The Queen recognises Pakistani volunteer with Points of Light award
Islamabad: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has recognised Dr Muhammad Amjad Saqib, of Pakistan as the 31st Commonwealth Point of Light in honour of his exceptional voluntary service creating Pakistan’s largest micro-finance organisation that is benefitting hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged people.
In the lead-up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London on 19-20 April, Her Majesty The Queen – as Head of the Commonwealth – is thanking inspirational volunteers across the 53 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond.
By sharing these stories of service, the Heads of Government meeting will celebrate inspirational acts of volunteering across the Commonwealth and help inspire others to make their own contribution to tackling some of the greatest social challenges of our time.
Dr Muhammad Amjad Saqib is the founder of ‘Akhuwat’, the largest micro-finance organisation in Pakistan, which provides interest-free loans to disadvantaged people so they can develop sustainable incomes. Since its inception in 2001, Amjad has opened 700 branches in 350 cities across Pakistan, enabling over 600,000 people to become self-reliant. The charity has provided more than £345 million interest free loans while retaining a recovery rate of 99.96%, with all operational costs covered by donations. The charity also supports education initiatives, including ‘Akhuwat College’, which opened in 2015 and provides a residential facility for students who cannot afford quality education, and ‘Akhuwat University’, which will open in November 2018 as Pakistan’s first free university, supporting over 600 students.
Each Commonwealth Point of Light will receive a personalised certificate signed by Her Majesty The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth. The award for Dr Muhammad Amjad Saqib was presented today by Thomas Drew CMG, UK High Commissioner in Pakistan.
Dr Muhammad Amjad Saqib said:
“Poverty is poison. Poverty is pain. We need to rise together and make a concerted effort to reduce poverty and make this world a happy place to live in. Thanks to the Commonwealth and Points of Light for recognizing ‘Akhuwat’ and our effort for this great mission.”
The British High Commissioner Thomas Drew said:
“I am delighted to present Dr Muhammad Amjad Saqib with the Commonwealth Point of Light award for his exceptional voluntary service that has benefitted hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged people.
Her Majesty The Queen has recognised Dr Saqib as Pakistan’s Point of Light for delivering a significant impact on the lives of others. He has shown an innovative approach to a social challenge and has inspired others to make a positive change within and beyond their communities.”
The Commonwealth is a diverse community of 53 nations that work together to promote prosperity, democracy and peace. The Heads of Government meeting will bring together leaders from all the 53 Member countries to reaffirm common values, address shared global challenges and agree how to work to create a better future for all citizens, especially young people. Voluntary service is a vital part of this agenda, which is why Her Majesty The Queen has chosen to recognise outstanding volunteers across the Commonwealth in this special way.