Representatives from organizations working throughout Pakistan gathered in Islamabad to celebrate the impact of initiatives supported by USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program. Since the funding program was established in 2010, grants have provided assistance to organizations working in some of the most remote and underserved geographic locations in the country and encouraged communities to participate in the local decision-making processes.
At the event, beneficiaries told their stories through music, documentary film, personal testimony, traditional arts, and sign language. Their challenges and achievements are now captured in a photo-rich book entitled “Creating Opportunities and Inspiration.”
The Ambassador’s Fund focuses on high-impact, quickly implemented, community-based initiatives. Funding priority areas have included Women’s Issues, Cultural Preservation, Entrepreneurship, Disaster Preparedness, and Wildlife Conservation. While the Small Grants Fund provided relatively larger grants in the areas of Economic Growth, Education, Energy, Health, Civic Participation, and Governance.
U.S. Ambassador Paul Jones, Charge d’Affaires, a.i., noted “The full impact of assistance sometimes takes a while to reveal itself. The most extraordinary thing about the success stories we are celebrating today is they are very likely just the beginning of a much longer tale. In many cases, the good work each of your organizations has done will continue to impact your communities well into the future in ways we may not yet imagine. ”
Roughly 200 guests including representatives from the Governments of Pakistan and the U.S., civil society representatives, development practitioners, community leaders, grant recipients, and project beneficiaries attended the event.