07/13/14

Rendezvous with Abdul Sattar Edhi – Learning from a living legend

Peace Through Prosperity 's team benefiting from the icon of Pakistan - Abdul Sattar Edhi

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.

Edhi sahab encouraging PTP, "Aisa pehle kabhi Pakistan main kisi ne nahi kia"

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.

07/5/14

Mini-MBA Gearing Up Micro Entrepreneurs for a Prosperous Future

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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!