Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) in collaboration with Nestlé Pakistan officially launched their “Rural Livelihood Program”. This transformative collaboration has enabled BISP beneficiaries often referred to as "poorest of the poor" women, to earn a livelihood for themselves and their families as Nestlé Rural Sales Agents.
To date more than 250 beneficiaries have been enrolled as Nestlé Pakistan Rural Sales Agents across 12 districts of Punjab and Sindh.
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. 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.
Also read Nestlé Rural Sales Agent, Rani Begum from Sukkur, Sindh’s story here.
In addition to a rigorous sales training, woman like Sajida Bibi also participate in nutrition awareness sessions, especially 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 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. By 2021, at least 10,000 female nutrition will be covered by the Rural Healthy Women.
Chairperson BISP commented, “I am very proud of this partnership. BISP beneficiaries receive PKR 4, 834 every quarter, those who are part of this program are now earning up to PKR 10, 000 per month on average! I hope other corporates follow the footsteps of Nestlé Pakistan, so our beneficiaries can become a productive workforce of Pakistan”.
Applauding the joint effort of the two organizations, Mr. Bruno Olierhoek; CEO Nestlé Pakistan commented, “The challenges the world faces today can only be addressed through cooperation and collaboration. We can no longer afford to work in silos, be it the private sector, non-profit or the government. Public and private partnerships are addressing key development challenges across the globe. These initiatives are also helping achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals 1 and 5; No Poverty and Gender Equality.”
World Bank Pakistan Country Director, IIlango Patchamuthu said, “The partnership between BISP and Nestlé Pakistan is a great example of how a public private partnership can bring the poorest of the poor into the mainstream. These efforts need to continue if we want to help the bottom 40 percent and share prosperity with them.”
The launch event was attended by senior government officials, ambassadors, industry and media. The launch event concluded with a recognition ceremony for BISP beneficiaries.