AKHUWAT – Poverty is an issue that needs to be eliminated from the society. It is a global issue and needs to be addressed. Moreover, almost 30% of population lives below the poverty line in Pakistan.
Living under poverty, it can be difficult to get loans as the banks are unwilling to invest sometimes. According to statistics in Pakistan there are 100 million people who don’t have a bank account; out of those 5% are that of Pakistanis globally and 87% are that of the national adult population in the country. This is where a non-profit organization namely Akhuwat comes into picture.
This microfinance service derives its name from ‘MuaKhat’ or brotherhood. The earliest example of this was seen in the fraternity formed by the Ansars (citizens of Medina) and the Muhajireen (or Meccans) that migrated to Medina to escape religious persecution. In 2001, Akhuwat gave its first interest free loan to a widow. The loan was returned after 6 months with a message to keep the cycle going.
Their main aim is to alleviate poverty and that can only be done if the society is willing to share its resources with the poor and needy. Furthermore, it is done by creating a system of mutual support and helping those in need by providing interest-free loans so they can start a business within their area and their area of interest until they become self-reliable.
It is understandable that reduction in poverty will come over time, but one thing that is guaranteed is the empowerment of such people. Not only are they provided with funds but, are provided with enough human resources to get the business up and running. When there is enough money in the business, this NGO further encourages the borrowers to become the donors.
How you wonder?
Right after the first loan that introduced the idea for the borrowers to become donors, what was looked into mainly was to help those in need. As soon as a business is established, the owners are encouraged to help the other people who are part of the Akhuwat program in order to help them grow and expand, so in future they can be the future donors.
With a vision that ‘A poverty-free society can be built on the principles of compassion and equity’ Akhuwat has become one of the largest micro financing organization in the country having disbursed more than 50 billion rupees in loans.