Founder of community organization, AliPur, where women from rural areas are trained in embroidery, pottery and sewing.

Amina, you are an inspiration for all the women, tell us a bit about yourself and your educational background.

It’s been three years I have been residing in my village, Alipur Kanju in lodhran working towards the welfare of rural women in Pakistan for their economic empowerment in a way to secure their livelihoods and rights.

After graduating from Convent of Jesus and Mary I went to Lahore Grammar for my A’levels. And Later I went abroad to St Gallen University for my Bachelors in International Relations and History. During my time abroad I have been a part of various volunteer programs with United Nations, which I am very grateful for. I love to read and write.I have a written a book, Little Khan and The lucky bugs. Ferozsons published it this year. A children’s series about characters based in Pakistan. When I had my children I always had to hunt for good books based on Pakistan’s culture and values. I am very happy and proud to have written it. I love spending time with my family and travel. I would spend all my money on travelling. Its the best way of learning about so much. Besides that I love Alipur,it’s my favorite home. I always thought I am a city girl and could never live in the country but it has my heart.


What is the whole idea behind Ali Pur and what inspired you to create a safe space for these amazingly talented women.

Innever really got to spend a lot of time in Alipur before it was actually during the pandemic in 2020 I moved here.

I found severe poverty in my village people were distress specially women who most of the times had no money to put food on their tables and their husbands would be away in search of work. The Poor education system, devastating health and living conditions, no well sanitation facilities,these all made me realize of my privileges and I somehow I felt responsible to bring the change. Over the past years I have worked to improve the livelihoods of people. I have held medical camps, has initiated health programs, creating awareness among women of various vitamins deficiency common among the women and thus providing them with free aid. Installed water motors and water filters as women had to travel distances on foot to obtain clean water.


Creating a safe platform for underprivileged women from the rural areas is not easy, tell us how has the journey been so far and what are the challenges that you have faced in the process?

To break the stereotypes and change mindset, it is not easy. It has been very challenging.However I had the support of the best people; my family. My husband Amin Khan Kanju.Who has always encouraged me to do good.What I have achieved today for the people of Alipur is all because of him. He has been my rock. My Mama (mother) and my Amma (Mother in law). I am blessed. My brother. My sisters Rasanat, Fatima and Maryam. And Of course my loveliest BAE Alizeh Kanju. She has been such a big Support and the best work partner! They gave me the strength and courage to give every obstacle. Most of the Villagers didn’t want to send their daughters to school. Girls attendance in school drops to a low during harvest season. They contribute to care work at home, looking after the young and the ill, and stepping in for the mother if she is pregnant, nursing or sick. When there is much unpaid labour to be done, education is a luxury for a young daughter. This is not to say that social norms or parental reluctance are the reasons for low enrolment and high dropouts of girls. Equally, and more responsible is the State. The quality of education is poor, even for rural households, and may appear to rural parents as being not related to their lives. To convince them to believe that basic education is a necessity was a big challenge. Women comprise approximately half of the total population of Pakistan and most of them live in the rural areas. They are mainly engaged in farming and other agricultural activities. They do most of their labour as unpaid family workers. Its very important to educate them and support them for equal rights if we want to prosper as a successful nation. Along comes skill training. I saw this as a way out for women to success. Made in Alipur is a community organization, under which comes skill training centers where women are taught various skills such as embroidery sewing, stitching, pottery. Introducing them with modern technology, which I always believed is very important and had to be done soon.

Tell us about your collaborations with the brands and which campaign is close to your heart and why?

This is not a fair question!
Each and every campaign holds a very special place in my heart. Lama was the first Collaboration. I am so grateful to Amal Khan CEO Lama for entrusting the women of Made in Alipur. It was such a proud moment for me to see the women put their learning in practice and to be able to provide them with a platform to promote their work well. These women do some great work which needs recognition and appreciation. Above all giving the opportunity for them to earn well. Really It’s a pleasure to see them work with so much commitment and love. These collaborations with the renowned brands has got them the confidence and happiness they truly deserve.

What is a typical day at Ali Pur like?

It’s Work,lots of work but is Epic!
It’s fun and happy with lots of chat. As I said earlier, Alipur has my heart. I can’t be away from it for long. The country side, is exceptionally beautiful. Its far from the madding crowd. I love watching over the women encouraging more to learn. Helping them with their problems. Guiding them. Enlightening their minds with positivity and knowledge. At Made in Alipur we teach our women basic education and general ethics for their well being along with skill training. Introduce them with innovative ideas. Target their strength. To help me I have a team who I have prepared over the years.

Where do you see your organisation in the coming five years and what changes you would like to bring
InshAllah we’ll sore higher!

I want to encourage more women to be a part of this community organization. Its very important to empower rural women. They need to be supported in every way specially with the economic recession things have become quite difficult for the rural villagers. The economy grows and employment rate rises when women own businesses. Get more attention of the state in improving their policies for rural women. Giving them the rights and needs they deserve. I want the women to collaborate with international brands in the coming years and have their work appreciated world wide. I am very patriotic and I would work very hard for this aim to be achieved.
Pakistani Artisans their work to be known and desired around the globe.

Good Times


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