SPO is successfully implementing its project titled ‘Improve Awareness About Social and Cultural Heritage Among Communities in Selected Districts of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provinces’ with the financial support of Norwegian Church Aid. The project has started in April 2019 and will conclude in May 2020 and is being implemented in district Peshawar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Lahore and Faisalabad in Punjab.
The overall goal of the project is to mobilize key local leaders, communities in collaboration with relevant Government Departments to promote social and cultural integration necessary for social and economic empowerment of the communities. The project was aimed to support local partners to organize cultural activities, and awareness raising sessions for community to promote social integration in the society.
SPO under its ‘Cultural Heritage & Tourism Promotion’ programme made contributions through different projects by introducing and developing mechanisms for building informed and empowered citizenry, public information sharing, consultation and engagement with people and community-based organizations to pave the path for cultural integration and heritage preservation. Capacitating the civil societies aims to ensure that people are informed about their rights and responsibilities with respect to shared norms and history can actively participate in the socio-political processes. All these steps have been taken to enable collective nation-building, with some structural transformations as well achieving equality and empowerment, and for securing citizens’ rights. The initiatives under the project included were joint celebrations of socio-religious festivals through involvement of Government officials, political and community leaders to promote a culture of inclusivity so that different segments of society value its local culture and traditions. SPO organized a one-day national conference on Celebrating diversity where artists, government officials and federal ministers committed to arrange such events in order to increase social cohesion among people of Pakistan. SPO also collaborated with Ministry of Human Rights and Minority Affairs Department and published a book titled ‘White in Flag’ to celebrate contributions of non-Muslim citizens of the country. The project also entailed capacity building of community activists to improve their knowledge about legacy of powerful cultural heritage that nurtures unity in diversity for meaning full co-existence. Through such like initiatives SPO is trying to cultivate a desire in Pakistani society to promote culture, traditions and heritage that brings people closer to each other.
SPO and Indus Cultural Forum (ICF) successfully organized three ‘Pakistan Mother Languages Literature Festivals’ in Islamabad with the financial support of HBS, Government of Sindh and Lok Virsa from February 2016 to February 2018.
The overall goal of these festivals was to mainstream literature and art in local languages to celebrate Pakistan’s rich and diverse cultural history. These festivals played a key role in introducing local musicians, writers, folk singers, poets and play writers to youth. SPO organized these festivals to promote Pakistan’s indigenous culture and strengthen social cohesion and interconnectedness. More than 150 authors, artists and researchers as speakers were being invited to share their knowledge about the rich linguistic and literary heritage of Pakistan. Specially those artists were encouraged who usually do not have access to such opportunities at the national level.
SPO under its ‘Culture Heritage & Tourism Promotion’ programme attained its core objective when SPO and other partners were officially approached by the Senate of Pakistan to participate in a Public Hearing. The Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice at that time was in the process of assessing a constitutional amendment bill to provide national status to all major languages of Pakistan. This initiative was instrumental in promoting the importance of Pakistan’s indigenous culture and also inspired policy makers to take timely decisions.
SPO successfully implemented ‘Promotion and strengthening of social and cultural harmony and local artisans’ in collaboration with the Government of Punjab. The project started in January 2015 and concluded in May 2015, covering Lahore, Multan and Bahawalpur districts of Punjab.
The overall goal of the project was to promote local cultural heritage through traditional and indigenous performing arts by engaging and capacitating 40 local singers, musicians and story tellers including Trans-genders and Nomad groups of selected districts. Through this intervention, SPO developed networks and connected different groups of artists so they can collectively promote the voice of pluralism and cultural preservation across Pakistan.
SPO under its ‘Cultural Heritage & Tourism Promotion’ programme implemented this intervention by creating a group of peace advocates and enhancing their capacity to address the local issues through linkage building with the relevant government departments. 120 Khawaja Siras, Merasis, Dooms and Bhaands were identified and trained on different performing arts such as dancing, singing, mimicking, theatre and storytelling skills to introduce a unique and cultural approach to peace building. After the training Aman Toliyan were linked with District and Tehsil Municipal Administration in both districts. Resultantly, Punjab 1717 helpline received several complaints and an immediate action was taken.
SPO successfully implemented ‘Pur Aman Pakistan’ project in collaboration with Media Houses and Government of Pakistan from April to June 2015 in Multan and Lahore districts of Punjab.
The overall goal of this project was to curb and minimize violent extremism against vulnerable and marginalized communities of Pakistan through engaging electronic and print media. SPO, under this initiative produced 08 TV talk aired on mainstream TV channels. The TV programmes were produced with eminent guest speakers from academia, civil society actors, Govt. representatives and artists in Lahore and Multan. A print media campaign was also launched to disseminate the message of cultural plurality, harmony and dignity of every citizen of Pakistan.
SPO under its ‘Cultural Heritage & Tourism Promotion’ programme implemented this short term initiative for mass awareness through print and electronic media.
SPO is currently implementing this project titled ‘Women’s Increased Access to Water Resources and Agricultural Markets’ with the financial support of Embassy of Royal Kingdom of Netherlands. The project started in December 2019 and will end in October 2021 and is being implemented in districts Badin, Tando Allahyar and Hyderabad in Sindh.
The overall goal of the project is to improve the role of women in water resource management to enhance their incomes and tenable them to effectively participate and contribute to decision-making in domestic and public spheres.
SPO under its ‘Climate Change Adaptation’ programme is aiming to broaden the process of social mobilization to cover 500 women to get organized in three districts. Twenty self-help groups will further be formed at cluster and District levels; who will be facilitated to expand their economic opportunities and choices from the selected 150 small landholder women, 100 landless sharecroppers, 200 women in Livestock rearing and 50 Bagri women through agro-enterprise development. The said methodology is designed to lead women towards attaining sustainable increase in their household incomes and enables them to play an enhanced and strategic role in the economic sphere. The project also aims to enhance political participation and representation of women in Water Course Associations so that they can contribute effectively in local decision-making regarding water resource management.
The program envisages working with mainly three cohorts women i.e. small landholder, landless sharecroppers and livestock owners in the Badin, Tando Allahyar and Hyderabad Districts of Sindh. It aims to strengthen women’s social, economic and political empowerment by applying an integrated approach. The Project seeks to bring about sustained improvement in the quality of life of the rural women in Sindh by diversifying livelihood opportunities and strengthening low-income rural markets, which can also contribute towards the national development goals of inclusive economic growth, and poverty alleviation.
SPO successfully implemented the project titled ‘Strategic Partnership- Women and Marginalized Groups, Natural Resource Management and Peace-building: Unlocking the Potential’ in collaboration with Oxfam in Sindh from April 2016 to March 2019.
SPO under its ‘Climate Change Adaptation’ programme implemented this project to strengthen the role of women in water-resource management and to help them play an effective role in water related disputes in their communities. SPO increased capacities of women, ensured their inclusion in water-related decision making bodies at canal level in order to mitigate potential disputes over water distribution in their respective areas.
SPO has also submitted five amendments in Sindh Water Management Ordinance 2002 in the Sindh Provincial Assembly for inclusion of women in decision making bodies for water management in the province. The project targets were successfully aided in improving the inclusion of women in reducing water-disputes through their active participation in peace-building and water resource management decisions. SPO continues to further strengthen the role of women for the creation of an eco-friendly environment for all communities.
The overall goal of the project was to support flood-based farming systems in order to prevent food insecurity in the flood prone areas and build resilience of the respective communities. SPO capacitated farmers, and sensitized young women and men working at local institutions in water resource management. SPO helped them to develop Flood-Based Farming Systems policies and programs which provided strategies that are inclusive and gender-balanced in approach to climate change in Pakistan.
SPO under its ‘Climate Change Adaptation’ programme trained farmers in the cultivation of new corps, irrigation techniques and water resource management. The trainings were held at local universities and the respective Provincial Agriculture Departments. This project helped communities to identify water related issues and inspired graduate students to research and conduct detailed studies on the benefits of flood-based farming in their regions. SPO continues to strengthen its communities to ensure preparedness against new environmental challenges.
SPO successfully implemented ‘Spate Irrigation for Rural Growth & Poverty Alleviation’ with the financial support of UNESCO-IHE Delft. The project started in July 2012 and concluded in December 2014, covering selected districts of all provinces of Pakistan.
The overall goal of the project was to strengthen farmers network in Pakistan and prepare policy guidelines by implementing innovative and scalable action research solutions. Through this project, SPO initiated a process of incorporating spate irrigation in curricula of universities and agricultural colleges. The intervention highlighted the spate irrigation problems, practices and build base for knowledge dissemination. Under this project some key achievements were attained such as documentation and digitalizing of the water rights records, development of knowledge & its dissemination, capacity building of local NGOs and innovative research based solutions and program development for new investments.
Four regional network of farmers and practitioner were established in districts Kachi & Sibi in Balochistan, district Dera Ismail Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, districts Dadu & Jamshoro in Sindh, also districts Rajanpur and DG Khan in Punjab.
SPO obtained and digitally compiled the Water Rights Record from DI Khan, DG Khan, Rajanpur, and Sibi. Developed a descriptive and video report on conditions of drinking water in Tharparkar district and prepared a concept paper. Around 1000 informative flyers, brochures and charts were prepared and distributed among farmers, practitioner, relevant government department, and higher educational institutions. SPO enhanced capacity of 50 professionals on regional spate issues and proposal writing.
SPO successfully implemented its ‘Humanitarian Assistance for Flood Affected Communities’ project with the financial support of Care International, UNOCHA, Oxfam Novib. The project started in February 2011 and concluded in January 2012, covering districts Nowshera, Peshawer and Charsada in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, districts Muzzaffargarh, Rajanpur and Mianwali in Punjab, districts Ghokti, Sukkur and Shikarpur in Sindh and districts Sibi, Jafarabad and Naseerabad in Balochistan.
The goal of the project was to facilitate citizen’s active participation in the empowerment of women in areas worst affected by the flood by facilitating their access to resources and institutions to enable control over their own lives and improve attitudes and behavior towards them (women) and their concerns.
SPO designed various advocacy, research, capacity enhancement, and service delivery activities. SPO trained 40 relevant organizations about restoration of land entitlements and building linkages between institutional stakeholders and recipient population. SPO provided assistance to 96 female headed households in reclaiming land titles in each region and also developed need-based packages for support (assets, credit, supply lines, market access) for identified home-based economic activities. As a result of SPO’s efforts in this project, 180 women were given training to re-establish their economic activities, 40 water systems were restored and 24 training programs were conducted in each region on safe water practices in relation to rehabilitated systems (with community women who benefit from the water supply).
SPO successfully implemented ‘Emergency Response for Flood Affected People in Sindh’ emergency relief project with financial support of Oxfam Novib-Pakistan from December 2010 to May 2011. This emergency relief project covered district Tando Muhammad Khan in Sindh.
The overall goal of the initiative was to give emergency response to communities affected by the Flood in 2010 through the provision of assistance and supplying of essentials to regenerate the livelihoods of the flood victims. This 6-month emergency relief response capacitated 5000 households in district Tando Muhammad Khan.
SPO under its ‘Climate Change Adaptation’ programme implemented a Cash for Work initiative in order to provide the affected families cash to help sustain their livelihoods. SPO’s humanitarian team conducted field visits to the flood affected areas for gauging the impact of the disaster and to also assess the needs of the communities. Around 5000 households and families received health and hygiene kits. SPO formed Village Relief Committees (VRC) in target villages which helped SPO in identifying the affected families requiring relief. SPO worked in close coordination with local authorities, civil society networks, and partner organizations in Sindh to improve the living conditions of affected communities.
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