Twenty-two-year-old engineering student Ambreen Rahman knows what it takes to build strong bridges.
And it has nothing to do with steel or concrete.
"As long as you meet people with passion, compassion and understanding, you can make friends with them, and you can build a lot of bridges," she told me in a recent online interview.
Rahman should know, she’s been building bridges between people since she became involved with Amnesty International as a high school student.
Now, thanks to a grant from the Clinton Global Initiative she’s in Pakistan working on two projects to help disadvantaged people lead a better life. One of the projects has brought solar lighting to the village of Oan in District Tharparkar, Sindh.
Here’s what Rahman told me about the project (apologies for the video quality, but I think you’ll get the idea..):
The residents of about 80 per cent of Thar villages live below the national poverty line, which, in Pakistan, is considerably lower than that of Western countries.
Thanks to better to access to water and improved agriculture practices over the last decade or so, Oan has flourished to become a ‘model village’ in the region. Still, as in the rest of Thar, electricity and gas services remain largely unavailable in Oan.
Likewise, school and healthcare clinics are difficult to access, and there’s no reliable public transport system.
Rahman’s pilot project introduced small, portable, and relatively inexpensive solar lights equipped with mobile solar charging units to initially somewhat skeptical, but now delighted, Oan villagers.
She hopes to make the lights more widely available to other villages in Pakistan in the future. In the meantime, she’s moving forward with her composting project.
It’s small steps and bridge building initiatives such as this, by amazing young women such as Rahman, that help make the world a better place for you and for me.
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