Word from Dara Adam Khel

October has undeniably been a month of downs, downs and more downs for all those who are working towards a peaceful and prosperous society in Pakistan. On 9 October 2012, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen while returning home on a school bus, the Taliban scared of a 14 year old student’s ability to get the plight of her community air time and scared of the ideals she stands for decided to kill an idea! only to make us all more vociferous in our support and determination of the shared ideals across the globe.

On the 13th of October 16 people were killed and more than 40 wounded in a suicide blast in a  busy market of Darra Adam Khel,  the office of Aman Laskhar (Peace Force also known as the Himayateen) was the target located in the main market of the city. Dara Adam Khel has borne the brunt of many such attacks in the past for a) its proximity to the FATA region and for the anti terrorism stance of many of its inhabitants.

In mid August team PTP’s researchers interviewed an educated young professional  from Dara Adam Khel; someone who wanted to speak out about the mayhem and its causes in his town,  it takes a very brave individual to step forward and talk about the workings of his society that lives at the door steps of the theater of conflict.

We know him as Irfan, who explains what life is like for people and businesses in his town (Dara Adem Khel), what the stress factors are and what kind of individuals end up getting recruited into the Taliban and most importantly where possible solutions can be found. Unsurprisingly poverty and economic hardships are drivers, and solutions are via education, vocational training and opportunities… empowering locals to create their own safety nets.

Interview of an educated professional from Darra Adam Khel in KPK in Pakistan from Peace Through Prosperity on Vimeo.

Thank you for taking the time to listen to Irfan talk about his home town and the demons and angels at war there, please support our work.

We are actively looking for video editors, we have over 500+ hours of video footage from our street cobbler project and other interviews from conflict zones. Our current project for providing micro entrepreneurs with essential business growth skill is going strong but to extend it we need additional funds and volunteers, kindly visit our website to donate, or if you prefer support us by helping us build awareness for our work by following us on twitter: twitter.com/BringPTP Facebook: www.facebook.com/bringptp and spreading the word amongst your networks.


Business Growth Manual for Street Cobblers – The field test log

Day 1:
Date: 3rd September 2012
Time: 18:00 to 20:00.pm

Attendance: 3/4

Day one was an introductory session and of our four selected street cobblers three attended: Khan Wada, Walayat Khan and Lal Badshah whilst
Taj Wali did not attend.

Needless to say the participants were somewhat confused on day one as they had never been approached by any one before for any sort of training let alone one focusing on business growth.

The session started with a detailed introduction of the participants, followed by that of team PTP and PTP’s mission.

Team PTP felt a level of natural distrust amongst the participants towards the aims and objectives of the workshop and the organisation, the question of allegiance, sponsorship and motives for PTP to be doing this came up quite a few times.

Later the cobblers were taught how to plan their enterprises and why business planning was necessary for any organisation regardless of size or stature for growth.

Participant feedback:
By the end of the session the cobblers felt comfortable and opened up. All their queries and reservations regarding the workshop and PTP as an organisation were answered to their satisfaction.

Day 2:
Date: 4th September 2012
Time: 6.00 p.m to 8.00 p.m
Attendance: 3/4

The second session was attended by Khan Wada, Lal Badshah, Taj Wali. Walayat Khan did not attend the session.
A change in workshop timings was proposed by the participants and with mutual consent the start time of the session was changed from 18:00 to 19:00.

The previous session’s discussion was continued on the second day, Taj Wali’s reservations and his question’s on PTP’s motives were answered by the other street cobblers who attended the first session. Team PTP was pleased to see a sense of ownership being developed amongst the previous day’s participants.

Business planning was further elaborated. A personalised plan for each cobbler was prepared for the month of September. All the participants agreed to follow the plan.

Participant feedback:
By the end of the second session a higher level of interest has developed among the participants and they were curious about the next session, the participants were as eager to see through the field test and the results it would yield for them.

DAY 3:
Date: 5th September 2012
Time: 7.00 to 9.00 p.m

Attendance: 4/4

All four cobblers attended the session.
Third day lecture topic was the Marketing. This was an interesting and curious topic for the participants, who were unfamiliar with the concept of marketing their services. They participation was active and intense! and the participants explored a number of different possible marketing strategies for their business. Team PTP facilitated the discussions planting ideas and guiding the discussion where need be.

After the completion of the third session the response and participation levels were noticeable. The participants realised how important this training is for them and the possibilities it would open up for them were now becoming apparent. They concurred that they lacked vision to grow their enterprises but this training was equipping them with useful knowledge to take back an implement from the next day.

Day 4:
Date: 6th September 2012
Time: 7.00 to 9.00 p.m

Attendance: 4/4
All four cobblers attended the session.
In this session the participants through discussion prepared a price list for their services. They also designed pamphlets and promotional banners to be displayed in front of their make shift shops. PTP has had these promotional banners and pamphlets printed for them.

Response :
On the fourth day their response was very positive. The participants said they felt that were lucky for having been selected for the training were learning essential skills and concepts and the most positive feedback was a request from all participants to increase the duration of the training workshops.

Day 5:
Date: 7th September 2012
Time: 7.00p.m to 9.p.m

Attendance: 4/4

All four cobblers attended the session.
Fifth session was about record keeping. The participants learnt how maintain their business records. They were also taught about basic book keeping concepts and maintaining financial records. Team PTP provided the participants with registers to maintain their cash books. These books will be helpful in assessing the results of the workshop by the end of the trial month as well.

A strong bond and a relationship of trust developed amongst the participants and team PTP. The participants expressed their willingness to participate in any future workshop held by PTP and suggested similar workshops be run for their peers. They also displayed a new sense of determination and energy to make a difference and work towards the growth of their business and betterment of the street cobbler community in general.


Business Growth Manual for Street Cobblers – The field test

Week commencing 3rd September 2012 we launched into unknown territory… filed testing our Mochee_Project_BusinessGrowthManualv1.1 with street cobblers. The manual is currently only available in Urdu.

We had reservations before we kicked off,  not knowing what sort of reception entrepreneurial skills development would receive from street cobblers (most of the things we were set to cover are alien to them)…. wether they would be open to concepts of financial record keeping/planning, marketing, developing new service lines, customer relationship management, operational efficiencies amongst other ideas we are taking to a micro-enterprise in the third world.

For the pilot we did tilt the scales in our favour somewhat by selecting street cobblers from our initial sample base of 424 who are educated (exceptions to the norm), are already revenue leaders in sample set and utilising their connections we sourced others not in our sample but identified to PTP as ambitious go-getters within the street cobbler community.

We tailored our BGM test sample because we needed individuals who have the foresight to see the benefits of what we are trying to achieve (value education) and therefore would be in a better position to help and assist us in customising the business growth manual (BGM) for wider consumption amongst street cobblers. The test sample was engaged with multiple aims; to depart knowledge, to capture their feedback and customise our manual for Joe public in the cobbler community who has little to no education and may well see giving up his evenings to learn from team PTP as a waste of time or something even worse! and lastly with a view of selecting one or more of the participants as master trainers for a wider roll out of the program. Our desired BGM test sample size was  five but we could only source 4 individuals who met the criteria for the BGM test sample.

Testing the BGM with our selected sample enabled team PTP to alter the language within the manual and its in-class delivery, some of the course content which had to be simplified for wider consumption and the mode of delivery.

Overcoming the first hurdle:

We knew getting street cobblers educated, high earners or otherwise to give up ten hours of their time for a week, two hours each day was going to be a tall order and knowledge alone will not be motivation enough to get them through the door and keep bringing them back every day for five days. We did try the ‘you will be paid in knowledge and skills for your time’ approach but saw little enthusiasm for it and made the decision to incentivise the street cobblers to attend with monetary gain. Though initially we were against the idea of providing any monetary incentive but then we were getting the benefit of our participants feedback in bettering our BGM and recognised their contribution as no different than that of a consultant!… yes we were teaching them but they were teaching us too.

The BGM test workshop format: 

Even before we kicked off the BGM testing week we had already been informed by potential participants we had been in conversation with that 1 to 1 training would not be of benefit, individuals would be less inhibited in a group of their peers, a group would be able to carry the weaker participants better and individual sessions may demotivate a street cobbler who may be struggling with the concepts being taught even further away from any sort of vocational training. Therefore we changed our format to group study of 2 hours every evening over 5 days.  The workshop and training was conducted by PTP’s Chief Executive in Pakistan, Nazish Zahoor, supported by Baber Qureshi from PTP’s Admin & Finance dept. Asad Ullah PTP’s research internee.  All sessions were video recorded for future use and for the training of PTP’s own staff. We are still struggling to find volunteers to edit 400+ hours of video content captured so far and would be making the video content available as soon as we find a volunteer or the finance to engage a paid editor: so if you know of anyone who may be interested in volunteering, can volunteer yourself or can contribute towards hiring one for a couple of months to clear our backlog of video content please get in touch.

The BGM test sample: individual profiles: Participants

Should you want to speak to any of the participants please get in touch with us and we shall forward you the participant’s contact details. Daily logs of the five day BGM field testing will be posted shortly.

Walait Khan
Age: 24 years
Education: FA (High School)
Origin: Bajour Agency (KPK)
Work Add: Khayaban Sir Sayed, Dhok Najjo, Main bazaar.
Cell/Mobile: Yes


Taaj Wali
Age: 24 years
Education: FSc (High School)
Origin: Bajour Agency (KPK)
Work Add: Main bazaar, Aryia Mohalla, Near Khalsa Unani Dawakhana
Cell/Mobile: Yes


Khan Wada
Age: 28 years
Education: Middle School
Origin: Bajour Agency (KPK)
Work Add: Tang pulli, main bazaar, Marir Hassan
Cell/Mobile: Yes.


Laal Badshah
Age: 30 years
Education: Primary
Origin: Bajour Agency
Work Add: Provides mobile services in Charah, Rawalpindi
Cell/Mobile: Yes
























Demographics of Street Cobblers Surveyed – Their age range

The results of PTP’s pilot survey show that 47.39% of the survey sample is between the ages of 12 to 28 year olds (12 to 16 at 4.97% and 17 to 28 year olds at 42.41%). This represents demographics of Pakistan, indicative of the youth bulge. And 70.14% of cobbler sample lies between the age group of 12 to 40 years. The youth in the profession is the primary target audience PTP is engaging with in the impact analysis phase for the skills, qualifications and apprenticeship programs. There were 2 non-respondents.

Figure  – Age range of street cobblers surveyed in the pilot areas

This data has been a revelation to the main stream footwear manufacturers, representatives of whom have been complaining about a lack of youth being attracted towards their industry[1].

The data also supports our objective of setting up a mochee research and development academy, with the objective of introducing modern tools and techniques to the street cobblers, new service lines and affordable Chinese machinery to mechanise their manual processes.

[1] As discussed at the meeting with PFMA and NAVTTC on the 8th of June 2012.