Patching Dreams for Prosperity for Flood Affected Women in Pakistan

"We are banking on Sindh's rich cultural heritage and local women's enormous talent to raise income generating opportunities for families hit-hard by the floods, while reviving the tradition of hand-woven rilli making cottage industry in the targeted districts," said Werner E. Liepach, ADB's Country Director for Pakistan.

(Left to right) CD Werner Liepach, CEO TRDP Zafar Junejo, CEO Citibank Pakistan Nadeem Lodhi, Representative ECI Zainab Kapadia

7 February 2013 -- Patching Dreams for Prosperity, a pilot project, was developed under RETA 7563 Promoting Gender Inclusive Growth in Central and West Asia DMCs. ADB's pilot project aims at improving livelihood opportunities for the women as a complement to gender mainstreaming interventions of ADB's Flood Emergency and Reconstruction Project (FERP).

The project is premised on the concept of building local leadership for promoting gender inclusive development at the community level. The initiative has been able to mobilize local men and women as change agents for their respective villages through capacity building in demand articulation, gender sensitive planning, decision making and enterprise development.

During a resource and skill mapping exercise in the project area, it was noticed that the majority of women are engaged in producing a local handicraft called "Rilli" (patch work). But due to less exposure, lack of business skills and poor linkages they could not reap higher returns for their efforts. This emerged as an entry point and a catalyst to improve the socio-economic status of women at the village level, but required additional resources.

Citibank's offer for a partnership with ADB has provided an opportunity to bridge this gap and bring more resources to the flood affected communities. Citi funds will be used to build the capacity of the already identified women in value addition enterprise, creating market linkages, and putting Shikarpur on the map in terms of production and marketing of rilli products.

The project's main outcome is to improve the socio-economic status of 500 low-income women in three districts of Sindh; Sukkur, Khairpur & Shikarpur through improved skills in patchwork (rilli) with increased marketability. The project will simultaneously work on increasing the demand for patchwork (rilli) products, by engaging with other value chain stakeholders in the national and international markets. Citi and ADB will do the project oversight and supervision to ensure a seamless execution of the project's key deliverables.

Citibank, through its philanthropic arm, will provide $50,000 as a grant for the implementation of the project "Patching Dreams for Prosperity." The project will be implemented by Thardeep Rural Development Program (TRDP), a Sindh based NGO, through the technical expertise of Empowerment Thru Creative Integration (ECI). ECI is also implementing ADB's project. The project area remains the same and so do the overall objectives of increasing economic opportunities for women through skill development and improved marketing of local handicrafts.

An inception meeting was held between ADB, Citibank, TRDP, and ECI resulting in an agreement on roles, responsibilities and implementation modalities. On February 1st 2013, ADB, Citibank, TRDP and ECI formally inaugurated the project while signing the partnership agreement.

For more details, view the presentation of the project.