Access to electricity has benefitted children and women especially; here a woman uses home appliances powered by micro hydropower.
The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) has won the Energy Globe Award for its rural electrification project in Chitral, Pakistan. The award recognises innovative and sustainable projects that respond to environmental challenges and support communities. AKRSP won the award for installing two micro hydropower units in Chitral – one in Yarkhun and another in Laspur valley – providing electricity to over 3,000 households. Read more
The Qutb Shahi Tombs Complex, presently nominated to the World Heritage List, is proposed to be developed as an urban Archaeological Park, to showcase and ensure long-term preservation, and to enhance understanding of the 70 monuments that stand within its boundaries.
AKTC / India
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture has been restoring the 70-structure Quli Qutb Shah Tomb complex in Hyderabad. The award was given for the work on the six stepwells. Read more
The Resort has released over 62,850 turtle hatchlings into the ocean.
The Serena Beach Resort and Spa, Mombasa, Kenya received Ecotourism Kenya's Eco Warrior Award for Best Accommodation in Support of Marine Conservation. It was also ranked third in the Skål International Sustainable Tourism Awards under the Marine and Coastal category.
The Resort has released over 62,850 turtle hatchlings into the ocean, and through its community participatory and incentive programme has turned fishermen who were previously poachers of turtles and their eggs into protectors.
Solar powered laundry services won the Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge a 2018 Global Best Practice Award.
AKDN / Lucas Cuervo Moura
The Mara Serena Safari Lodge received the Country Best Practices Award 2022 Kenya at the CINET – the International Committee of Textile Care's Global Best Practices Awards. The independent international jury recognised the Lodge for its outstanding approach to professional textile care through eco-friendly, sustainable and energy efficient laundry services.
The Aga Khan Health Service in Kisumu was recognised to have "demonstrated evidence based strategies, programs and activities on Environment and Climate Change mitigation both within the institution and at community level".
The Merit List recognises projects of critical relevance in the context of contemporary architecture of India. Sunder Nursery Heritage Park was listed, with the citation saying: “Through persistent collaborative efforts and a long-term vision, a forgotten landscape is brought back into public imagination”.
Arch consolidation in the Ayyubid Room, Citadel of Aleppo.
The Award for Best Practice in Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management in the Arab region was given for the rehabilitation of the central souk in the Old City of Aleppo. Read more
Landscaping in the Sunder Burj garden.
The Sunder Nursery development was named one of 20 projects that have transformed cities across the world. The citation said that “It brings a breath of fresh air to northern India.”
Sundar Nursery’s Central Axis with the 16th century Sundar Burj in the backdrop, New Delhi, India.
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture won these awards for the transformative management of the historic Sunder Nursery of New Delhi, India. Read more
In Gilgit-Baltistan, a volunteer caretaker checks the Flood Early Warning System installed by AKAH.
The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat won the World Habitat Awards 2020 Gold Award for its “Integrating Indigenous Knowledge and Technology for Safer Habitat” project in Pakistan. Read more
Allpack, a project company of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, has used solar arrays to offset the cost of electricity in Kenya, resulting in a 21% cost savings and 90750 tonnes of carbon emissions avoidance per year.
AKDN / Lucas Cuervo Moura
Allpack Industries Ltd., a project company of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, was awarded the overall renewable energy winner (small and medium consumer) at the 16th Energy Management Awards, organised by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers. Watch the video
Wire Products Ltd was named a Runner Up in the electricity savings award (small consumer) category. Read more
As part of the Aga Khan Development Network’s humanitarian assistance activities, including emergency health care and food aid, AKTC undertook surveys and technical studies for the rehabilitation of Souk al-Saqatiyya.
The rehabilitation of the central souk in the Old City of Aleppo by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) received this biennial Award, which seeks to honour and reward outstanding work that contributes to the protection and vitality of tangible cultural heritage in the Arab world. Read more
The AKTC team and the health workers carried out the house-to-house WHO Covid-19 survey (for the Delhi Government) in 1862 households.
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) in India was commended for its work in Nizamuddin, Delhi on multiple fronts, including mobilising health workers to visit every home to create awareness, assisting in WHO house-to-house surveys, establishing a WhatsApp radio network, supplying emergency relief to 700 vulnerable families week after week and distributing masks made locally by women previously making tourist souvenirs. Read more
Muharram gathering at Nizamuddin Basti
The Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Project was named the best social impact project. The citation said: “This public-private initiative led by the AKTC with the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, the Archaeological Survey of India and the Central Public Works Department demonstrates admirably how the urban renewal of a historic city can improve the quality of life for residents and meet tourism objectives.” Read more
Delhi’s Sunder Nursery was listed among Time Magazine’s top 100 world’s greatest places to visit. The magazine said: “Between the pollution and the crowds, it’s hard to get away in New Delhi. But now the Indian capital offers a respite: the city’s first arboretum.”
The opening of a new PECTA Tourism Centre at Bulunkul supported by AKF and USAID.
AKDN / Christopher Wilton-Steer
Leiden-based Green Destinations has awarded a “World's Top 100 Sustainable Destinations” designation to the High Pamirs Mountain Region. The High Pamirs are a mountain plateau located in Tajikistan, stretching from Afghanistan in the south, China in the east and Kyrgyzstan in the north. The Pamirs Eco-Cultural Tourism Association (PECTA), a project of the Mountain Societies Development Support Programme (a part of the Aga Khan Foundation in Tajikistan), has been working for years to promote responsible tourism to the Pamirs. It works to create fair job opportunities while encouraging preservation of historical heritage, natural resources and wildlife. Read more
The Music of Central Asia, edited by Theodore Levin, Saida Daukeyeva, and Elmira Köchümkulova.
"The Music of Central Asia", co-produced by the Aga Khan Music Programme, is a book that provides an informative introduction to musical heritage. It provides a companion website where viewers may access 189 audio and video examples accompanied by listening guides. Read more.
The First MicroFinance Bank – Afghanistan (an AKDN institution) was a finalist for “targeting rural clients and focusing on facilitating incremental building and home improvement”. The Award noted its "focus on providing expert technical support and the flexibility of its loan terms, as well as the particularly challenging context in which it operates".
In 2017, the European Microfinance Awards focused on “Microfinance for Housing”, intending to “highlight the role of microfinance in supporting access to better quality residential housing for low income, vulnerable and excluded groups, with no or limited access to housing finance in the mainstream sector.” Read more.
Khorog 1 Hydropower Plant, Tajikistan. Since 2002, Pamir Energy has restored 11 micro hydropower plants and upgraded 4,300 km of transmission lines, as well as distribution facilities.
AKDN / Christopher Wilton-Steer
Pamir Energy won the award for its work bringing hydro power to 220,000 people in eastern Tajikistan and 35,000 people in northern Afghanistan, as well as to many businesses, schools, and health centres.
Fifteen years before, only 13 percent of households in the region had reliable energy. By 2017, Pamir Energy had restored 11 micro hydro power plants and upgraded 4,300km of transmission lines, as well as distribution facilities, giving 96 percent of households in Viloyati Mukhtori Kuhistoni Badakhshan, some 220,000 people, access to clean, reliable and affordable energy.
In 2008, the company began exporting energy across the Panj River to communities in northern Afghanistan – some receiving electricity for the first time in their history. Read the AKDN press release and the article on the Ashden website.
The citation on the conservation of Pakistan’s 17th-century Shahi Hammam’s said that “The project has returned the ornate Shahi Hammam to its former prominence within the Walled City of Lahore while giving further encouragement to other private conservation initiatives in the future.”
Pamir Energy was listed among the best 12 public-private-partnership projects during the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) forum. The Pamir Private Power Project has helped to enhance development and improve welfare in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, Tajikistan, by providing reliable, affordable, and clean electricity.
Two students from the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa, Sumera Yego and Magdalena Gakuo, were the first Kenyans to achieve the gold-level 2015 President’s Award - Kenya. The President’s Award is a self development programme, involving 120 countries worldwide. It delivers life skills and ethical values to young people aged 14 to 25, with the aim of building a better society.
Nairobi Serena Hotel won Africa's Leading Green Hotel award at the World Travel Awards 2015. The Awards were established to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel tourism & hospitality industry.
The AKDN project company Roshan, Afghanistan's leading telecommunications operator, provides mobile phone services to more than 6.5 million Afghans.
Roshan, which supplies telecommunications services for over 6.5 million Afghans, was named as one of the “Top 51 Companies Changing the World” by FORTUNE Magazine. The 51 global companies were chosen for the way they integrated social concerns and business practice. Roshan is one of the project companies of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development. Read more
The director of the Centre for Excellence in Women and Child Health at the Aga Khan University, Karachi, Dr Zulfiqar Bhutta, was conferred with Turkey's 2015 International TÜBA Academy Prize for his remarkable services in health and life sciences. The annual TÜBA Academy prizes are presented by the Turkish Academy of Sciences in three categories to scientists with original and path-breaking works in their fields. Dr Bhutta received the award in recognition of his ground breaking research on mother and child health, and contributions to global health and policy.
Senior neurologist Professor Mohammad Wasay, of the Aga Khan University, has been awarded the Pakistan Academy of Science's gold medal 2015 in recognition of his work for prevention and control of neurological diseases in Pakistan.
Three Nation Media Group journalists were among 16 journalists recognised for their exemplary work in reporting on development issues at the inaugural 2015 ZIMEO Excellence in Media Awards by the African Media Initiative in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Mr Mosota and Ms Kilonzo received a joint award in the data journalism category for a story published in the Daily Nation titled "Tobacco war gets graphic" on tobacco use in the country and its consequences. Ms Okeyo received the Dr Ameena Gurib-Fakim (president of Mauritius) Award for Excellence in Media: Science Reporting for her story titled "Medics prescribe measures to tame rising drug abuse" and published in the Business Daily, a Nation Media Group publication.
Islamabad Serena Hotel was awarded Pakistan's Leading Hotel & Pakistan's Leading Hotel Suite (read more), the Kabul Serena Hotel was awarded Afghanistan's Leading Hotel (read more), and Dushanbe Serena Hotel was awarded Tajikistan's Leading Hotel (read more) at the World Travel Awards at the Asia & Australasia Gala Ceremony 2015 in Hong Kong.
Roshan received five Stevie awards at the 12th annual International Business Awards (IBAs) in Toronto, Canada. The 2015 IBAs received entries from more than 60 nations and territories.
Receiving the highest honour of Stevie Award, Roshan’s CEO Karim Khoja was named “Executive of the Year” for the telecommunications industry. Shireen Rahmani, Director of Human Resources at Roshan, also received a Gold Stevie for “Human Resources Executive of the Year,” a category that spanned all industries worldwide. Shireen’s department was honoured as “Human Resources Department of the Year” in the Computer Services and Telecommunications division, receiving a Gold Stevie Award. Roshan also won a Silver Stevie Award for “Company of the Year – Telecommunications” and a Bronze Stevie Award for “Communications or PR Campaign of the Year – Community Relations” for its Roshan Afghan Premier League programme. Read more
Kigali Serena Hotel in Rwanda, part of the Serena chain of hotels.
Kigali Serena Hotel was awarded the Leading Hotel in Rwanda Award by the 2015 World Travel Awards Africa and Indian Ocean, with Kampala Serena Hotel and Nairobi Serena Hotel being given a similar award as Leading Hotels in Uganda and Kenya respectively. For more information, please visit the World Travel Awards website.
Nation Media Group’s NTV reporter Enock Sikolia and cameraman Charles Kariuki won 2015 CNN Multichoice African Journalist of the Year awards.
The CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards
Nation Media Group’s NTV reporter Enock Sikolia and cameraman Charles Kariuki were among the five Kenyans who clinched the prestigious 2015 CNN Multichoice African Journalist of the Year awards. The NTV journalists won in the health category for their story on osteoporosis - a disease causing paralysis among Turkana residents due to brittle bones because of over-exposure to fluorine. Watch the video.
The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme was one of two winners in the NGO section of the environment category of the Times of India Social Impact Awards 2015. Read more
“The Gali Surjan Singh Urban Conservation Project represents a heroic effort to combine restoration with much-needed infrastructural upgrading in the historic urban centre of Lahore [Pakistan]”, wrote the judges.
Ratish Nanda, Director of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (India), won an India Harmony Foundation’s Chishti India Harmony Award. Read more
Two senior journalists with The Citizen - investigative editor Lucas Liganga and senior reporter Mkinga Mkinga - were declared overall winners of the 2014 Excellence in Journalism Awards Tanzania, organised by the Media Council of Tanzania. They are the first two overall winners from the same media house, Mwananchi Communications Limited, part of the Nation Media Group.
Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank (KICB) was awarded the 2014 Best Commercial Bank in Kyrgyzstan prize by the Global Financial Market Review.
The Tajik horse tour operator Pamir Horse Adventure has won the 2014 UIAA (International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation) Mountain Protection Award. Pamir Horse Adventure is an active member of the Pamirs Eco-Cultural Tourism Association (PECTA), established with the support of the Aga Khan Foundation's Mountain Societies Development Support Programme.
Jubilee Life Pakistan won the HR Leadership Award for the second time in a row at the 2014 Asian HR Leadership Awards. The hosts, World HRD Congress, organise this award function every year to celebrate and recognise outstanding corporate individuals or organisations. Read more
Conservation work by the Aga Khan Cultural Service on Gali Surjan Singh, home to 13 residences located within and near the Lahore Walled City's Delhi Gate, received an honourable mention from the 2014 Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. Read more
Roshan received the Social Contribution Award at the 2014 Asia Communications Awards for the social impact of its telemedicine programme. This leverages the company's broadband and wireless infrastructure to build and improve Afghanistan's healthcare system by linking hospitals and medical specialists across the country.
The company also received a commendation for the "Best Brand Campaign Award" for its "New Heights" brand campaign, which celebrated Roshan's ten year anniversary of operations in Afghanistan and its role as a partner in the country's reconstruction and economic development.
Nation Media Group: the Daily Nation's deputy news editor, Patrick Mayoyo, was the overall winner of the 2014 African Climate Change and Environmental Reporting Awards that includes print, online, television and radio entries.
Habib Bank Ltd won the award for being the Prime Issuer of Union Pay International cards in the Middle East and North Africa region. Read more
The University of Central Asia was recognised as an outstanding example of best practice in the Corporate/Private category by the European Computer Driving Licence (EDCL) Foundation. This is the certifying authority for the world’s leading international computer skills certification programme, ECDL and (outside of Europe) the International Computer Driving Licence. Read more
Dr Zulfiqar Bhutta of the Aga Khan University and the Hospital for Sick Children, Canada, was presented with the World Health Organization Ihsan Dogramaci Family Health Foundation Prize for his global work on child and newborn survival and health.
The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP), India won an award for 'Community-based Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change’ at the Earth Care Awards instituted by JSW Foundation and The Times of India. The honour recognises the efforts of AKRSP in India, under the SCALE project on economic development and institutional building in the tribal districts of Bharuch, Surat and Narmada. The Project’s initiatives have strengthened community-based institutions and developed ownership of common property resources. The interventions have led to better adaptability to the challenges posed by climate change in tribal areas of Gujarat. Read more.
Nation Media Group journalists Lominda Afedraru (Daily Monitor) and Isaac Khisa (The East African) emerged respectively as the best 2014 science writer - Bio-sciences for Farming in Africa - and 2014 best agriculture business coverage writer, in the two-year Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellowship in Science.
Ms Lominda was praised for her active, intensive and accurate coverage of agricultural science farming activities and bio-technology development in Uganda. Mr Khisa was praised for his in-depth coverage by the judges, Julia Vitullo-Martin and Sharon Schmickle - both senior journalists based in the US. About 160 journalists from Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda participated in the fellowship that was coordinated in Cambridge University, with funding from the John Templeton Foundation based in the USA.
Kigali Serena Hotel in Rwanda, part of the Serena chain of hotels.
Serena Hotels was among the winners of the Rwanda Corporate Social Responsibility Awards as "best in environmental protection”.
Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), Karachi won the Corporate Social Responsibility Brands of the Year Award 2013 for its indigenously designed solar shuttle. The Brands Foundation shortlists over 1,000 popular and trusted brands in Pakistan each year, from which a winner is selected for each category.
Dr Anita Zaidi, head of the paediatrics department at the Aga Khan University and one of the first doctors trained by AKU, won the first $1 million Caplow Children's Prize. Read more
Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank (KICB) was awarded the 'Bank of the Year 2013', from the United Kingdom magazine The Banker. Read more
Fifteen Nation Media Group journalists were winners in the 2012 and 2013 editions of the Seventh Annual Kenya Media Network on Population and Development awards, sponsored by the United Nations Population Fund.
Khaplu Palace after the restoration work, Khaplu, Pakistan.
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture's restoration of Khaplu Palace received a UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Award of Distinction.
From the citation: "Once the former seat of government and one of Baltistan’s finest royal residences, Khaplu Palace has been restored from a dire state of dilapidation. The work, undertaken with a high level of technical competence, addressed a range of challenges from structural concerns to historic landscaping in a manner that has retained the authenticity. The Palace has been reintegrated as a vital part of the community through its new function as a small-scale heritage hotel and Balti Folk Museum. The upgrade of the adjacent village’s infrastructure and the creation of new livelihood opportunities have ensured improved well-being for local inhabitants in this remote rural area. The project is testimony to the success of the well-tested approach to mobilising culture for sustainable development pioneered by the Aga Khan Cultural Services Pakistan."
Serena Hotels received six awards, including “Africa’s leading Hotel Brand”, at the 20th edition of the World Travel Awards. In addition to “Africa’s Leading Hotel Brand”, Serena hotels also won “Leading Eco Hotel of the Year 2013” for the Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge; “Rwanda’s Leading Hotel 2013” for the Kigali Serena (an award it also won in 2012); “Kenya’s Leading Business Hotel 2013” for the Nairobi Serena Hotel; “Uganda’s Leading Hotel 2013” for Kampala Serena Hotel; and “Tanzania’s Leading Hotel 2013” for the Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel.
The Khaplu Palace and Residence in Baltistan, Pakistan, restored by AKTC and opened as a heritage hotel, was highly commended in the ‘Best in poverty reduction’ category. The judges wrote: “The Aga Khan Trust for Culture… have successfully combined conservation, restoration and re-use for tourism; and the rehabilitation of cultural crafts and historical assets." Read more
The judges noted that Khilingrong Mosque in Shigar, Pakistan “has now revived traditional construction and craft techniques through a specialized skills development programme to train the local community and artisans. Not only has the project reinstated the religious function of the building, it has also reinvigorated an important public space for day-to-day social interactions among the community.”
The conservation of Hazrat Nizamuddin Baoli in New Delhi, India, won second prize in the Conservation of Heritage category. The well is over seven centuries old and portions had collapsed.
Habib Bank Limited.
Habib Bank Ltd (HBL) was the winning bank of the Best Retail Bank in Pakistan Award at the 12th International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards. Read more
Nation Media Group: Mwananchi Communications Ltd dominated the 2012 Excellence in Journalism Awards Tanzania, scooping 12 of the available 19 prizes. The Citizen's Chief Reporter, Mr Lucas Liganga, won the overall Journalist of the Year award.
Khaplu Palace after the restoration work, Khaplu, Pakistan.
The restoration of Altit Fort in Hunza, in Pakistan Gilgit-Baltistan province, an Aga Khan Trust for Culture project undertaken by the Aga Khan Cultural Service, received an Award of Distinction at the 2011 UNESCO Asian-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. Read more
AKDN was selected as a Devex Top 40 Development Innovator, based on a poll of thousands of global development professionals who are part of Devex, the largest network of aid and relief workers in the world. "Devex Top 40 Development Innovators is an impressive listing of the world’s leading donor agencies and foundations, development consulting companies, implementing NGOs, and advocacy groups," says the citation. Read more
For the ninth consecutive time, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture has won a UNESCO Asia Pacific Cultural Heritage Award for its conservation efforts in Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan province. The Gulabpur Khanqah in Shigar valley, Skardu, Baltistan, was awarded the Asia-Pacific Award of Distinction in Cultural Heritage.
The citation for the restoration of Ali Gohar House in Ganish, Hunza, Pakistan, observed that “the project has had a catalytic impact on the growing movement favouring community-led conservation of local heritage in northern Pakistan.”
The Talloires Network and the MacJannet Foundation awarded their first annual MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship to the Urban Health Program based at the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan. This innovative and long-standing programme run by Aga Khan University’s Department of Community Health Sciences provides critical health and socio-economic support to the squatter settlements of Karachi. While its impact has been far-reaching in several areas, it has had a notable effect on malnutrition, which has been cut by half in programme areas.
The citation for the Shigar Historic Settlements and Bazaar Area, in Baltistan, Pakistan, said that “the project has achieved an overall urban upgrade of services and infrastructure that sensitively addresses the holistic needs of the community and sensitively fits in with the traditional setting. Key historic buildings have been restored and now anchor the traditional townscape, kindling pride of place in both older and younger generations alike.”
The Building and Construction Improvement Program (BACIP) – a built environment improvement initiative by the Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan – was selected as the best of 800 entries in Pakistan for the World Energy Globe Award. In 2007, the Alternate Energy Development Board was selected for the award for Pakistan.
Surrounded by beautiful gardens and cherry orchards this former fort of the 17th century Raja of Shigar has been transformed into a 20-room heritage hotel, Serena Shigar Fort. The project combined the preservation and re-use of a significant historical and architectural site, with a commitment to socially responsible tourism and promoting economic development in Shigar Valley.
AKDN / courtesy of Serena Hotels Pakistan
The Shigar Fort Residence, which was restored by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and which is now operated as a small hotel by the Serena Hotels (a company of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development), received the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Award in the "Best for conservation of cultural heritage" category.
From the citation: "For the sensitive restoration of this historic building and its development as a hotel which has placed the property once again at the heart of the community as a cultural and economic asset bringing employment, microenterprise opportunities, and social and cultural empowerment for local men and women." Read more
Serena Hotels received a Skål International Ecotourism Award in the Global Corporate Establishments category, which includes contributions made towards the conservation of nature and the environment, the conservation of cultural heritage, community involvement and benefits, educational features and innovation. Skål International, the largest organisation of travel and tourism professionals in the world, initiated the Ecotourism awards programme in 2002 in an effort to encourage the conservation of the environment and help to promote sustainable practices in the tourism industry.
The Dubai International Award for Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment gave the Best Practices Transfers award to the Aga Khan Planning and Building Services for "tangible impact resulting from the transfer of one or more of the following: ideas, skills, processes, knowledge or expertise, and technology; changes in policies or practices and sustainability of the transfer as part of a continuous process of learning and change". The selection of 12 winners was made from a list of 48 initiatives, which had been short-listed out of nearly 500 submissions.
AKDN / Christian Richters
The Project for Public Spaces, which helps people turn their public spaces into vital community places, has selected Azhar Park as one of the "60 of the World's Best Places". From the citation: "In transforming such a large part of Cairo, which was for so long used as an open dump, the impact of Al-Azhar Park on the city is tremendous. It has been planned with a multitude of activities in mind and incorporates a conceptualised hilltop lookout kiosk, a children's play area, an amphitheatre and stage, playing fields, a viewing plaza and a historical wall promenade."
In the Kyrgyz Republic, the introduction of shift systems, satellite kindergartens and jailoo (pasture) kindergartens by the Aga Khan Foundation has increased access to Early Childhood Development in Osh and Naryn districts to 17% percent above the national average.
AKDN / Jean-Luc Ray
When the Aga Khan Foundation learned that many rural Kyrgyz children were missing out on kindergarten during the annual migration to the jailoo, or high pastures, for four to five months a year, it supported a programme to bring early childhood education to the mountains. The yurt kindergartens have since become exceptionally popular in the jailoo and even caught the notice of World Challenge, which nominated the programme as one of 12 finalists for its annual award. Read more
The Lifetime Achievement Award of the second cycle of the Prince Sultan bin Salman Award for Urban Heritage was presented to the Aga Khan Trust for Culture for “AKTC’s widely recognised efforts in attending to urban heritage through many venues and activities” (Award citation). The ceremony was presided over by HRH Prince Khaled al-Faisal, Governor of the Makkah region, in the presence of HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman.
The Urban Heritage Award was created because "urban heritage conservation is a national necessity as it represents the identity of the society and the originality of its history," according to the organisers.
In 2008 the AKDN, in partnership with the Afghan Government, began the restoration of the Ikhtyaruddin Citadel in Herat.
AKDN / Simon Norfolk
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture's work in the restoration of Herat, Afghanistan received a UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Award of Excellence. UNESCO selected the project for demonstrating "the important role of cultural revitalisation as an integral part of the process towards establishing normalcy in a post-conflict situation. The restoration works display a high level of artisanship and a commitment to the use of traditional materials, leading to a positive impact in reviving the traditional construction system as well as local building trades. The community-led project has clarified the reading of the historic cityscape, strengthened the social fabric, and renewed Herat’s spirit of place." Another Trust project, the Shigar Historic Settlements and Bazaar Area, in Baltistan, Pakistan, received an Award of Merit. Read more
Pakistan - The Altit Settlement in Gilgit was said to display “an exemplary approach to integrated heritage conservation that has ensured the safeguarding of the historic village setting along with the improvement of the quality of life of local residents.”
Pakistan - The Astana of Syed Mir Yahya, Skardu received the Award “for rescuing an important local religious landmark on the brink of ruin in a modest and culturally appropriate manner.”
The First MicroFinance Bank’s client, Ms Sifat Gul from Gharam Chashma, Chitral won the “Best National Micro-Entrepreneur Award Female” at the Citi-PPAF Micro-entrepreneurship Awards ceremony in Islamabad. Dr Ishrat Hussain, former Governor State Bank of Pakistan was the Chief Guest for the occasion where Sifat Gul was awarded a cash prize of Rs. 115,000.
The objective of the Citi-PPAF Micro-entrepreneurship Awards Programme 2007 is to illustrate and promote the effective role that micro-finance plays in poverty alleviation. It recognises the extraordinary contributions that individual micro-entrepreneurs have made to the economic sustainability of their families and communities.
The Aga Khan Music Initiative (now Programme) received an Honourable Mention in the 2007 Travel + Leisure Global Innovation Awards. From the citation: "Recognising the vital role music has played in the cultures of Central Eurasia and the Middle East, and fearing its increasing fragility in the face of rapid modernisation throughout the region, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture established the Aga Khan Music Initiative in Central Asia in 2000. By setting up music schools throughout the region and supporting a worldwide touring programme, the Trust aims to preserve Central Asia’s musical heritage by ensuring its transmission to a new generation of artists and audiences - both inside the region and beyond its borders." Read more
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture was awarded another Best of Asia award for its restoration of Babur's Gardens in Kabul, Afghanistan.
From the citation: "When the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, in collaboration with the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, began to restore the gardens in 2002, they decided to honour Babur's original instructions. His grave now lies open to the sky, encircled by a delicate, carved marble screen and surrounded by fruit trees full of songbirds. The rest of the 4.5-hectare garden, which once served as a temporary refuge for civilians displaced by war, has been returned to its former glory. The complex system of water canals that channel rainfall from the surrounding hills has been rebuilt, turning the sere hillside into a verdant oasis. Graceful saplings have replaced the great chinar trees that were felled for firewood, and the fountains burble once again with clean water. There are even plans to turn the elegant European pavilion built by Amir Abdur Rahman Khan in the late 1800s into a restaurant. On Fridays, the start of the Muslim weekend, the gardens are thronged with picnicking families who come to enjoy classical concerts much like the performances that enhanced the former Emperor's idylls. Finally, one can see why Babur wanted this to be his last resting place."
The Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan received the World Habitat Award for its efforts to improve housing conditions in Pakistan through its Building and Construction Improvement Programme (BACIP). The programme has developed low-cost, seismic-resistant, energy and resource-efficient housing construction methods and standards, benefiting more than 50,000 people by 2006. BACIP has been listed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)-Global Environmental Facility/ Small Grants Programme as an example of best practice. Read more.
The Shigar Fort Palace received the Award of Excellence in the UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation. The Shigar Fort has been converted, through adaptive re-use, into a small hotel.
From the commendation: “The Award of Excellence winner, Shigar Fort Palace (Skardu, Northern Areas, Pakistan) was commended for setting a high-profile precedent for a sustainable modern reuse of heritage structures in Pakistan. The adaptation into a boutique hotel has strategically capitalised on the complex’s authentic local architecture and dramatic setting in the Karakoram mountains to create a unique destination for visitors. Through a holistic community development approach, multiplier effects from the project have benefited the local villagers in form of job creation, upgrade of shared infrastructure and water supply, and renewed pride in the area’s rich crafts and intangible heritage traditions."
The Indian village of Karan, in the Gujarat's taluka of Siddhpur, received the "Nirmal Gram" Award. The project to make the village "nirmal" (clean) was undertaken by the Aga Khan Planning and Building Services (AKPBS), India, with the full cooperation of the Patan district's rural development committee. Karan has a population of 766 people and 130 families. Each home now has a toilet facility and underground sewerage. There have also been changes in common practice that have led to improved health.
The restoration and re-use of Shigar Fort Palace by the Aga Khan Cultural Services Pakistan won a Gold Award in the Heritage and Culture category of the Pacific Asia Travel Association.
The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme in Pakistan won the Global Development Award for Most Innovative Development Project. The award, which was announced at the Seventh Annual Global Development Conference held in St. Petersburg, Russia, was given to the development projects that are judged to have the greatest potential for benefiting the poor in developing countries. Read more
The Aga Khan Planning and Building Service in Pakistan (AKPBS,P) was named the 2005 winner of the $1 million Alcan Prize for Sustainability by the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum. It received the award for its efforts to improve Pakistan’s built environment and water and sanitation facilities. Launched in 1997, the programme's aim is to reduce the risk of water-borne diseases through the provision of potable water as well as improved hygiene and sanitation practices. The success of this programme has led to a partnership between AKPBS,P and the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund. As a result, the programme has been replicated in several other areas with the support of donors and partners. Read more
The Azhar Park project in Cairo won the Global Vision Innovation Award from Travel + Leisure Magazine. From the citation: "Our judges were drawn to the extraordinarily multifaceted approach of this project: Al-Azhar provides leisure and recreational space to a city that has little; acts as an engine of social and economic development for neighbouring residents; and is a catalyst for historic preservation. In a city where the amount of green space per resident was roughly the size of a footprint, Al-Azhar is a much-needed green lung for Cairo's 17 million inhabitants... Al-Azhar has proven to be one of the most significant urban renewal efforts in recent history."
The First MicroFinance Bank Ltd (FMFB) in Pakistan was awarded one of five top Financial Transparency Awards in a competition sponsored by the World Bank-affiliated Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP). The winners were selected from 175 applications sent in from 57 countries. The Bank had the distinction of being the youngest institution to get the top award. FMFB had also earned an “Honourable Mention” in 2004.
Two entrepreneurs supported by the First MicroFinanceBank Ltd (FMFB), Pakistan won the Global Microentrepreneurship Award in a ceremony jointly organised by the United Nations Capital Development Fund, the Citigroup Foundation and Pakistan National Committee for 2005 International Microcredit.
Selection for the Award was made by an independent panel comprised of experts from UNDP, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), Citigroup Foundation and Harvard Business School. One hundred and ten successful case studies were evaluated and 16 shortlisted before eight finalists were chosen. FMFB was the only institution with two entrepreneurs winning first prize.
In 2004, FMFB entrepreneurs had received first and second prizes and two runner-up prizes.
The Amburiq Mosque, the first mosque built in Baltistan, received a UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Conservation Award of Merit. The project was praised for its "sensitive conservation programme which was undertaken by the Aga Khan Cultural Services Pakistan. The building and its courtyard have now been returned to modern use as a community museum, giving renewed life to one of the region’s historically and socially significant structures."
The conservation of Baltit Fort, and the stabilisation of the historic core of the village of Karimabad in the Hunza Valley, were the Trust's first major interventions in Pakistan.
AKDN / Christopher Wilton-Steer
The restoration of Baltit Fort in the Hunza Valley of Pakistan appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine (27 June 2005, Asian edition) in a roundup of the "Best of Asia". It won the "Best Restored Treasure" award. TIME said that "seven hundred years' worth of earthquakes, avalanches and neglect had turned it into a rubble-strewn heap, prompting the Mir to turn it over to the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in 1989. The charitable foundation embarked on a restoration, which took six years and more than $3 million - and the results are stunning." Read more
The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme in Pakistan has won an Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy for "outstanding and innovative renewable energy projects". The Award was given for the innovative use of mini hydroelectric plants, called micro-hydels.
The Ashden Award cited the sustainable and eco-friendly solution: "Unlike dams, which invariably damage the local eco-system, the micro-hydel technology used by AKRSP involves simply digging a narrow channel to divert water along a hillside and into a pipe, creating enough pressure to turn a turbine and so produce 20 -100kw of power."
Over 180 micro-hydel units supplying electricity to 50 percent of the population of Chitral, Pakistan had been built by 2005. The projects are implemented, maintained and managed by the communities themselves.
The restored Baltit Fort is an iconic marker of the cultural heritage of Gilgit-Baltistan.
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture won the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Conservation Award for Excellence for its restoration of the Baltit Fort, Pakistan. From the citation: “The restoration of the majestic 700-year-old Baltit Fort exemplifies excellence in conservation practice applied to large-scale monuments. This challenging project was the first of its kind in northern Hunza. By demonstrating that historic structures can be saved, restored and recycled for continued use in the community, the Baltit Fort project is a model for the revitalisation of historic structures throughout the northern regions of Pakistan. In this project, the historic wood and masonry structure was carefully repaired using a combination of traditional local knowledge and state-of-the-art conservation techniques. The fort's restoration has fostered the local revival of traditional building trades, while an associated handicrafts project provides improved livelihood opportunities in the area. In its new use as a cultural centre and museum, the Baltit Fort attracts thousands of visitors to the province and has contributed to reinvigorating the local community's pride in their heritage".
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture won a UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Conservation Award for the astana (historic tomb) of Syed Mir Muhammad in Khanqah Settlement. The citation describes the "noteworthy restoration of the 300-year old mausoleum... which returns an important architectural and community landmark to its former prominence in the northern Pakistan highland settlement of Khaplu. The building’s aged patina and historic character have been carefully retained through skilful and sensitive conservation techniques."
The Awards are designed to "recognise the efforts and contributions of individuals and organisations within the private sector, including private-public partnerships, who have successfully restored and conserved structures and buildings of heritage value in the Asia-Pacific region".
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture won a UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Conservation Award for the Ganish settlement projects. From the award citation: “The restoration of four 300-year old wooden mosques in the Hunza Valley has successfully revitalised the village “chataq”, the traditional public heart of the Ganish historic settlement. Initiated and undertaken by the villagers, with professional guidance, the project has rebuilt community spirit in an authentic rural village which has undergone major socio-economic change and natural disasters over the years.
"The restrained conservation approach has stabilised the buildings which were in danger of collapse, while retaining the rich historic patina and showcasing the intricate detailing of the structures. Modern materials were selectively incorporated alongside the use of traditional materials and techniques. The preservation of the surrounding buildings and infrastructural improvements was sensitively executed, consequently strengthening the traditional urban fabric while upgrading the quality of life of the residents. The project presents an outstanding example of a community-led initiative strategically facilitated by outside support.”
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture was the British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Award Global Winner. From the citation: "The Aga Khan Trust for Culture has restored the prime historic landmark of the 700 year old Baltit Fort on the terraced slopes in Hunza, in Northern Pakistan. The main theme of the project is to preserve this setting despite natural decay and the inevitable impact of recent changes, such as urbanisation which has begun to threaten the integrity of the built heritage. The Fort is now a museum and cultural centre. Moreover, culturally and environmentally compatible small enterprises are being promoted which provide gift items, local woollen rugs and hand-knotted vegetable dye carpets for visitors.
"These activities are playing a major part in reinvigorating the traditional community spirit and restoring the residents' pride of their heritage. A self-paying waste management project has been set up to safely dispose of human waste and garbage. The project now attracts over 20,000 visitors, half of which are from outside the country. Access to the Fort is limited to pedestrians and only 25 visitors are allowed at any one time. To reduce the pressure on the environment there is a break from tourists during the 4-5 months of winter."