Founded in 2005 on a number of self-initiated projects, the Kalash People’s Development Network (KPDN) works in the Kalash valleys in the Northwestern part of Pakistan. The Kalasha are an indigenous group residing in the Chitral district who speak the Kalasha language and have managed to maintain their own separate cultural traditions. In 2009, KPDN established its office as a youth platform and currently works on developmental and conservation activities in the Kalash Valley.
KPDN’s projects range from immediate disaster relief to cultural, educational, and health activities in the community. It worked to include Kalasha in the National Database in Pakistan and added the Kalasha religion to the NADRA Database in February 2015. The organization continues to hold seminars and workshops on Kalasha conservation efforts and runs the Kalasha Academy for Consumer Sciences (KACoS), which provides basic information, communications, and technology facilities in the remotest valleys of Pakistan to bring new skills to local youth and broaden their livelihood opportunities. KPDN also helped the Kalash Medical Center, provided medical equipment, and organized free medical camps in the Kalasha valleys. The group’s other activities include working on Kalash women’s empowerment projects, starting the Ishpata News Network and other media initiatives, and responding to flood disasters in 2010, 2013, and 2015 by helping mobilize locals and organizing relief and rehabilitation activities.
For more information, visit the group’s website here.