BISP Initiative to Link Students & Poor Women for Poverty Alleviation

Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) is going to initiate a “University Poverty Graduation Buddy Programme” that will link youth with the poorest vulnerable women of Pakistan with the aim to help them graduate out of poverty.

Under this partnership, university students will help BISP beneficiaries in identifying their potential, fine tune their abilities and guide them on sustainable solutions to the challenges faced by them. This was stated by Minister of State and Chairperson BISP MNA Marvi Memon in a meeting on poverty graduation at BISP headquarters.

How The Program Works

Under this initiative, HEC enlisted universities across Pakistan have been asked to nominate 20 students each to participate in the competition in which students will be linked with BISP beneficiaries in the areas near to the participating universities.

One student will pair up with one beneficiary. The students will evaluate the potential of BISP beneficiaries and help them in overcoming challenges and constraints faced by them by suggesting viable solutions. The students will guide the beneficiaries in product development and marketing skills as well.

The students will also help market the products made by the beneficiaries through E-commerce, thus enabling them to earn money on their own. The students will then showcase the success in a case study to a panel of judges who will choose the best graduation model.

Potential Benefits

The Chairperson said that BISP has contributed significantly towards reducing malnutrition, reducing poverty, political and economic empowerment, school enrollment and is helping its beneficiaries.

However, the talented BISP beneficiaries face several challenges like lack of information, access to opportunities, less understanding of market and exclusion.

So, BISP plans to engage youth for the guidance of the beneficiaries. The Minister appealed that universities should encourage their students to participate in this initiative, as this is not only a competition but a noble cause that would help BISP beneficiaries graduate out of poverty.

Based on World Bank’s Idea

The idea of “University Poverty Graduation Buddy Programme” is derived from “Empower her”, a Maghreb Women Economic Empowerment Initiative by World Bank that is based on the Hackathon model. The model seeks to identify creative ways to address constraints preventing women participation in labor force by bringing together young developers and women associations that come up with creative solutions for the under privileged women.