My community in Balochistan, a small mountainous province of Pakistan, was in a drought for seven years – one of the longest and most problematic we have ever faced. My community perceived all of that as God’s curse, and they started praying and things like that.
When I became a TCRP Presenter, I was able to see the broad picture and the global connections - I saw the whole world suffering with the same problem. Then I became determined to create as much energy as I could at local community level to fight climate change and using the power of knowledge.
Since attending the Asia Pacific Summit in Jakarta, it’s been my great privilege to train my team at PDI to understand climate change and what it means for the nine provinces in which I work. I help to communicate this important information by organizing community events like cricket tournaments and street theatre.
Our work has meant that we won a grant from Oxfam to publish books about climate change into six local languages in Pakistan. This has NEVER been done before. For the first time ever villagers can read about the issue in a language they understand. This information and the 2010 floods have changed some of the perceptions in the community. Now people believe that seasons and climate are changing, and we can all do something together to stop the worst of it.
There have been times when I have been truly disappointed and have lost hope when I see the impacts of the climate crises around me. But then the TCRP community I am connected to out there – inspires me to go on. The fact that there are more than 3000 TCP Presenters globally – all sharing the same goal - to educate their communities about climate change - gives me energy and willingness to do more. I am truly honored to be a part of this network.
It was directly as a result of my work with TCRP that my team at PDI came to realize the importance of renewable energy. We realized that the piercing sun in Balochistan can be a great asset for us! So I met with the International Center for Appropriate & Sustainable Technology (iCAST) in the US. We came to a plan about setting up solar panels in a number of villages as part of my community work.
The panels will provide light, for the first time at night so local women can get a basic education and continue their traditional embroidery and make a living. By setting solar panels on the rooves of these community centers, these women will grow their profit, and a percentage of this profit will go towards setting another panel in the next village and then another in the next village and so on!
We plan to ask other NGOs to come visit our communities with the solar panels and replicate the idea to their communities.”