more of a challenge. We work with local providers who teach academic skills in each country, but another important ingredient to achieving our goal has been the use of TKN teachers to shore up local and UK programmes with remotely-based, small-group, targeted online teaching.