News Desk |
Nestlé Pakistan partnered with Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) to provide livelihood opportunities to BISP beneficiaries. Launched in 2008, BISP is the largest social safety net program launched by the Government of Pakistan. The BISP Program is a targeted unconditional cash transfer program in Pakistan focusing on the underprivileged, excluded, marginalized and vulnerable women of Pakistan. This selection criterion of these women is solely based on economic depravity. Nestlé – BISP Rural Sales Program focuses on graduating BISP beneficiaries out-of-poverty.
This transformative collaboration between Nestlé Pakistan & BISP has enabled BISP beneficiaries often referred to as “poorest of the poor” women, to earn a livelihood for themselves and their families The program has seen many success stories such as Sajida Bibi from Renala, Punjab who has successfully enrolled her daughter back in school. “My husband was a sole breadwinner of our family and was on daily wages.
Nestlé Pakistan is aligned with Prime Minister’s agenda of poverty alleviation. We are committed towards job creation and ensuring that citizens of Pakistan.
Our financial circumstances only allowed us to barely afford 2 meals a day. It was only when my husband fell sick and could not go to work, that our financial conditions took a turn for the worst. Despite coming from an extremely conservative background, I had to send my 18-year-old daughter to another city (Lahore) for work”, says Sajida Parveen. Another important aspect of the program is the Rural Healthy Women.
In this program, women like Sajida Bibi also participate in nutrition awareness sessions, specially tailored for rural women that have helped them make healthier lifestyle choices for themselves and their families. Through the use of visual aids and easy-to-understand handbooks, the Nutrition experts inform women on the importance of good nutrition, ideas on how to cook healthy nutritious meals within a budget and disseminating key nutrition and hygiene messages to the beneficiaries.
Nestlé aims to cover at least 10,000 female nutrition under the Rural Healthy Women by 2021. Rani Begum is another success story coming out as a BISP beneficiary residing in a village near Sukkur in Sindh. A mother of 7 children, Rani Begum was reliant on the money provided by BISP every quarter to meet all her household expenses. Despite living in such conditions, Rani Begum aspired that all her 7 kids (5 daughters and 2 sons) are enrolled in school.
She attended her first Sales Training with Nestlé Pakistan in January 2018. Since then, she is working as a Nestlé Sales Agent in villages around Sukkur. Her earning is now approximately US $130 (PKR 14,000) every quarter. As part of their commitment to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) No. 1 & 5 (No Poverty and Gender Equality), Nestlé Pakistan & BISP partnership is pioneering with a focus on women’s economic empowerment, connecting women to markets and making sure they have access to financial markets.
The BISP Program is a targeted unconditional cash transfer program in Pakistan focusing on the underprivileged, excluded, marginalized and vulnerable women of Pakistan.
In December 2018, Nestlé Pakistan, in collaboration with BISP, organized a visit of leading women parliamentarians to its Rural Sales Program in Pindi Bhattian. These included: Kanwal Shauzab, MNA and Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Planning; and Zill-e-Huma MNA. The Parliamentarians visited Pindi Bhattian where approximately 70 BISP Beneficiaries have become Nestlé’s Rural Sales Agents.
These beneficiaries have collectively contributed to sales of approximately PKR 8 Million in the Pindi Bhattian region. The Parliamentarians visited the Rural Sales shops being run solely by BISP beneficiaries in Pindi Bhattian. These women are involved in direct selling of Nestlé’s products after receiving a rigorous sales training. To date, more than 400 BISP beneficiaries have been enrolled as Rural Sales Agents across 12 districts of Punjab and Sindh.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan’s first priority is to eliminate poverty from Pakistan and to enhance education, nutrition, health and well-being of children and women. We have taken care of all these factors in our 12th Five Year Plan. Our aim should be to empower women and provide them facilities through which they become self-sufficient. If today’s women are empowered then it will have a direct impact on generations to come,” Kanwal Shauzab, MNA and Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Planning; shared her views.
Despite living in such conditions, Rani Begum aspired that all her 7 kids (5 daughters and 2 sons) are enrolled in school.
MNA Zill-e-Huma added while emphasizing the importance of women empowerment, “This occasion has given me a lot of hope and encouragement for women’s stature in the economy. It is the first step towards empowerment for these women and I am positive that it will lead to the betterment of their future. It is indeed a blessing to become economically self-reliant due to which they are able to earn their livelihood respectfully.”
Highlighting the importance of this collaboration, Waqar Ahmad, Head of Corporate Affairs, Nestlé Pakistan, said, “We value our partnership with the Government of Pakistan and BISP, this partnership is extremely relevant, given our commitment to the UN SDGs 1 and 5: No Poverty and Gender Equality.
Nestlé Pakistan is aligned with Prime Minister’s agenda of poverty alleviation. We are committed towards job creation and ensuring that citizens of Pakistan can earn a decent livelihood. Through this initiative, we hope to empower our rural women by providing them with livelihood opportunities, along with improving their nutritional status and the quality of life for them and their families”.