BBQ Fundraiser with the Pakistan Development Fund

Credit: Pakistan Development Fund

On Friday, June 10th, the Pakistan Development Fund (PDF) held a BBQ fundraiser for the Association for the Development of Pakistan on the Hart House lawn at the University of Toronto. All of the proceeds from the event went directly to the microfinance project in Charsadda. NEEDS is the partner for that project, which aims to help women establish poultry businesses. Unlike traditional microfinance models, however, NEEDS will provide advisory as well as financial support, and the returns will be reinvested into a community pool to fund further expansion.

The event was completely organized by the Pakistan Development Fund, a student group at the University of Toronto that launched in the aftermath of the 2010 floods in Pakistan. Thanks to the great efforts of the PDF members, $435 were raised towards funding the project, which has been launched and is in its first stage, with support staff recruited and under training.

There were several especially heartening things about the event that are worth pointing out. The first was that despite a bare-bones marketing campaign with little time to get the message out, during the summer semester when the campus is relatively empty, nearly 100 people showed up. This means that not only did the PDF team do a good job getting everyone there, but also that better turnouts can be expected when classes are underway. The second is that this represented only the first of what will hopefully be more events in collaboration with PDF. The Association for the Development of Pakistan is delighted to be supported by a group of intelligent and dedicated people who share the vision of promoting development in Pakistan.

Finally, the fact that so many young Pakistanis gathered together and were having not just informed but also heated discussions about how best to work towards a common goal cannot be anything but positive. There was a healthy mix of idealism and skepticism adding spice to the lunch, which bodes well for the future. ADP looks forward to working with PDF in the future. Many thanks to Amna Husain, Usaamah Khan, Muriam Salman, Urooj Shahzadi, Shehzad Akbar and Arsalan Samdani for their support!

These photos can also be viewed in full on Facebook.