NCHD Chairperson Speaks at APPNA Convention
Pictures above: NCHD Chairperson Nafisa Shah is seen with Congressman Howard Berman, Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Committee; Mrs. Berman, Mr. Pervaiz Lodhie and Mr. Zulfiqar Ahmed
There should not be any need to introduce Nafisa Shah to you since much data on here life and work is available if you Google her name. She is known and respected by Pakistani journalists, by Pakistani media, by Pakistani women’s rights groups and many more. Least of these is the fact that she is the daughter of Chief Minister of Sindh Qaim Ali Shah.
USA-based NCHD-PHDF Board members invited Chairperson Nafisa Shah to attend and speak at various forums during the APPNA Summer 33rd National Convention held in Gaylord Resort Hotel in Dallas, Texas. She was accompanied by the Director General and Founding CEO of NCHD Zulfiqar Ahmed. The NCHD-PHDF Board that facilitated her trip to Dallas included Dr Omar Atiq, Pervaiz Lodhie, Dr Naism Ashraf, Farrokh Capain, Aiesha Ghauri, Dr Rafiq Rahman, Shamim Rahman, Omair Siraj, and Dr Raza Bokhari.
With continuous negative news coming from Pakistan every day, Nafisa Shah’s presence was very timely. As an active MNA she was able to bring the latest news from Pakistan: it was positive news and she was asked to speak at many APPNA forums like APPNA-Khyber; APPNA-Liaquat; WAPPNA, the APPNA Women’s forum; and APPNA-JD. On July 2nd the APPNA Executive Committe lead by APPNA President Zeelaf Munir had an hour long meeting with Nafisa Shah and NCHD-PHDF Board. The APPNA Board showed great interest in the largest Universal Primary Education (UPE), Adult Literacy and Basic Mother and Child Health program being run for the benefit of millions across Pakistan in the four provinces and 144 Districts by National Commission for Human Development generally called NCHD. You can see all the details, news, audit reports, success stories on www.NCHD.org.pk.
NCHD was started in 2002 by the previous Musharraf government. It was Pakistan’s first Public–Private initiative launched to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (Google word MDG) set for 85% Basic Literacy by year 2015. The NCHD program in six years created 1000’s of Literacy Centers. It supported and revived back 1000’s of government schools; 1000’s of Feeder Schools were created where village children had to go more than 2 miles to reach NCHD schools. Another first achievement of NCHD was the creation of organized 300,000 strong volunteers, a first in Pakistan,
The PPP Coalition government headed by President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani, after thorough investigation by health and education departments of all provinces in 2008, decided to not only continue NCHD program but committed to make it reach out to millions of more rural uneducated children and adults. Generally such programs started by one ruling power in the past have been shelved by the incoming government. As far as K-5 education, basic health, Adult Literacy and Volunteerism programs of NCHD are concerned Zardari and Gilani government gets an A+.
While the “Public” part is the Government of Pakistan, the “Private” part is the global expatriates that provided the required smaller % seed money plus bringing very valuable best practices in education, health, volunteerism. This intellectual wealth combined with seed money more than matched the financial and resource commitment by Pakistan Government.
Pakistan today is heavily burdened financially by supporting the United States war on terror. For the last two years NCHD-PHDF Board has been working hard to convince the US Government to provide major financial support to education and health programs of Pakistan, particularly the NCHD programs. Washington DC is seriously considering ways to support such important initiatives.
During the APPNA Dallas Convention, Pervaiz Lodhie was able to arrange a breakfast meeting with MNA Ms Nafisa Shah at the Riverwalk Café in Gaylord Hotel on Saturday July 3rd. Present in this candid meeting were Mrs Berman, Pervaiz Lodhie and NCHD DG Zulfiqar Ahmed.
Rep. Berman was given details about NCHD and its K-5 Primary Education and Mother & Child Basic Health programs in all the 144 Districts of Pakistan, including FATA. The Congressman was seriously interested in helping NCHD programs.