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From Pakathon to Off-Grid Pakistan

By Fatima Fasih

· energy,Returners

I decided to attend the Pakathon event thinking that I would finally be able to find some likeminded kids of Pakistani-origin that wanted to make a difference. What I found was a lot more than just that. The attendees and the entire Pakathon team were more than change-makers. They were doers, mostly optimistic and above all, extremely talented. By the end of the weekend, we ended up becoming one big, obnoxious desi family.

Thanks to Pakathon, I was introduced to my current boss, Jeremy Higgs from EcoEnergy. I had always been passionate about energy issues in Pakistan and so decided to apply and eventually work for this company that provides affordable, accessible and sustainable energy solutions to those that live in off grid Pakistan. My role allows me to visit interior, rural Pakistan and understand the needs and wants of Pakistanis that live in complete darkness because of lack of electricity. After living as an overseas Pakistani all my life, it was this invisible nudge by Pakathon that pushed me into moving to Pakistan and work for greater impact. Additionally, I am also a water colourist on the side and am now working on a series of paintings focusing on the working women of rural Pakistan - the cotton pickers, the harvesters, the rug weavers, and so on.

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