HF-NSN-Nokia Program: Recrafting Destiny

• Introduction
• Challenges
• Opportunities


HF-NSN-Nokia Partnership was begun in April 2006 to undertake rehabilitation of selected mountainous communities, i.e. Kodar and Jabbar cluster of villages.

The partnership’s underlying strategy is to make people “self–reliant” believing in “Give a person a fish; he/she will eat for a day. Teach him/her the art to catch fish; he/she will eat for all his/her life”.

Thus focusing on heritage, culture and traditions as assets, identity and pride on the basis of indigenous knowledge and at the same time creating linkages for establishing a number of livelihood channels for the people, the programme envisages safeguarding and conservation of tangible and intangible heritage for development and improved quality of life.

The programme has received extraordinary support from the executives of Nokia and NSN in achieveing its heritage-related objectives. The deep and personal involvment of Mr. Veqar ul Islam, Cluster Head, NSN (formerly Country Manager, Nokia), Ms. Atifa Asghar, Branding Marcoms & NSN Channels, Saudi, Gulf, Pakistan, NSN (formerly of Nokia), Ms. Micheline Ntiru, Nokia/Sandton and Mr. Adnan Hafeez, NSN (formerly of Nokia), has enabled Heritage Foundation's Yasmeen Lari, to devise project objectives and programmes which engage and benefit the community, helping them to become self-reliant.

Self–Reliance strategy has been devised as follows:
At Organizational Level: Every effort is taken to create a link with the cultural heritage and traditions in such a way that not only people feel proud to own them but also preserve and keep it alive through learning about it.

At Program Level: Creating awareness and teaching local people those skills, which not only help to establish and maintain a strong relationship to preserve culture and heritage assets but also provide a means of generating income and thus opting for a better standard of life.

NSN-Nokia have provided generous support for this program along with provision of 3 vehicles. The program has achieved considerable progress, particularly in encouraging community participation. Due to the extended emergency period when aid and grants were being provided to the affected people, it was difficult to preach the message of self-reliance. However, through a sustained effort the communities in Jabbar and Kodar are coming forward to collaborate in a spirit of partnership to achieve improved living conditions for themselves.

The success of women’s empowerment program has led to large-scale involvment of men in the area. The women's programme comprising traditional beadwork has received promotional assistance from Nokia International through the Ms. Riccarda Zezza, Ms. Sussana Hietala, and Ms. Riita Ruskio, among others. The programme is deeply appreciative of all those who are helping the community in achieveing self reliance and self respect.


The area was chosen because of the challenges that existed in the villages of Kodar and Jabbar, situated at 6000 feet above sea level. We felt that, inspite of the difficulties, we were needed to make a difference. During the first year when the rehabilitation phase was taken in hand, there were many difficulties. However, as inroads were made into the community, it became possible to encourage community participation.

Difficult Terrain

• Difficult Access, Remote, Hilly Areas
• Unmetalled Roads
• Landslides

Aggressive Weather

• Heavy snowfall from November to March
• Monsoon rains July-August; rains fhroughout year hampering progress
• Road blockages with boulders thwarting access

Cartage of Material Over Long Distances

• Cartage of concrete/brick materials over long distance
• Delayed deliveries due to inclement weather
• Delayed deliveries due to transport shortages

Difficulty in Procuring Local Materials

Increased in price for local materials e.g. Stone and wood

Lack of Electric Power

• Reliance on generators
• Frequent breakdowns
• Low Voltage (since April 2007)

Loss of Work Ethic in Local Workforce

• Low productivity
• Frequent holidays
• Low level of understanding re construction work

Lack of Assistance from Community/Government

• High community expectations for getting everything free after President of Pakistan visited in April 2006
• Interest of local political leaders to get construction contract (instead of our objective to involve local workforce)
• Lack of support from Government Agencies

Non-availability of Suitable Supervisory Staff

• Shortage of Engineers/Architects etc. in the area

Marginalized Communities

• Low literacy levels (1% literacy among adults)
• Rampant poverty
• Tenancy status – low percentage of land ownership
• Isolated communities
• Lack of social cohesion
• Low confidence levels
• Lack of opportunities
• Dependency on aid since earthquake
• Lack of motivation
• Subsistence farming - only corn and wheat cultivation
• Low health status – women and children highly vulnerable
• Earthquake trauma unattended to

Environmental Degradation

• Low Tree Coverage resulting in Landslides
• Changes in Water Courses
• Polluted Water Channels
• Lack of Sanitation Facilities
• Lack of Sewerage and Drainage


Because of the extreme conditions in the area, we felt that there were opportunities which should be taken up for the benefit of the community. Because of the isolated nature of the area, it became incumbent upon us to encourage community participation as well as provide the necessary linkages with the outside world. The low literacy and health levels, lack of opportunities and a degraded environment all need attention for their empowerment, with particular focus on women and children of the area for a brighter future.

Implement Poverty alleviation mechanism based on local heritage, crafts, culture & traditions
Rejuvenate affected communities through sustainable socio- economic development
Strengthen relevance of culture for social cohesion in community
Empower women through livelihoods based on craft and traditional ways of doing
Create pro-poor community-based culture- and eco-tourism for large-scale community benefits