Pakistan Sustainable Development Forum @ NYU (Past Event)

Hosted by The American Pakistan Foundation (APF) and The Pakistani Students Association at NYU

NYU Kimmel Center, 10th Floor, Rosenthal Pavilion

60 Washington Square S, New York, NY 10012

Wednesday, April 27; 6 PM

The Pakistan Sustainable Development Forum brought together leaders of Pakistan civil society that are directly contributing to the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals.  APF hosted Pakistani organizations that are serving the neediest in Pakistan by providing access to quality education, healthcare and other development opportunities.


Featured Sponsor: LRBT

LRBT through its purpose built and appropriately equipped hospitals provide comprehensive eye-care, ranging from simple refraction to the most advanced retinal surgery and corneal transplants. LRBT has highly skilled doctors supported with cutting edge technology.

Every patient, however poor, is treated with compassion and dignity. LRBT has 17 fully equipped hospitals, 39 Community Eye Care Centers and four Outreach Clinics – as a result virtually all Pakistanis are no more than 3 hours travel away from a treatment facility.  Video:

Keynote speaker:  Shazia Z. Rafi

Shazia Rafi was appointed in 1996 as Secretary-General of Parliamentarians for Global Action, the first woman to head a global parliamentary body, the first person from a developing country to do so. She served six elected terms, during her tenure PGA was instrumental in agreement and ratification of two treaties the International Criminal Court and the Arms Trade Treaty; UN agreements on Reproductive Health in Cairo and Women’s Empowerment in Beijing. For the last year and half Ms. Rafi has worked on the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 on Clean Air, Air-Quality targets and indicators.  Ms. Rafi  has a Masters from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Bachelors from Bryn Mawr College.  

Education Panel

FESF – Family Educational Services Foundation: Deaf Reach:

Richard Geary, Founder and Executive Director

Family Educational Services Foundation (FESF) is a non-profit educational organization active in Pakistan since 1984. FESF is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all members of the community, especially those who are disadvantaged.  FESF invests in educational development and provide innovative training programs and services to enable recipients to gain competency and self-sufficiency, empowering them to reach their full potential.  FESF runs seven Deaf Reach Schools located in Karachi, Hyderabad, Nawabshah, Sukkur, Tando Allahyar and Lahore, as well as one in Adana, Turkey – all centers of excellence, providing free education and skills training to thousands of deaf children. Video:

TCF – The Citizens Foundation: Zarrar Sehgal, TCF-USA President

The Citizens Foundation (TCF) is a professionally managed, non-profit organization set up in 1995 by a group of citizens who wanted to bring about positive social change through education. 20 years later, TCF is now one of Pakistan’s leading organizations in the field of education for the less privileged. TCF has 1,202 schools that educate 175,000 students.

Iqra Fund: Genevieve Chabot, Ed.D., Founder and CEO

Iqra Fund is a U.S. based nonprofit organization committed to serving girls in remote regions faced with economic, social, and political barriers to education. Our founder’s years of travel, on-the-ground research, and educational development in northern Pakistan have established a deep understanding of the unique challenges that these communities face. By working with community strengths and local leadership, Iqra Fund provides girls with educational opportunities to improve their quality of life.

DIL – Developments in Literacy: Mr. Aamer Abdullah, Developments in Literacy Advisory Board Member

Developments in Literacy (DIL) Pakistan provides quality education to underprivileged children in Pakistan, especially girls, and invests in the professional development of teachers. The organization operates 124 school campuses, enrolling close to 24,000 children across Pakistan. DIL’s Teacher Education and Management (TEaM) College trained 2,283 teachers and principals in content knowledge, pedagogy and school management in 2015 alone. This benefited some 65,000 children enrolled within and outside the DIL system.

General Development Panel

Child Life Foundation: Dr. Babur Habib, Child Life Foundation Representative and APF Board Member

Destitute children of Pakistan struggle through their childhoods with easily preventable and curable diseases because they have no access to quality and affordable healthcare. ChildLife Foundation is changing their fate. Access to quality healthcare is every child’s right, despite their family’s income and wealth. By partnering with the government of Sindh and other institutions providing healthcare to low-resource communities, ChildLife has reached out to over 600,000 children from destitute homes in just four years. The network of primary and emergency care facilities continues to grow and help numerous more families. By 2016, ChildLife’s network will be treating 1 million children annually across Pakistan.

Naya Jeevan and DoctHERs: Zulfi Jafri, Naya Jeevan Board Member and APF Ambassador

Naya Jeevan seeks to alleviate poverty in the emerging world by providing low-income families with affordable access to quality healthcare via insurance coverage. Their members include low-income workers in the corporate, academic, industrial, NGO and SME sectors.

doctHERs™ is a novel healthcare marketplace that connects female doctors to millions of underserved patients in real-time while leveraging online technology. doctHERs™ circumvents socio-cultural barriers that restrict women to their homes, while correcting two market failures: access to quality healthcare and inclusion in the professional workforce for unemployed, qualified health professionals.

CDRS – Comprehensive Disaster Response Services: Todd Shea, CEO and Founder

CDRS’s long-term objective is to permanently improve the health status of communities in Pakistan by:

  • Providing sustainable and affordable quality healthcare services
  • Addressing gaps in the healthcare system
  • Providing comprehensive health education and school health programs
  • Working with local communities to help them take a leadership role in funding/managing their healthcare needs in partnership with the existing but limited government health apparatus

The CDRS Mother & Child Health Center in Bagh Deri Swat, serves an average of 1,350 men, women and children with primary and preventive care every month. CDRS began operating in Swat with mobile medical teams during the 2010 Great Flood, when the only nearby medical facility was completely washed away.  

HDF – Human Development Foundation: Maria Hashmi, Director of Development

The Human Development Foundation is a non-profit organization that was established in 1997 by a group of visionary Pakistani expatriates. HDF’s mission is to facilitate a non-political movement for positive social change and community empowerment. Since 1997, HDF has been successfully fighting extreme poverty in Pakistan through a unique, holistic model of development, working  directly with communities, empowering them to lead their own progress. Since its establishment, HDF’s programs have benefited over 1 million men, women and children throughout Pakistan’s provinces.   HDF’s holistic model  includes programs in 5 key areas. Social Mobilization, Education & Literacy, Primary Health Care, Economic Development, and Sustainable Environment.

Intersections International: US-Pakistan Interreligious Consortium (UPIC):

Imtashal Tariq, Global Peacemaking

Intersections International leads people to unite across lines of difference in mutual pursuit of social justice, globally and locally. We create safe space at the crossroads of some of our world’s most critical conflicts, engaging dissimilar communities in dialogue, service, advocacy and artistic expression. Together, we work toward a just world-united in diversity.

UPIC brings religious and academic scholars from the US and Pakistan together to foster mutual respect and shared goals for the future. In conjunction with university partners in Pakistan and the US, this important alliance addresses political and social concerns for citizens of both countries, looking to interreligious dialogue and academic exchange as primary strategies to forge productive relationships.  UPIC also funds development projects on the ground.