Shimshal Trust

The Shimshal Trust

photo of Shimshal
Shimshal Village

Aims

  1. To fund self-sustaining development projects in the Northern Areas of Pakistan.  These projects will be educational or economic and should benefit a sector of or a whole community. All projects will be acceptable to the village council.
  2. To raise awareness in New Zealand of the differences between life in New Zealand and life in Pakistan.
  3. To encourage links of friendship between New Zealand and Pakistan.

The Shimshal Trust was established in 2002 by a small group of friends who had recently visited the isolated and beautiful village of Shimshal in the Karakoram Mountains of Northern Pakistan. The village is in transition from subsistence farming to a cash economy, with the introduction of a road to the main Karakoram Highway in the same year.

Because of its isolation, change has been slow in coming to the inhabitants of  Shimshal village, but the Shimshali are enthusiastic about education. Many of their young people leave the village to work 'down country' and their contribution to the village economy is essential. To get work, they need schooling.

The Trust decided to help the village students by setting up a scholarship fund. We have spent the following few years working with the village council and the students to make the system helpful and workable.

Our Trust handles only small amounts of money but we enjoy our relationship with the village, and we feel we can contribute to improving the educational prospects of the villagers, and increasing understanding of Pakistan and its people. To this end we sell greetings cards and have published two books about the village.

As well as helping students with money for university and school, we fund special projects such as the small school we helped build. Our current project is a craft centre for village women so that they have the opportunity to work outside the home.

Shimshali are Ismaili Muslims acknowledging the Aga Khan as their spiritual leader.

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