It was early fall in 2018 when Dr. Fayyaz Vellani first got his TKN call. “I still remember, being on the train at Trenton, when the Aga Khan Education Board (AKEB) USA reached out to me with a request from AKEB India,” he recalls. The ask from Dr. Vellani was a request to teach a writing residency programme, organized by AKEB India, for students of its flagship mentoring programme. “I felt called”, says Fayyaz, who is currently a Lecturer in Critical Writing at the University of Pennsylvania. “I remember telling Rehim (who called me), that I would either find someone or do this myself. Fundamentally, I said yes, because I knew there was a need”.
It had long been Nashir Karmali’s desire to offer voluntary service in a developing country. In 2007, he received a call that changed his career and life: He was asked to serve on a TKN assignment with Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) to conduct a strategic review of their operations in Afghanistan, aimed at expanding its mandate from refugee repatriation to include emergency management, disaster preparedness, and response.
Aswan, the ancient city of Swenett on the banks of the Nile and frontier town on the southernmost border of Ancient Egypt, is the focus for the work of the Om Habibeh Foundation (OHF) in Egypt. The OHF, established by Mata Salamat in 1991 and formally registered in 2006, is an affiliate of the Aga Khan Foundation-Egypt (AKF-E). AKF-E’s program portfolio includes early childhood, civil society and rural development. All these programs function within the Governorate of Aswan, which has a population of 1.5 million people in Upper Egypt.
In response to Mawlana Hazar Imam’s vision to bring together jamats from around the world, several American Ismaili athletes recently traveled to India and Pakistan to demonstrate fellowship through sports.
Seated in a Pamiri home in Khorog, Tajikistan, 73-year-old Khudododova Tursunmo listened intently to a presentation on Nazrana. She learned that Ismailis worldwide would have the opportunity to pledge a Diamond Jubilee gift of time and knowledge to Mawlana Hazar Imam. A retiree and grandmother of five, Khudododova wondered what gift she could give the Imam to show her love.
When Salima Alibhai served on her first Aga Khan University (AKU) TKN assignment in 2015, she could not have anticipated that it would change the course of her future.
How can someone on one side of the world affect an initiative on the other side? Or contribute to making an improvement to a large-scale process? Or share the knowledge they have acquired through years of education and experience? The stories of TKN volunteers Ali Thanawalla, Adam Jutha, and Huma Pabani are all examples of short-term, remote assignments with the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), which have made a significant impact on the agency's work.
Dr Anees Chagpar and Dr Farin Amersi served on a TKN assignment with the Aga Khan University (AKU) in Karachi for three weeks in September and October this year, in their first visit to Pakistan, to assess the breast cancer programme at AKU.
Karim Marani’s TKN journey with the University of Central Asia (UCA) began in March 2013 when he received a call to determine his interest in contributing to the design of the university’s academic library. This was in preparation for UCA’s inaugural undergraduate programs across three campuses in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. Karim has an undergraduate degree in Library and Information Science from East Africa and a Master’s degree in Educational Technology from the USA. He is currently Director of the Learning Resource Center, McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
Denmark-based Information Technology (IT) professional, Shaukat Khan, heads global IT infrastructure for Novo Nordisk, a multinational pharmaceutical company. He has extensive experience in leading infrastructure and development teams. Prior to Novo Nordisk, he worked with UNICEF’s HQ IT Centre in Copenhagen.
Dr Fazila Lalani, a full-time emergency physician with the Aga Khan Health Services, Tanzania, is working in her ideal job, and it started as a TKN assignment.