Rendezvous with Abdul Sattar Edhi – Learning from a living legend

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Peace Through Prosperity ‘s team benefiting from the icon of Pakistan – Abdul Sattar Edhi

One fine day we were just discussing work in our office and the conversation flowed towards Abdul Sattar Edhi. We started talking about his work, his passion to serve humanity and the relentless hard work he and his team puts in changing the face of social welfare across the globe and pioneering it in Pakistan. It was then we arrange a meeting with Abdul Sattar Edhi and share our project vision with him and gain some feedback and knowledge that Mr Edhi would share. It was neither planned nor was absolutely pertinent to our work yet we just could not hold back the idea of meeting Abdul Sattar Edhi sahab.

We called his office and got an appointment for the next morning. We were elated. After all, we were to meet THE man himself and we would tell him about Peace Through Prosperity. We were not sure how he would react; will he be happy to know about the kind of work we are doing or would just not care much since we are sure he must meet a lot of NGOs on a daily basis. Yet, we were excited.

The next morning we were at Bilquis Edhi Home where we saw a couple of women sitting in front of an old man We asked one of the women where we can find Edhi sahib since we have an appointment with him and the humble lady asked us, “Don’t you recognize him?” It was then that the old man smiled and said, “Meri topi le ke aao”. The man was indeed, Abdul Sattar Edhi. We felt a little embarrassed but his warmth soon let us forget all our inhibitions and open up to him.

At Peace Through Prosperity we believe in bringing peace in across the world through prosperity. Of course we are not as big as Edhi Foundation but we are following his footsteps and want to bring such a positive change in society that can go miles and miles for our country.

You can check out our work in detail on our or watch our success stories on to be more up close with our cause.

Edhi is an institution in himself but when we met him we found no thread of arrogance in him. He was compassionate, simple and extremely down to earth. We want to emulate that stature.

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Edhi sahab encouraging PTP, “Aisa kaam pehle kabhi Pakistan mey kisi ne nahi kia”

When we shared our work and experiences with him, he got delighted. He said, “No one in Pakistan has ever done something like this before.” He endorsed that the idea of working with micro entrepreneurs like vegetable/fruit sellers, street hawkers, cobblers, barbers and the likes is unique and should have been given importance years ago. Yet it is not too late and we can still work on to improve the lives of this community. His appreciation and encouragement meant the world to us. Our morale just went up high and we knew we are on the right track.

Edhi sahib told us that the path we chosen is not easy and we will face a lot of problems as we progress but we must not give up our cause and keep fighting for it. The more you grow the more problems you will face. He also said that the day you start having enemies who constantly create hurdles in your way, just be sure that you are getting successful in your mission. It gives us immense pleasure to know that he backs Peace Through Prosperity and stands by us in our pursuit of alleviating poverty by empowering the daily wages workers.

Just as our name suggests, we aim to spread peace and happiness, and since we are working with the lower working class we aim to teach them the basics to ensure harmony. For starters, we emphasize on controlling your tongue and being polite to everyone. If a customer has some issues, you have to bear with it. After all, he gives you business. Besides, if you reply to harsh comments in the same manner then it will just continue to get worse. You should learn to ignore negativity. After a while, the other person will stop fighting will you and will be civil to you. This is the simplest way to ensure peace in your environment.

To get constant updates about our work, you an follow us on or Like us on where we keep adding pictures and our projects. You can also be a part of our Peace Through Prosperity family by either being our peace Ambassador or helping in any other possible manner; click on to get a detailed idea of your involvement in Peace Through prosperity.

We might be working in a slightly different field but our ideology is exactly in sync with Edhi sahab’s vision and mission; taking peace to each and every corner of the country without harming any individual or organization in the process. Just interacting with him has given us new direction and meaning. We are now more confident of our motto and are sure that our organization will benefit the working class of our country at large bringing a positive change in society… very soon.

Mini-MBA Gearing Up Micro Entrepreneurs for a Prosperous Future

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Practical is important but theory is the basis of every education and is immensely important

Meeting with the entrepreneurs of circumstances, helping them with ways to improve their business, motivating them to empower their lives by making conscious decisions about their lives and giving them opportunities for a better future; this all is what Peace Through Prosperity is working for. Starting off with projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and then Punjab, the team finally shifted gears towards Karachi, the business hub of the country. Amongst the hustle bustle of the big city, we usually tend to forget the people we deal with day in and day out – the street vendors, cobblers and barbers etc. And to help these people get a better life, Peace Through Prosperity has channelized all their energies to build up a business model for the micro entrepreneurs in the form of their contribution towards poverty alleviation.

You can watch how Peace Through Prosperity has changed lives of micro entrepreneurs in KPK and Punjab in Vimeo

How does it all work? Well, mobilizing these entrepreneurs is not an easy task and needs lot of courage and patience while dealing with them. Taking them out of their comfort zones and bringing them into a classroom has always been a challenge. But, thankfully, when they attend two days of our classes, they anxiously wait for the next session and show enthusiasm for the project. After all, they get to learn about business model that is easy to adopt and shows positive results on a daily basis.

A couple of months ago, Peace Through Prosperity went into the areas of Sultanabad, Hijrat Colony, Koranigi, Qayumabad, Bilal Colony etc to get their survey forms filled and select people for their mini-MBA program. After getting 400 surveys filled out, they selected around 275 micro entrepreneurs for teaching the tricks of the trade. During the last month’s time, we have successfully conducted tutorials at the above mentioned areas; places where agents of change hardly get a chance to showcase their potential. It was with the help of influential people in each area that we were able to reach out to our potential students and made them realize that it is for their own good.

During our mini-MBA program in Sultanabad, a 19 year old fruit seller Shahzeb made us extremely proud and overwhelmed us with his dedication. On the first day of our session, Shahzeb’s father barged into the class and started beating up his son for attending the mini-MBA program. He even threatened us of severe results if we did not wrap up our program and leave the area. We, however, took stand and stayed back since there were others interested in learning ways to combat poverty while Shahzeb had to leave due to the constant abuse of his father. The very next day Shahzeb returned to the class and announced that he wants to sit for the mini-MBA program to polish his business skills and has not informed his father about his allegiance with Peace Through Prosperity. Then onwards, he completed the whole 5-day program and learnt the most out of the whole batch; his post program assessment showed promise.

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On-site training to help a vegetable seller secure his livelihood

Our on-site training, in-class teachings and aid in the form of record keeping and management helped the micro entrepreneurs make more profit within a short span of time. At the end of the mini-MBA, we provided everyone with a register and taught them to note down the amount they spent on purchasing the items and the amount they made by selling them off. For instance, if you have purchased fruits for Rs20,000 then you should note down your sale of even Rs20. At the end of the day, separate the Rs20,000 that was your expenditure and then calculate the profit you made. The same goes for barbers and cobblers etc.

Besides this, the vendors were also encouraged to quit smoking and paan/gutka. They were also asked to stop entertaining guests at their pushcarts by serving them tea as it would cost them Rs150/day on an average. Instead of spending Rs150/day on tea for guests, they should save at least Rs100/day. For the ones who smoked or were hooked to betel leaves should save that money as it is not even good for their health.

By adopting these simple few steps, the fruit sellers and samosa vendors started saving Rs100/day. After 4 days of the session, we asked how much they saved and they replied Rs400 that could make Rs3000 per month, totaling upto Rs36,000/year. This way they would not have to rely on anyone else. This way they will also be able to purchase their own pushcarts after a while for which they have to pay in between Rs50/day to Rs100/day on an average. Peace Through Prosperity MBA 4 111106 225x300 Mini MBA Gearing Up Micro Entrepreneurs for a Prosperous Future

At the end of the mini-MBA program, we provide them with a steel stool, a bottle of water spray to keeps their fruits and vegetables fresh, a certificate, a register to note down all day’s activities and an envelope of Rs1250 for taking out time for these classes. Along with this, we also prepare a banner for their pushcart that has their name, occupation, mobile number and even their picture so that people can recognize and address them by their name. Later on, the mobile number can be used for home deliveries as the fruit/vegetable seller can facilitate his customers by delivering their goods at home. This will help his business too as a lot of people will be more comfortable with getting goods at their doorstep.

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Participants being awarded after successfully completing 5 day mini-MBA program

From a broader perspective, everything looks so simple and doable but after interacting with these people fighting against poverty for survival, we realized they need to be taught even the basics of life. It’s not that they don’t earn enough to run their house; it’s just that they cannot manage their earnings and end up being destitute at the end of the month. They do not have food security and livelihood protection techniques. Now, a lot of these entrepreneurs of circumstances are hopeful about their future; about their children’s future. They have vowed to send their children to schools with the money they save at the end of the month so that their children can get education and adopt a better profession as they grow older. They don’t want their children to have the same fate as they did and are determined to work harder to make their children’s lives better.

Who ever thought that the street vendors, cobblers and barbers we interact on a daily basis have aspirations of their own and would want a better living for their family. With Peace Through Prosperity, at least the process has begun. To stay connected with the activities of the organization follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You can also be a part of this society development process by logging onto our Website.

After all, we will have to prevent radicalization and build a better nation… together!

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Peer Sourcing – Empowering Micro Entrepreneurs

A fruit vendor in Qayumabad met a fellow fruit vendor from Mandi (wholesale market) and shared his expenses of buying fruits and selling them ahead. The fruit vendor from Mandi told him how heap he bought fruits and urged him to get his stock from the Mandi too. The next day he took the Qayumabad’s vendor to Mandi, introduced him to people around and helped him buy fruits on a cheaper price. This vendor is now very happy as he save Rs500 to Rs600 on an average per day.

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Peace Through Prosperity encouraging peer sourcing for progress

Similarly, a street cobbler used to sit on a roadside in Qayumabad to mend shoes and hoped to have a small shop one day so that he can scale up his business. A vegetable vendor informed him of a shop in his area that is available for rent. The cobbler now seeks to get that shop and start his business afresh with a roof over his head.

This is the reason for why what and how for all the queries related to 9Others dinner. It’s an incredible platform for micro entrepreneurs to come together, mingle with like minded people, share their problems and benefit from each others’ experiences and ideas. It provides solutions to their problems and often gives them opportunities they have been looking for. This engagement help produce a network of entrepreneurs empowering their businesses with each other’s help and assistance. Peace Through Prosperity is changing lives of micro entrepreneurs in Pakistan and their success stories can be viewed on

Due to the success of the first 9Others dinner in Qayumabad, Peace Through Prosperity recently hosted another dinner in Korangi 2 bringing a group of cobblers and street vendors together to help each other build a better business model. Similar to the first one, the guests were rather bewildered by the concept of networking for the growth of their business. This is a group of people who spend 14 to 15 hours per day at work, on the streets, trying to meet ends without realizing the importance of peer sourcing solutions for their business related problems. So to make them understand new concepts of business and adopt them in their routine is the biggest challenge. They are disillusioned and skeptic; do not trust the new ideas until you chalk out the entire feasibility report for them and help them mold into the new framework.

In our recent 9Others dinner, a man stood up in the middle of the event and announced that his business is ruined and he is completely finished. He was a samosa vendor but his work suffered such losses in the past few months that he had no money at all. His survival had become a huge question mark as well. It was then that everyone at the dinner decided to help this fellow in need financially so everyone contributed his share to make things better for the samosa vendor. Some gave Rs500 and some Rs1000. By the end of it, he had around Rs10,000 in his hands but he refused to take the money. He felt insulted to ask for financial help from his friends who themselves don’t earn hefty amounts. But he needed help and everyone wanted to share his pain.

Another member from the group, Rasheed, then offered another solution. He was a fruit vendor who used to bring fruits from the Mandi and sell it in the bazaar. He proposed that he will give this man fruits worth Rs20,000 on his responsibility and the man can have a fruit cart instead. Rasheed shared his idea that since Ramadan is just around the corner, fruit business will help him stand on his feet once again. The profits this man would earn daily, he can keep his share and return a fixed amount to Rasheed on a daily basis to get rid off his loan of Rs20,000. This way the man can start a new business and would not even feel it was due to some help from a fellow vendor. This is what 9Others did for him. It not only helped him but also motivated other members to help each other and benefit their own business.

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People grasping the basics of running small scale businesses

Another highlight of 9Others dinner was the acceptance of the new fruit and vegetable vendors by the old ones. In Korangi 2, there was a monopoly of some old vendors who did not allow anyone new to share their space and invade their business. Those old vendors along with the new ones were invited to the dinner where they heard each other and became friends. Because of this new bond, the old vendors allowed some space to the new ones making way for them.

The exchange of ideas between different micro entrepreneurs also helped them come to a conclusion to move around during Ramadan in order to get maximum sale as the people prefer to stay home during fasts and would really make use of the opportunity of purchasing fruits at their doorsteps.

These were the people who did not know each other before the dinner but this small gathering compelled them to exchange mobile numbers to seek support when needed. A very sweet example emerged out of one of the dinners when a fruit vendor had a gathering at his place in celebration of his child’s first birthday. He invited a lot of people and had to arrange for their snacks. He called a samosa/roll vendor whom he had met at 9Others dinner and gave him the order for a huge gathering. This helped the samosa vendor in his business and the fruit seller got snacks on his doorstep at the right time by just making a phone call.

9Others dinner help the people in ways they don’t even realize initially but in the long run, they end up saving money. The foremost thing we instill in them is the fact that we would not help them financially and by coming to these dinners or attending our mini-MBA programs, they will not get any monetary benefits from us. We come to us explaining how poor their condition and bad their business is but we make them understand that they don’t need our help. All they need is some management skills that will help them go a long way. So, we just try to aware them of their weaknesses and assist them in making conscious decisions for a better and brighter future.

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Peace Through Prosperity engaging the entrepreneurs of circumstances

Every business needs trust and in order to help them flourish, we needed to build a relationship of friendship and trust too. We give them enough incentives to listen to us and then they are convinced to implement our teachings in their daily lives. This is the success of 9Others dinners when these micro entrepreneurs meet, eat, share their grief, gain from experiences and embark on a path of better employment opportunities.

If you want to find out more about Peace Through Prosperity and its functions, log onto the . To stay posted on Peace Through Prosperity’s projects and updates, you can also follow it on and . So keep reading about Peace Through Prosperity and become a part of this initiative by understanding and contributing your share towards the development process of the country.

Peace Through Prosperity Karachi Entrepreneurs 2014 300x169 Transforming the Landscape   Skilling up Karachis entrepreneurs  Watching us from a distance, helping street vendors and cobblers make a better living seems pretty simple. Come close and you will realize it is not as simple as it may seem. Our intentions are pure and our method is transparent yet we were dealing with people from challenging backgrounds who have trust issues, and with good reason. We have previously run the same campaigns in KPK and received a very positive response from the participants, check that out at our Vimeo channel.

Before we ever got here we knew Karachi would be different, it’s a melting pot of ethnicities and cultures not only from within Pakistan but from across the region. Competition is fierce, time is money and money is fuel for life.

In order to ensure livelihood protection and poverty alleviation, it was important to grasp what is important for our beneficiaries and then share our ideas that can hopefully change their lives for the better. For this purpose, we started visiting various areas of Karachi and started interacting with the street vendors and cobblers. It took us days to make them understand we were friends not foe and they can trust us with their tribulations and problems. Once that trust was developed and they opened up to us, we were amazed to see the potential of these businesses and the ways they were losing out on the opportunities around them.

We will share with you our experience of visiting Qayumabad, to help paint a clear picture of the challenges and victories out field team face everyday.  Initially, the vendors refused to talk to us and fill our surveys. They were apprehensive because a couple of weeks back an NGO came into their area, got the surveys filled, took Rs200 from each, promising them a bright and better future never to returnback. We realized their hesitation and spent time with them, hoping to build some level of trust. After a while the trust developed and they started giving us information about their work and personal lives.

It did not take rocket science for us to realize that they are hardworking individuals toiling day in and day out to make ends meet. They earn reasonably well too, what they lack is the management skill that will help them further their small business into a proper established entity. By adopting a few simple steps they can fight poverty, get food security, create employment, better future for themselves, their family and communities and prevent radicalization.

The foremost reason for conducting these surveys was to enroll deserving street vendors and cobblers for Peace Through Prosperity’s mini-MBA programme that started from the 11th of June 2014. We wanted to get genuine cases who really want to improve upon their skills and make most of their micro-enterprises so that we have driven individuals on our project.

While we were in Qayumabad, we observed a fruit seller who had a couple of ‘guests’ at his pushcart. The fruit vendor served them tea and gossiped with them, preventing people from coming towards his cart. After the guests left, we asked him how much does this tea cost him and he replied around Rs150 per day. We suggested if he let go off his friends during work hours, he will get more business as a large part of women folk don’t come to him because they see some men sitting around, chatting and smoking away, which of course makes them uncomfortable.

Peace TP Bilal Colony Karachi 2014 05 .52.20 300x169 Transforming the Landscape   Skilling up Karachis entrepreneurs  Then we asked him if he owned the pushcart and he replied he rented it on Rs100 per day. We then asked him to save Rs100 from the money he spends on tea with his friends on a daily basis that would make up Rs3000 for the month. Since the cart is for Rs6000 or Rs7000, he will be able to buy one of his own with a couple of months. After which, he will be able to save the rental that makes another Rs3000 per month, totaling to Rs6000 of  average savings per month that can go towards improving his living standards  significantly.

Furthermore, he can even buy a couple of carts within a year and rent them to other fruit sellers. With an additional income of Rs100 per day, he will be able to send his children to school and brighten their future. He was quite amazed with this revelation and vowed he would no longer entertain his friends during work hours and follow these simple tools towards a more prosper future.

Our other observation included lack of cleanliness, for both self and workplace, no mannerism while dealing with the customers, wastage of time and unnecessary expenditure. We also met people who liked the idea of mini-MBA and were interested to know the tricks of the trade but were not willing to attend the classes.

A street vendor of over 60 years of age, filled in the survey form and showed interest but he requested that his teenage boys should be allowed to attend the classes as he was too old to grasp anything. He requested that he would like to take care of the business while his children should learn time and resource management to take it further after him. We, of course, accepted the request.

We even met kids of 13 years or 14 years old who are either the sole bread winners for their families, or jointly running the household with a parent and/or siblings. We really appreciated such young minds to come join us. They are at a very impressionable age and they will learn these things way better and faster than their older peers. The earlier they learn to secure their livelihood, the better it will be for their future.

It took our sweat  tenacity and hard work but people from different neighborhoods understood our point of view and heard us out. Places like Chakra Goth and Bilal Colony were very supportive too. Usually, outsiders are not really welcomed into these areas and are looked down with skepticism but we went there and met the right people who were glad to know that we doing some work for the micro-entrepreneurs. Usually, no one really bothers about them so it was a unique and positive step towards betterment for their area as well. With their help, a lot of people got interested in filling our survey forms and getting involved in our mini-MBA programme.

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Field research in Bilal Colony, Karachi

By no means have we confined ourselves to some areas. Our journey has just begun. We have currently engaged with micro-entrepreneurs in Qayumabad, Korangi 2, Bangali Para, Bilal Colony, Sultanabad, Hijrat Colony and Chakra Goth. We have completed a survey of 366 micro-entrepreneurs and selected around 266 individuals for our mini-MBA programme.  Once we gauge the interest, the participation and the outcome of our first venture in the 3rd most populous city in the world we will be able to extend our services and reach out to a wider audience.

For staying connected and keeping pulse on our latest updates, you can like our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our Vimeo channel. Peace Through Prosperity is striving to change the face of the working class in Pakistan and you can help us reach out to more people by helping us through your contributions; simply go to our Website for donation details. We have taken the first step but we need your help to continue our journey… for a better prosperous and tolerant society. And remember if a society improves, everyone is better off!

Peace building through micro-entrepreneurship development – This is what do we do.

We have been fairly quiet of late, our silence has only been digital, offline since the beginning of 2014 we have been busy putting in place and kicking off our biggest project to date. That is to roll out surveys and our Mini-MBA programme in the Rock’s third most populous city; Karachi. Where we are currently closing in on our objective of 400 surveys and then taking 275 individual micro-entrepreneurs / entrepreneurs of circumstances through our Mini-MBA and data lead consulting, coaching and evaluation programme.

This post is short, with the sole aim of re-introducing what we do for the many in Karachi and beyond who are either first time visitors or have a renewed interest in our work. Pictures paint…. you know how it goes so here goes it:

Peace Through Prosperity KHI What do we Do Micro Entrepreneurs v1.01 Peace building through micro entrepreneurship development   This is what do we do.

Peace Through Prosperity’s methodology, process of engagement, in-class and on-site coaching works. We need YOUR help to scale and extend this program to many more street based Entrepreneurs of Circumstance and other street based vocations in conflict affected regions across the Rock.

To help us help entrepreneurs of circumstance please visit our website or get in touch with us to donate via a bank transfer, or get in touch to support us in kind with your time and talent.