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Women project from N. Areas selected for world contest

HUNZA, Oct 16: A women empowerment project in Gilgit-Baltistan is among 12 projects selected for BBC World Challenge contest.

Out of 700 entries from around the world, the Hashoo Foundation’s project ‘Women Empowerment through honeybee farming in Northern Areas of Pakistan’ has been selected for the contest.

This is for the first time that any rural development project from Pakistan has been highlighted on such an international forum.

The project has enabled women beekeepers from the remote regions of Northern Areas to generate incomes by selling high quality honey to hotels in Islamabad twice the price they get in the local market.

This provides income to women to finance their childrenÂ’s education, health facilities and better food.

One of the few income generating opportunities for women in rural areas is beekeeping. The unique flora of the northern mountain region makes for a superior honey deserving a premium price.

The Hashhoo Foundation helps the women in processing, packaging and marketing of the honey in luxury hotels of Islamabad.

“We’re not interested in just helping them earn more money, we want to see that their children are better educated, have access to healthcare, better sanitation in the houses and better nutrition,” Sarah Hashwani, chairperson |Hashoo foundation says.

World Challenge 08, organised by BBC World News and Newsweek in collaboration with Shell, aims at finding projects or small businesses from around the world that have shown enterprise and innovation at a grassroots level.

It is about championing and rewarding projects and business which really make a difference.

The winner will receive a grant of $20,000 to put back into their project/business, and two runners up will each receive $10,000.

One representative from each of the three finalists will be flown to The Hague, the Netherlands to attend the award ceremony in December 2008.
Source: Dawn