Millions of marginalized in Pakistan – the poor and the uneducated, the physically and mentally challenged, widows and orphans and others – are deprived of even basic necessities. Fortunately a number of institutions are working tirelessly for their uplift, in spite of Herculean challenges, which include lack of regular funding and insufficient workforce. The impact of these institutions can be substantially larger if their workforce is more. The National Volunteer Programme has therefore been created as a platform to bring together compassionate volunteers giving their time and skills to beneficiary institutions which need these the most. Volunteers can make a huge difference even with a little effort. Globally, the corporate sector too has come forward, allowing and encouraging their executives as a part of their CSR outreach, to do volunteer work for a certain number of hours every week during their work hours. Our research has shown that there are many people who are deeply motivated to help others, and put to use their skills, talents and experience to serve the less privileged as volunteers. There is also ample research to show that corporate volunteerism is highly beneficial for all 3 stakeholders – the company, the volunteer and the beneficiary institution. The Mission of the National Volunteer Programme (NVP) is “To be a positive change-agent in society, by providing a structured platform for all people wishing to volunteer their time for socio-economic uplift, and placing such volunteers into those beneficiary institutions which can benefit the most from the volunteers’ particular skills and capabilities.” The NVP is planned as an ongoing, long-term project, starting off from Karachi and then expanding to several other cities and towns of Pakistan. In the first phase our focus will be on signing on volunteers from the corporate sector, with the full support of their respective employer-companies. Then later NVP will take on volunteers from the student community, and still later, it will be opened up to volunteers from the general public. To our knowledge this is the very first such structured programme that seeks to maximize benefits of volunteerism. This will be achieved through customized software which will deliver optimized matching between a volunteer’s particular skills and interests and the matching needs of a particular beneficiary institution. The role of the NVP is to be a facilitator and a medium, providing corporate volunteers meaningful opportunities to serve in Beneficiary Institutions working in a range of focus areas. As such the NVP is constantly monitoring and filling the ongoing demand for workforce requirements at Beneficiary Institutions, and thus working together with volunteers, the corporate sector and others to build a benevolent society.
Vision Statement: Our Vision is to strive for a just and prosperous society in which the marginalized will emerge from distress through the caring support of other, more privileged and compassionate people serving as volunteers.
Mission Statement: Our Mission is to be a positive change-agent in society, by providing a structured platform for all people wishing to volunteer their time for socio-economic uplift, and placing such volunteers into those beneficiary institutions which can benefit the most from the volunteers’ particular skills and capabilities.
Nazish Shekha is Senior Associate at National Volunteer Programme. She has also worked as a consultant at TBL-Triple Bottom Line, a sustainability advocacy platform at Asiatic Public Relations Network (Private) Limited. Nazish specializes in sustainability strategies, sustainable development and communications. Nazish also delivers trainings in relation to climate change, as a resource consultant to Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF). She is currently enrolled in a distance learning Masters programme at SOAS, University of London: MSc Poverty Alleviation, Policy and Practice where she hopes to further knowledge about poverty alleviation, environment and development. She also teaches Environmental Studies to undergraduate students at SZABIST in Karachi and Sustainable Living to undergraduate students in Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture
Shahzad Hooda has recently joined the TBL team and has taken over as the Project Manager of the National Volunteer Programme. As such he is responsible for leading the NVP to deliver on its Vision and Mission nationwide. He holds an MBA degree from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), and has a rich work experience of several years in international and local NGOs, overseeing operations, project management, strategic planning, public relations and communication. Shahzad is deeply committed to making a positive difference and has a keen sense of translating vision into reality.
About TBL: In 2007, Asiatic Public Relations Network (Pvt.) Ltd., or APR, a leading communications and public relations agency in Pakistan, launched TBL – Triple Bottom-Line to create a more entrenched sustainability culture in the country, with the Vision “To steadily facilitate the germination of sustainable visions for organizational growth, sharing specific triple bottom-line knowledge and tools.” In 2008, TBL was launched as a knowledge-based, CSR-focused publication which has transformed into a sustainability advocacy platform through its website cum blog in addition to sustainability consultancy. The National Volunteer Programme has been launched in line with global sustainability practices facilitating corporate community involvement. For getting more information about TBL, please visit, www.tbl.com.pk