Proudly Announcing The Sughar Foundation!

4:11 PM

Today we are announcing a big achievement at Sughar! The launch of the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Sughar Foundation.

As many of you are aware, our goal at Sughar Empowerment Society has been to reach out to 1,000,000 women. With our actions from 2009 until now, we have worked hard to create effective solutions for empowerment of women, worked with the tribal leaders in raising awareness among men, and failed fast to rise strong. In these 7 years, Sughar's model has taken several shapes, each time growing into something stronger than before, better than before and more effective than ever before. And today, with the announcement of Sughar Foundation, we are sure that this step will get us thousand miles closer to our goal!

This is how: Focusing on the same goals, Sughar Foundation will amplify our growth and impact by partnering with strong organizations working on the ground in Pakistan. Selecting organizations that are equipped with a greater capacity and outreach in tribal areas, the Foundation will replicate successful models from Sughar's journey in the past, leading to quick outreach to areas in need. Below is a glimpse of our journey from when Sughar started as an idea in 2009.

2009 - Formation of Sughar Empowerment Society

The idea of Sughar emerged after a huge failure. In 2008 and early 2009, we were involved in campaigning against the custom of Honor Killings through advocacy and publicly shaming tribal leaders. This led to a huge backlash from the the local communities in Balochistan, effectively ending of our activities in the campaign.

In those times, when everything looked bleak and the chances of us ever working in the same communities again was looking impossible, we came up with the new idea of preserving the beautiful cultures, and educating the tribal communities against customs like Honor Killings rather than shaming them. As soon we we planned this, we went back to start working with the same communities promoting their tribal language, music and embroidery.

We formed the first Sughar Center, formally called "Women's Literacy and Skills Center"

A Sughar Center is a room rented/donated by a local villager where 30 women come to take a 6 month training by 3 local facilitators who have been trained by our team in skills development, entrepreneurship and awareness about their rights. These local facilitators proved to be a successful model leading us to replicate the idea across 10 villages in the district and scaling to Sindh province in 2011.

2011 - Scaling to Sindh

Early in 2011, with the help of the International Labor Organization, we scaled to Sindh and formed Sughar Centers in 10 villages of Thatta. With a passionate goal and passionate team, we were able to create great impact within the first few months of our presence--engaging the local leaders, mobilizing men and women, training local facilitators and making 300 women a part of the Centers!

2012 - Sughar Nomads

However, another failure struck as soon as Sughar in Sindh started picking up momentum. We came across new cultural issues, and new social issues. Rumors about the Sughar Centers being un-Islamic, having initiatives which compel tribal women to act in Western style, spread fast within the villages and several men stopped their women from coming to the Centers.

That is when we decided not only to engage with men at a more direct level, but also launch Pakistan's first ever tribal women fashion brand to create more income for women. Sughar Nomads quickly became the favorite idea of youngsters in cities of Pakistan who purchased the beautiful embroidered products, because of their designs and diversity leading to increased income of the women. I still can't forget the day this man in one of the villages brought back his sister and wife to the Center to be trained.

2013 - Sughar Hubs

As we progressed another sad idea hit us. While Sughar was effective at working directly with the local communities and empowering women, it was only focused on solving one major problem, increasing women's decision making powers and income generation abilities. But there are dozens of other issues that these communities face on a daily basis. The majority of those pressing issues are basic needs such as water, electricity, food security and education of their children.

So, in 2013 with the help of our new partners Women in the World and TripAdvisor, Sughar modified its approach by creating Sughar HUBs instead of Sughar Centers. These HUBs are beautifully constructed buildings in the middle of a village which are used as a community space not only by the village, but also by any other organization that comes there. From the time of their creation these HUBs have been used by organizations to train women and men on alternative livelihoods, climate change, and have been used to do street theater and other activities that involve the villagers.

2013 was also the year, Sughar planned to reach out to 1 million women in the next 10 years.

2014 - Sughar Foundation 

This is when it started to dawn on us that the change-making process, especially when related to behavioral change, is extremely slow. Being a small organization we can scale slowly but cannot reach to 1 million women in the time we planned. We also didn't want to change our goal as thousands of women across Pakistan are in need of the training and access to opportunities like the ones that Sughar provides, so we decided we want organizations across Pakistan to replicate our idea.

In 2014, we started the process of registering the Sughar Foundation in the United States. Aiming to become a fund that focuses on partnering with up-and-coming organizations in Pakistan, the Foundation not only takes the idea of Sughar all across the country, but also becomes a strong voice for influencing our government in taking crucial steps for the development of women in tribal and rural areas of Pakistan.

With an amazing board of directors, a fantastic board of advisors and mentors and friends from all around the world like yourself, Sughar Foundation takes off this year with new hope, new energy and new dreams!

In fact, currently we are on the hunt for an amazing Executive Director as I take my position as the Chief Visionary Officer in the Foundation. Please help us distribute this call of application embedded in this link and thank you once again for all of your support and ever lasting love.

With Gratitude and Blessings,
Khalida Brohi
Founder/Chief Visionary Officer
Sughar Foundation

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