SMS-based literacy to educate 2,500 learners in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
ISLAMABAD: April XX, 2014 – Following the provision of a credit facility of PKR 966m by GuarantCo Ltd to Mobilink, Mobilink Foundation has been awarded a grant of USD 281,000 by GuarantCo to extend the outreach of its GSMA Award winning SMS-based Literacy Program. Mobilink Foundation is the only private sector owned NGO from Pakistan to have received a grant for its CSR initiative. The program provides education over cell phones to learners not served by traditional education channels and is implemented in association with UNESCO and other reputable international partners.
Mobilink Foundations SMS-based Literacy Program has empowered 6,000 learners in its initial stage. The GuarantCo grant will enable the program to benefit an additional 2,500 learners in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) taking the total number of beneficiaries to more than 8,500.
Bilal Munir Sheikh, Chief Commercial Officer Mobilink said, “As the most trusted telecom operator of Pakistan, Mobilink is committed to make every day better for the communities it operates in. The GuarantCo grant secured by Mobilink Foundation endorses our vision as well as efforts put in to improve the education scenario in Pakistan. As GSMA award winner, our SMS-Based Literacy program has become a flagship CSR initiative for Pakistan and I am confident that with this grant, this program will play a significant role in providing education through technology to the deserving youth of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.’’
Andrew Bainbridge, Chairman of GuarantCo added, “Education is rightly recognized as an important contributor to poverty alleviation and human rights development, and we are excited to partner with the Mobilink Foundation in this program providing basic education to 2,500 women in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This replicable and scalable program is a perfect fit with GuarantCo’s development mandate, which includes supporting our client companies in setting up developmental projects that leverage the company’s primary business. We look forward to working closely with the Foundation in ensuring the program’s success”.
The grant is a result of a successful proposal submitted to GuarantCo by Mobilink Foundation. As a part of the project, Mobilink Foundation in collaboration with UNESCO will establish 100 learning centers in Haripur, Mansehra, Charasadda, Mardan and Nowshera districts of KPK. The project will also create more than 140 job opportunities and will be managed under the supervision of trained teachers, internationally accredited auditors and project managers.
Mobilink is Pakistan’s leading provider of voice and data services. With over 37 million subscribers, Mobilink maintains market leadership with coverage in over 20,000 cities, towns and villages across Pakistan. With an investment of USD 4.3 billion in Pakistan, Mobilink continues to innovate through cutting-edge, state of the art technology, a portfolio of Mobile Financial Services, strongest brands, the largest portfolio of value added services, the largest bio-metric SIM verification footprint as well as the country’s largest network with over 9,000 cell sites. The company also has the largest distribution and call center network that enables it to offer wider accessibility and quality customer services across Pakistan.
GuarantCo (www.guarantco.com) was established by the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) to address the shortage of long-term local currency funding for infrastructure projects in low and lower middle income countries. It is funded by the governments of the UK, Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden. GuarantCo provides partial credit guarantees of up to USD 30m equivalent each, which enable local financiers to overcome obstacles in providing finance to infrastructure companies and projects. GuarantCo is managed by Frontier Markets Fund Managers (www.fmfml.com).