The Ra’ana Liaquat Craftsmen Colony (RLCC) was born amidst the chaos and upheaval of Partition. The First Lady of the newly formed country, Begum Ra’ana Liaquat Ali Khan, had the foresight to envisage a self-sufficient community craft colony with built-in support services, including health and education. Since its inception, the RLCC has been at the forefront of the women’s movement in Pakistan and has operated as a not-for-profit, non-partisan organisation focusing on addressing gender issues and driving women’s participation in decision making processes.
The need for a holistic community that supports the economic and social wellbeing of its beneficiaries remains as relevant today as it was in 1947. Pakistan is marred with deep inequality and swathes of the population lack access to the most basic amenities, including education, healthcare and economic opportunity. The RLCC strives to address this inequality in its target community, Shah Faisal Colony, by fulfilling its mandate to improve women’s lives by alleviating poverty, building capacity, and enabling women to exercise agency in decision making.
In its 65 years of operation, RLCC has had a direct and tangible impact on its beneficiary community. We have empowered thousands of women who are now better able to make critical decisions regarding to matters of health and education. We have also developed a strong local presence, a sustainable development strategy and have furthered our outreach and capacity building strategy.
- The past two years have been our most successful to date. RLCC’s achievements can be evidenced in the transformation that has taken place in Shah Faisal Colony and in some of the case studies we have shared in this report. Our progress and achievements have been presented in detail in this report, but I would like to highlight some statistics and key milestones here:
- Last year, RLCC directly supported 28,742 women and children of Shah Faisal Town through the different projects of RLCC;
- Participation in our vocational training programs was 1,313, a substantial increase over the previous year;
- With the new building and growing number of classes our school now enrolls 320 students;
- We conducted our ﬁrst ever mental health clinic (MHC), and are currently treating 151 patients;
- Our outreach team raised awareness on health and Life Skills Education (LSE) among a record breaking 17,947 (2014-15) and 18,750 (2015-16) registered community members;
- RLCC’s management and governance structures have evolved with a view to formalizing structures and ensuring sustainability;
- We have successfully forged several strategic partnerships with a range of specialised organisations to enhance our reach, harmonise resources and contribute towards capacity building;
- RLCC was invited to participate in the iconic Women of the World (WOW) Festival in London in 2016 and raised awareness among the international community.
We owe this success to our tireless volunteers, dedicated partners and generous donors. Last year, we received donations from 40 people, and were able to draw upon a network of committed volunteers. We have also received invaluable support by a range of specialized strategic partners, which has enabled us to deliver targeted assistance to our beneficiary communities, and to scale our efforts. RLCC is above all, about community and our work would not be possible without our unshakeable community of support.
We look forward to calling upon you, our community, for support as we plan ahead for the next year. In order to expand and to meet the evolving needs of Shah Faisal Colony, we need to design more innovative programs and services, provide continued supported and greater outreach. So together, we can realise RLCC’s vision and transform lives.