PROGRAMS & PROJECTS
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FADIN school of Fashion Technology Education for girls
Fashion Apparel Design and Training Institute (FADIN) is a Fashion Design Management and Artisan training school for girls which is a philanthropically funded and supported by the local government in Karachi, Pakistan. Ambreen Khan, one of the founders of Empyrean Foundation, has been involved with the school as a creator of the program, principal, and an educator in fashion technology, textile, and artisan training for ten years.
FADIN school of fashion offer underprivileged girls from the city and rural areas an opportunity to learn the skills in the areas of fashion, apparel design, design management, and textile with 1-2 years of diploma courses. We have trained more than 5000 girls over the last several years and planning to increase the numbers through outreach and expanding the facility. Empyrean Foundation helps the girls with 100% funding through philanthropic contribution, and other donations - in some case raise money for stipends for the students where the students are the chief earners for their respective families and have to take time away from any form of work. The goal is to prepare young girls to enter the local job market with skills or start small businesses and generate sustainable income, in many cases, for their families. Roughly about 70% of the graduates work in the fashion and apparel market. Using FADIN as the local base for educating girls from impoverished and underprivileged backgrounds is part of the Empyrean Foundation's mission to empower women and girls, and hone in on their artistic skills. Additionally, we provide life coaching and counseling to help adjust to the changing economic and social landscape as a result of starting a new business or a job.
Artisan intervention and training program for rural Pakistan
Empyrean Foundation has been working with local partners such as BRAC and AKRSP in Pakistan since 2014 on consulting, and artisan training, and crafts intervention projects. BRAC is one of the biggest international development organization in the world. Aga Khan Rural Support Program provides program is one of the largest non-profits in world supporting programs across Asia and Africa.
The province of Baluchistan is situated in the southwestern part of Pakistan Baluchistan and has a long tradition of local handicrafts and embroidery inspired by local traditions. Baluchistan also has a large population living in extreme poverty, mostly living in the rural areas. Empyrean working with BRAC has helped develop a program, a first of its kind, focused on training local women and girls in artisan craft and taking their work to the market. We have prepared 450 females in indigenous handicraft with coursework in marketing and merchandising. As part of this program, we have helped establish seven production centers managed and run by the already trained artisans.
Empyrean Gilgit/Baltistan Craft Intervention & Educational Program
Empyrean is working on developing a craft intervention program for the region of Gilgit/Baltistan, and Skardu (Shangrila). Gilgit geographically located in the northern part of Pakistan is right in the shadow of the Karakoram mountain range including K2.
The Empyrean Gilgit/Baltistan Artisan Training and Educational program focus conducted training in fashion design & production; artisan training focused on dress-making, education on forecasting market trends in the apparel industry. We have more than 300 graduates from the program who have now entered the local work market. One of the keys to the success of the program was Empyrean's knowledge of local customs and demographics, and the ability to conduct outreach with communities not familiar with the artisan industry as a viable means of earning a living wage. The success of this program also underscores the resilient nature of the local women and girls and their desire to strive for social and economic empowerment.
Our upcoming projects include new artisan craft production centers focused on sustainable income for women in the Hunza Valley, creating micro-industries for women within Agricultural sectors, and Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs for the rural communities. More to come on these projects in the coming months.
Artisan Program for South Asian LGBTQ
Empyrean Foundation is currently working on developing a program, which is the first of its kind in South Asia, to provide apparel design and artisan training to the transgender population. We are working with a local NGO that supports the transgender community in Karachi, Pakistan, to help perform outreach and provide support in developing a pilot program to be launched in late 2018/2019.
Transgender community in South Asia is one of the most underprivileged, and often victimized members of the society along with being a sexual minority. In recent years country's legislative branch has made strides to provide protections to the community in the form of voting, inheritance, and other civil rights. Local nonprofit organizations like Interactive Gender Alliance have been providing support for the local LGBTQ by offering them legal advisory and shelter. Empyrean Foundation is working on developing a pilot to conduct outreach, raise funds to support the students and provide industry connections to ensure decent employment. We are planning to launch an artisan intervention and training program in Spring of 2019.