KKH COMMUNITY SUPPORT - Karakoram Highway Appeal
LVCF, a charity set up by Redspokes Adventure Tour cyclists, initially provided funding for emergency housing in Hussainabad following the disastrous floods in 2010; more recently it has has set up a women€™s sewing centre in Chirah to give women a skill with which to earn an income, selling the textiles locally at market. Buoyed on by the success of these projects and the great appreciation and enthusiasm of the locals (and of the Redspokes tour participants), we are now raising funds to provide further funding for the instructor at the Sewing Centre, grants to help the women buy sewing machines after being trained, funding for a teacher to teach English, and other sustainable projects in the area. As with all our campaigns, this will be done at minimal cost and without payments to intermediaries.
Red Spokes has been working in Northern Pakistan since 2003, and our guide, Mr Arman, alerted us to the situation in his own village, Hussainabad, following the disastrous floods in 2010. There, approximately 400 people (50 families) were living in tents after landslides destroyed surrounding crop fields and left their homes too dangerous to live in. With funding from this campaign we helped to provide substantial shelters for these people - see pictures on this page.
Following the success of this project, we realised that this remote part of the country receives little outside help, and began to appreciate how a small amount of funding can start to regenerate a community - particularly where the locals participate actively. We made good local contacts with trusted people, and decided that the best way we could help was to provide local women with a skill that would help them to earn money so they could sustain their families - hence the Women€™s Sewing Centre. This was set up earlier this year using a building that was provided for free by a local resident. LVCF provided the equipment (sewing machines etc) and the initial funding for the instructor, who is working for half her previous pay in order to help the community.
A recent Redspokes tour in June 2012 visited the village and was overwhelmed by the warmth of feeling and the genuine gratitude of the local villagers, and we thus enter the third phase of this campaign - initially to provide funding for an English teacher and further funding for the instructor, then grants to help the women buy sewing machines after being trained, and also for further sustainable projects in the area.