AKFC impact report


Around the world, millions of women and men fall short of what they could achieve, because they are locked out of opportunity.

In 2012, the Government of Canada and Aga Khan Foundation Canada launched an unprecedented $100-million partnership to tackle the root causes of poverty in Africa and Asia.

The partnership built on more than 30 years of collaboration between AKFC and the Canadian government, and the dedication of the tens of thousands of Canadians who support AKFC.

Our vision was clear: a more equal and prosperous future, where everyone can reach their full potential.

Since then, this partnership has unlocked opportunity for a million people… and counting.


Learn about the partnership’s impact

Quality Health Care

Strong health systems are the backbone of strong societies.

Thanks to this partnership, healthcare professionals at all levels now have the tools they need to do their job: save lives. This is a result of training opportunities and improvements to health facilities. But patients and their families also need to know what services are available and what they can do to improve their own health.

Each year, an average of 248,000 people have benefited from local health awareness campaigns and better medical services. Vulnerable populations – especially women and girls – in Afghanistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, and Tajikistan have a chance to live to their full potential. Canadian support got us here.

  • 368,000 women benefited from maternal health services
  • 32,349 health professionals and volunteers trained to promote good health
  • 1 in a Million: Vafo's story
  • Health Care Prevention
  • Dr. Rukhshona
  • Midwives provide care during pregnancy and childbirth
  • e-health technology

Specialized healthcare training – Yasmin’s story

Yasmin Story

Yasmin is an X-ray technician at the medical centre in Booni, Pakistan. She traveled more than 1,000 km south to Karachi, to train in computer radiography.

Her medical centre also received new X-ray equipment, which provides faster and more accurate results. With her new skills and equipment, Yasmin can see – and help diagnose – more patients in a day.

Getting the diagnosis right saves time, resources, and lives.

Yasmin’s colleagues in other departments, like surgery and obstetrics, also completed training and received upgraded equipment.

More than 5,685 professionals like Yasmin and her colleagues were trained to improve their skills, from basic health care to specialized procedures.


white arrow
The barriers to good health remain high in Central Asia, especially for women and vulnerable members of society. Further investments can ensure that children, adolescents, and women get the information and care they need to survive – and thrive.
Strong Education Systems

School enrollment in East Africa is higher than ever.

But children only learn when they have good teachers, stimulating classrooms, and a strong school system that meets the needs of all children.

With Canadian support, we have unlocked the potential of more than 330,000 girls and boys in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda:

  • Parents and teachers are now better equipped to nurture children’s minds from an early age.
  • Girls and boys have more equal opportunities as they progress through school.
  • 23,857 parents and education leaders learned how to promote quality education
  • More than 330,000 girls and boys are getting a better education
  • 1 in a Million: Acidiri's story
  • Preschool Students in Uganda
  • Teacher Training College
  • Community Library
  • AKU

To learn and grow in Tanzania – Consolata’s story

Consolata is the deputy head teacher at Maji Maji primary school in Nachingwea, Tanzania.

Through an Aga Khan University training program, she learned new leadership skills and updated teaching techniques.

Consolata has been a teacher for 19 years. She now creates lesson plans that are more active, so that her students can learn by participating in class, instead of rote learning.

“I believe with a better education, they are able to lay the foundation for change,” she says. “Both in their lives… and for the whole of Africa.”

We trained more than 3,700 preschool and primary school teachers like Consolata, making their classrooms a richer place to learn and grow.


white arrow
By investing in education at all levels – from the ABCs to advanced degrees – we can break down the gender and social barriers to quality education. This lays the foundation for long-term equality and success.
Gender Equality

You can’t sit on a chair that has two legs, or drive a car with two tires…

…and you can’t fight poverty if you leave half the population behind.

Empowered women and girls can unlock new opportunities for themselves and their communities. But gender barriers and social norms limit choices and rights – for boys and men, too – and stand in the way of growth that works for everyone.

With Canadian support, this partnership helped women and girls work towards a brighter future. It amplified their voices in their homes, workplaces, and communities… and positioned them to lead.

  • 79,761 women, men, and children are benefitting from community initiatives to improve gender equality
  • 2,253 female educators and 3,461 female doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals received upgraded skills and training
  • 1 in a Million: Gul'dana's story
  • Local Farmer Support
  • Teacher Mwinyikai
  • Male Community Health

Shifting gender norms – Zahida’s story


Zahida didn’t have the support she needed when she was pregnant. This motivated her to become the first midwife to serve her village of Maulabad, Pakistan.

Today, she makes house calls and runs a small clinic. But she does more than care for pregnant women and young children: she works to shift the local gender norms that put their health at risk.

In this conservative region, most couples live with the husband’s parents. They are the ones who usually make healthcare decisions for the whole family. Zahida visits them at home, to help them understand the importance of proper care before, during, and after childbirth.

As a role model for young girls in her community, Zahida is not only saving lives today. She is setting new standards for the women of tomorrow.


white arrow
Women and girls continue to face discrimination and violence around the world. By partnering with gender equality organizations and leaders across Africa and Asia, we can unlock the potential of women and girls, and tackle the challenges that hold everyone back.

Community Leadership

In every neighborhood, there are people with a vision for a better future.

They know what their community needs, but they don’t always have the tools and resources to make it happen.

When citizens unite around their shared values and interests, we call it civil society. With Canadian support, we have mobilized civil society across Africa and Asia. Together we identify the barriers facing their communities – like climate change or gender inequality – and take action to break them down.

  • We collaborated with 168 grassroots organizations to tackle local issues.
  • 246,673 people are benefiting from community-led initiatives.
  • Health Committee
  • Parents in Uganda
  • Tema Hamese
  • Niger River Fishing

Leading change in her community – Cholpan’s story

Community Leadership

For Cholpan’s family, like many in the Kyrgyz Republic, agriculture is the main source of income – one that has been put at risk by climate change.

In her village of Dobolu, our local partners brought together a working group of 12 citizens to learn about environmental issues. They learned how they can take action to counteract the impacts of climate change.

Cholpan was elected to lead the group’s activities, including a project to construct a series of irrigation channels. As water becomes scarce in the region, the channels allow the community to direct the flow coming off the surrounding mountains. This evenly distributes water to irrigate crops and pasture.

Through similar community initiatives across Africa and Asia, 113,489 people now have new techniques to adapt to the changing climate.


white arrow
All over Africa and Asia, there are women and men with the drive and dedication to make their communities a better place to live. We invest in these leaders and partner with their organizations. This ensures that Canadian development efforts respond to local needs and are sustainable for the long term.
Innovation & Expertise

The development challenges we face are global – but with homegrown expertise and evidence, the solutions are local.

By tapping into Africa and Asia’s experts in fields like health and education, we are pushing the boundaries of global knowledge and making more informed decisions. This is thanks to Canadian support for higher education overseas.

Collaborations between universities in Canada and the developing world have generated new evidence for sound policy and practice, and supported the next generation of global scholars and experts. These smart investments will have a ripple effect over the long term.

  • Cardio
  • eHealth
  • UCA
  • Urban-ag

Improving daycare for children and caregivers – Salome’s story

A pilot program in Kenya launched a brighter future for preschool students and their caregivers.

Researchers at Aga Khan University in Kenya partnered with the University of Toronto to develop the program.

Under an experimental franchising model, daycare providers in Mlolongo, a poor neighbourhood in Nairobi, organized into a network. They learned about child development and small business management, with the support of local social workers.

Salome Mulandi, who lives in Mlolongo, began volunteering as a social worker for the project when she saw her 4-year-old daughter benefitting from improvements to her daycare.

This franchise model helps both caregiver and child. Children receive better care and caregivers earn a better living. The model is now being replicated in other parts of the city.


white arrow
The world is rapidly evolving, and our knowledge has to keep pace. We invest in innovation and expertise that are anchored in the developing world. This ensures we have the information and evidence we need to make good decisions for future generations.
Canada’s Global Citizens

Canada. We are a country of innovators, creators, and pioneers.

We are also a country of global citizens, living at a time when the world is facing unprecedented challenges.

Our partnership mobilized Canadians to rise to these challenges. We encouraged Canadians to think beyond our borders, with

  • concrete ways to take action at home and abroad
  • opportunities to learn more, like seminars and training
  • our one-of-a-kind “exhibition in a truck”
  • The Together exhibition traveled more than 40,000 km across Canada, and welcomed 80,597 people through its doors.
  • 90% of young Canadians who completed an overseas placement reported gaining new knowledge and skills.
  • 1 Million Lives Unlocked: Together
  • Youth Workshops
  • christine_and_girl
  • Professional development and networking
  • International Youth Fellowship

Launching careers in global development – Khadija’s story

Khadija Story

Khadija Ga’al entered AKFC’s fellowship program with the goal of someday becoming a project manager in the development sector.

She was placed with Aga Khan Foundation in Kenya. Here she worked to support programs in the country’s vulnerable coastal region.

“I have a lot of great mentors in this office,” says Khadija, who moved to Canada from Somalia as a child. “People I can go to, ask questions. People who have been doing this for 20 or 30 years.”

Khadija is one of 114 young Canadians who were placed overseas through this partnership. She says her 8-month fellowship confirmed her commitment to a career in global development. She looks forward to someday applying her new skills and knowledge to improve lives in her “other” home: Somalia.


white arrow
Today, more than ever, Canada’s inclusive values are needed on the world stage. With the right opportunities and knowledge, we can harness our country’s skills and resources to make a meaningful, lasting impact globally.

Canada and Canadians

Unlocking potential around the world


This partnership has transformed a million lives in Africa and Asia – but it is Canadian to its core.

It is a unique partnership with Canada and Canadians from coast-to-coast.

Every year, Canadians mobilize to raise funds for AKFC’s programs to improve lives across Africa and Asia. Our dedicated volunteers and fundraisers lead the charge in their workplaces and communities, to organize walks, golf tournaments, and other fundraising activities.

We also partner with Canadian institutions – from universities to businesses to other development organizations – to strengthen our efforts worldwide.

AKFC works in collaboration with the Government of Canada to set long-term, strategic priorities. Together, we invest in programs that will pay dividends for decades to come… unlocking the potential of millions more women and men, girls and boys.



  • Since 1980, Canada and AKFC have partnered on 184 programs to improve global development in 19 countries - benefiting millions of people.

  • Every year, 40,000 Canadians in 10 cities support AKFC's development work through World Partnership Walk

Meet 1 of our inspiring fundraisers


See the impact

In their own words

  • Najia, graduate of the midwifery program at the Faizabad Provincial Hospital, Afghanistan
  • Steve Engels, associate professor, University of Toronto, on supporting the development of the Computer Science program at UCA
  • Consolata Muganda, deputy head teacher, Maji Maji Primary School, Tanzania
  • Adab Abdulkodirov, program officer, Mountain Societies Development Support Programme, Tajikistan
  • Salome Mulandi, volunteer social worker, Kenya
  • Vafo Zamirov, community health promoter, Tajikistan
  • Aminah Kaherebu, senior trainer, Mvara Primary School, Uganda
  • Gul’dana Abutalip, participant in a parenting program, Kyrgyz Republic
  • Gillian Griffin, International Youth Fellow, Tanzania
  • Paul O’Rourke, teacher, Ridley College, St. Catharines, Ontario
  • Azin Soltani, Volunteer Development Champion Speaker, Ottawa, Canada
  • Vicki Waters, World Partnership Walk volunteer and fundraiser, visiting a community library in Kenya
  • Raeesa Mohamed, volunteer, World Partnership Golf, Edmonton, Alberta
  • Shreya Gandhi, with friend Sabina Carino and sister Riya Gandhi, fundraisers for the World Partnership Walk, Victoria, British Columbia
  • His Highness the Aga Khan, Address at Massey Hall, Toronto



We have reason to be hopeful. Since 2012, this partnership has unlocked opportunities for more than 1 million women, men, girls, and boys. It has also uncovered powerful examples of progress and potential in Africa and Asia.

The partnership has contributed to global efforts that have helped 1.1 billion people lift themselves out of extreme poverty since 1990. But progress has been uneven.

  • 1 in 10 people still survive on less than US$1.90 per day.
  • Women and girls – half the world’s population – face gender barriers every day.
  • Weak institutions and untapped human potential keep millions locked out of opportunity, particularly in rural areas.

At AKFC, we remain focused on our vision for a world where everyone can reach their full potential.

Here’s what it looks like:

Empowered women and girls at the heart of inclusive communities.

Gender and social barriers disintegrate when women and girls have access to education and health care; control their own finances and future; and participate in making decisions for their households and communities.

Stronger, more responsive systems.

Change takes root in institutions like schools and clinics. When the people who power them – teachers, nurses, policymakers – have the facilities, skills, and tools to meet everyone’s needs, they will accelerate positive change.

Sustainable change that starts locally and is supported globally.

When we share the best of global knowledge and expertise, we will sustain progress over the long term.

Here’s how we’ll get there


Our vision includes empowered women and girls,
stronger systems, and global efforts to fight poverty.

With our Canadian and international partners,
we will turn today’s challenges into tomorrow’s opportunities.

Speak up. Stand up. Join us.

Get Involved