Heritage Foundation of Pakistan

Nominated by: IOM

Heritage Foundation of Pakistan

The Heritage Foundation of Pakistan, founded in 1981, is a Karachi-based non-profit organization that harnesses the country’s traditions for humanitarian, disaster risk reduction and sustainable development goals. It works closely with global bodies such as the International Organization for Migration to improve lives, notably for women and rural communities.

Among the foundation’s flagship projects is the Build Back Safer with Vernacular Methodologies programme, which encourages household participation in building safe one-room shelters, using traditional models, with low cost sustainable materials such as mud, lime and bamboo, rather than timber and burnt brick. That has helped minimize the building’s ecological footprint, while also boosting residents’ technical capacity to build risk-compliant structure. The programme has helped provide safe shelter for more than 38,000 households in 1,700 villages located in Sindh province – which have proved their mettle by withstanding floods, thereby bolstering the communities’ resilience. By using bamboo, not a single tree had to be felled, thereby saving crucial forest reserves. In addition, the strong bamboo roofs offer refuge for families during floofs. And using locally-made materials has strengthened the local economy. Other landmark programmes focus on women, whose key role in the family makes them essential for disaster preparedness. Members of the target communities are trained to achieve self-reliance by implementing activities focusing on hygiene, water and sanitation, food security, and alternative income generation activities. Building on that, the foundation’s Barefoot Village Entrepreneurs programme provides training in green skills, enabling its participatns to marker risk-compliant, low cost products such as safer shelters, eco-toilets, fuel-efficient earthen stoves, and earthen platforms to store water, grain or animal in surrounding villages. This forms part of an overarching disaster preparedness strategy, aiming to alleviate poverty and regenerate local economies.



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