BISP is going to initiate a “University Poverty Graduation Buddy Programme” that would link youth with the poorest vulnerable women of Pakistan with the aim to help them graduate out of poverty .Under this partnership, university students would help BISP beneficiaries in identifying their potential, fine tune their abilities and guide them on sustainable solutions to the challenges faced by them. This was stated by Minister of State and Chairperson BISP MNA Marvi Memon in a meeting on poverty graduation at BISP headquarters.

Under this initiative, HEC enlisted universities across Pakistan have been asked to nominate 20 students each to participate in the competition in which students will be linked with BISP beneficiaries in the areas near to the participating universities. One student will pair up with one beneficiary. The student will evaluate the potential of BISP beneficiary and help her in overcoming challenges and constraints faced by her by suggesting viable solutions. The student will guide the beneficiary in product development and marketing skills. The student will also render help in marketing of product made by beneficiary through E-commerce, thus helping her graduate out of poverty. The student will then showcase the success in a case study to a panel of judges who will choose the best graduation model.

The Chairperson said that BISP has contributed significantly towards reducing malnutrition, poverty reduction, political and economic empowerment, school enrollment and is helping its beneficiaries graduate out of poverty .However, the talented BISP beneficiaries face several challenges like lack of information, access to opportunities, less understanding of market and exclusion. So, BISP plans to engage youth for the guidance of the beneficiaries. She appealed that universities should encourage their students to participate in this initiative, as this is not only a competition but a noble cause that would help BISP beneficiaries graduate out of poverty.

The idea of “University Poverty Graduation Buddy Programme” is derived from “Empower her”, a Maghreb Women Economic Empowerment Initiative by World Bank that is based on Hackathon model. The model seeks to identify creative ways to address constraints preventing women participation in labor force by bringing together young developers and women associations that come up with  creative solutions for  the under privileged women.