Akhuwat is a registered non-governmental organization, which was established in 2001 with the objective of providing interest free micro credit to the poor to help them start business, earn a respectable income and improve their standard of living. The organization started with a first loan of ten thousand rupees which was given to a widow. This brave lady did not believe in charity hence she turned to Akhuwat for “Qarz e Hasna” (interest free loan). She purchased two sewing machines and started a small boutique in her house. She worked so hard that in six months she returned the loan. During this period she also successfully started meeting her household expenses and married one of her daughters. This was the beginning of what today has become a movement.
Akhuwat is dedicated to improving lives of the poor; those who are financially abused, abandoned and disregarded by society. The name of the organization, Akhuwat, derives inspiration from the Arabic word of muakhaat or brotherhood. Akhuwat provides the poor with interest-free loans so that they may acquire a livelihood, skills and support they need to reach their full potential. The organization’s philosophy is based on the principle of Qarze-e-Hasna, helping someone in need with interest-free loans. Akhuwat does not depend on state and international funding; and raises its funds from Civil Society, by building on the spirit of volunteerism and the tradition of giving, which is a cardinal principle of all faiths.
Since the first loan of ten thousand rupees Akhuwat’s total disbursement has now increased to four hundred and forty million rupees in just over seven years. Akhuwat’s greatest success is that it has been instrumental in helping more than forty thousand families become financially self-sufficient. The stories of these people bring hope to those still in need of help.
Akhuwat started its operations in Lahore and today has seven branches in the city. The organization has expanded to Rawalpindi and Faisalabad in collaboration with the Chambers of Commerce and Industry and philanthropists of the two cities. Besides this, it has also opened branches in other cities like Multan Gujrat and Karachi. Akhuwat’s activities have been inititated in smaller towns as well, like Sharaq pur, Dijkot, Samundari, Chiniot, Lodhran, Jehanian, Duniyapur, Krore Pucca and Khairpur. Further branches are being planned in Rahim Yar Khan, Sarghoda and Farooqabad. All this has been possible because of the tireless efforts of our dedicated staff and the hundreds of individuals and families who have donated money, time and skills to Akhuwat’s cause.
The success of the organization is evident from the fact that the case study of the model being used by Akhuwat is a part of the curriculum at University of Southern New Hampshire USA and Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). As some one said, “Akhuwat is a fine example of civil society at its best”.
The need of the hour is to introduce Akhuwat to a wider audience and present this model to others, such as; development professionals, microfinance experts, international donors, the media, religious scholars and above all philanthropists and the community at large. You can contribute by giving not only your time and resources, but also showing your compassion. It is with your generous support that Akhuwat will continue to be a haven where hope for the future blossoms.
Together we can make a difference.