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Rural women graduating out of poverty

“Despite coming from an extremely conservative background, I had to send my 18-year-old daughter to another city (Lahore) for work”, says Sajida, mother of 6 residing in Renala, Punjab. Her story is one of many that exist in Pakistan. Many mothers have to make the tough choice of not being able to give their children an education or in extremes even a decent meal.

“My husband works as a laborer and we were barely making ends meet. I always wanted my children to go to school and receive good education so that they can become self-sufficient when they grow up. I used to receive stipend from BISP. I was very keen and excited when Nestlé Pakistan came to Renala and gave us sales training. I started my own little shop at my house with Nestlé’s products. People from the village started to come to me to buy them. After that, there has been a substantial increase in my earnings and every month I am expanding my shop. Now I am able to send all of my kids to school. “

BISP – The largest social safety net

As part of our commitment to attaining the SDGs 1 & 5 (No Poverty and Gender Equality), Nestlé Pakistan partnered with Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) in May 2017 to give entrepreneurship opportunities to BISP recipients. Started in 2008, BISP is the biggest social security net program established by the Government of Pakistan and has roughly 5.3 million recipients. The BISP Program is a targeted unconditional cash transfer program, concentrating on the underprivileged and underestimated women of Pakistan.

Nestlé Rural Sales Agents Program

These beneficiaries have undergone a rigorous sales training and are involved in selling Nestlé Pakistan fortified products to the rural population at a low cost. To-date more than 400 beneficiaries have become Nestlé Rural Sales Agents from across Pakistan, mainly Punjab and Sindh.

Nestlé Pakistan has also launched the Healthy Women Program focusing on BISP beneficiaries which imparts relevant nutrition knowledge amongst BISP beneficiaries beyond the Sales training.

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 disseminate key nutrition and hygiene messages to the beneficiaries. This comprehensive program addresses the key issues face by these women including health, hygiene and food safety etc.

Read Rani Begum, BISP beneficiary’s story here