Benzair Income Support Program’s (BISP) University Poverty Graduation Buddy Program graduates Pakistanis from poverty, improving their livelihoods and investing in their futures.
BISP has reached more than 5.4 million women beneficiaries across Pakistan and contributes to human capital development through primary education conditional cash transfers. Its goal is to increase households’ incomes, skills and capital, reducing poverty across Pakistani communities.
The issue BISP hopes to remedy is that beneficiaries often lack adequate information and opportunities to overcome poverty. Under BISP’s University Poverty Graduation Buddy Program, university students help poor Pakistani women find sustainable solutions to overcome poverty.
In a meeting at BISP headquarters in July, BISP chairperson Marvi Memon stated that the Higher Education Commission (HEC) enlisted universities to nominate 20 students each for the graduation program. Students are linked with a corresponding BISP beneficiary in the area near their participating university. BISP’s education program graduates Pakistanis from poverty by enhancing their skills and providing financial services.
BISP’s skills development and coaching enrich beneficiaries’ lives with training that transforms their present state and invests in their futures. Through the University Poverty Graduation Buddy Program, students help create opportunities for beneficiaries by preparing them with the tools to become entrepreneurs. Students market products made by beneficiaries through E-commerce and showcase the success to a panel of judges who choose the best graduation model. Graduation models are as follows: Training for Rural Economic Empowerment, Microfinance and Interest Free Loans, Employee Guarantees, Comprehensive Coaching for the Extreme Poor, Inclusive Business Cooperation and Households Overcoming Extreme Poverty.
BISP explores the best global practices, graduation models and sustainable solutions to develop poverty-reduction methods in a local context. University students are an asset to BISP’s graduation model development and poverty reduction by helping beneficiaries find inclusive information and access opportunities to overcome their poverty.
With university students’ partnership, BISP continues finding solutions to reduce poverty and improve local Pakistani communities.
– Sarah Dunlap