A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund and the University of Malakand on Thursday to support university students in their endeavors to accelerate socio-economic development in their respective areas.
The partnership focuses on involving and encouraging the local youth to further strengthen prospects of integrated development by working on innovative themes primarily in the areas where PPAF is implementing the Program for Poverty Reduction funded by the Italian Government through the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS).
Under the MoU signed PPAF will link university students to a youth engagement communication initiative for sustainable community self-development through a Pakistani-Italian liaison wherein universities will be fostered by an Italian University (managed by PPAF) to liaise with other Italian academia.
Speaking on this occasion, CEO PPAF, Qazi Azmat Isa said, “The youth of Pakistan has immense potential, they have the drive to bring about a positive change and we want to leverage this passion by providing them the right platforms. I am confident that students of Malakand University will greatly benefit from the partnership and will get to learn about innovative methods to address various socio-economic needs of vulnerable communities.”
Vice Chancellor Malakand University, Prof. Dr. Gul Zaman appreciated the initiative of PPAF and assured full cooperation to achieve the objective. He said, “We already working through the involvement of youth in some similar interventions and this mutual cooperation will further strengthen the efforts and will help youngsters to discover new ways by which they can bring about a positive change in their areas.”
A similar MoU has already been signed with Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences (LUAWMS), and University of Turbat (Balochistan), while the signing of MoU with the University of Chitral and the University of Swat will take place in the next few weeks.
The Program for Poverty Reduction is being implemented by PPAF through its partner organizations in 38 union councils of 14 districts in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. PPAF now aims to work in collaboration with different universities and educational institutes to promote self-development in youth and encourage them to explore the socio-economic needs of their areas.
As part of these MoUs, an Italian University will set up Pakistani-Italian Inter-University Associations with the support of AICS and PPAF to link the Italian and Pakistani academic institutions focused on the disciplines like ICT, rural development and olive crop, sustainable tourism and cultural heritage, environment, health, and nutrition.
Pakistani universities will select local students- “youth communicators for development” who will receive training from the Italian academia in their area of interest, the students will also get an opportunity to take up projects during which they will work with the local communities to share their learning and unleash the potential of the local communities for creating and promoting an environment for sustainable social and economic development.
The collaboration will allow all stakeholders an opportunity to research and conduct workshops related to topics of mutual interest.
The PPAF’s Programme for Poverty Reduction is contributing towards the creation of sustainable conditions of social and economic development through an integrated development approach. The program has helped improve health and education services in the targeted areas through the implementation of innovative interventions.