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Wednesday, February 28, 2024  
17 Shaban 1445  

‘Volunteer Tourism’ - A Collaboration between the Gilgit-Baltistan govt and Code for Pakistan

The project aims to empower students, teachers, and voluntourists
In this picture taken on August 12, 2019 foreign tourists and porters rest at a camping site above Baltoro glacier in the Karakoram range of Pakistan’s mountain northern Gilgit region. (AFP/File)
In this picture taken on August 12, 2019 foreign tourists and porters rest at a camping site above Baltoro glacier in the Karakoram range of Pakistan’s mountain northern Gilgit region. (AFP/File)

The Gilgit-Baltistan government and its Performance Management & Reforms Unit (PMRU) announce the launch of their Volunteer Tourism platform, in collaboration with Code for Pakistan, a civic-tech non-profit.

This pioneering project marks the launch of voluntourism in Pakistan, an initiative to foster responsible tourism in the region as well as offer new, meaningful ways for travelers to experience and contribute to communities.

The GB Volunteer Tourism initiative provides a unique platform for meaningful and sustainable volunteer experiences, fostering a bond between traveling volunteers and local residents. The initiative targets visiting tourists who are eager to share their expertise and skills with plans to expand into other areas of collaboration.

In his statement, Additional Secretary Education and Head of PMRU, Sajad Khan, reinforced, “GB Volunteer Tourism is not about the short-term goals; it’s a commitment to long-term development and sustainable tourism.”

The project aims to empower students, teachers, and voluntourists, foster self-sufficiency within local communities, and contribute to the region’s economic growth.

The development and launch of this initiative is a testament to a strong, collaborative effort. Initially endorsed by the former Chief Secretary Mohyuddin Wani, and receiving continued prioritisation under the new chief secretary, the project was propelled into action by the former Commissioner of Diamer Altamash Janjua.

Chief Secretary of GB Abrar Ahmed Mirza, said, “We welcome tourists from around the world to visit Gilgit-Baltistan. Our goal is not just to share the beauty of our region, but also to encourage a more eco-friendly approach to tourism. We believe that each visitor can play a vital role in shaping sustainable travel practices, helping to preserve the natural wonders of Gilgit-Baltistan for generations to come.”

Code for Pakistan’s founder, Sheba Najmi, who initiated the GB Voluntourism project idea based on her own rich experience as a global volunteer tourist, said, “For a decade, Code for Pakistan has been steadfast in its mission to improve public services and enrich community life throughout our nation.”

“ Witnessing the diligent and sincere efforts of the Gilgit-Baltistan Government, especially the PMRU, in pioneering volunteer tourism in Pakistan fills me with immense joy and optimism for our future,“ she added.

The GB Volunteer Tourism project is now open for volunteer signups.

Together, we can make a difference in the lives of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan and set a new precedent for volunteer tourism in Pakistan.

About GB PMRU:

The Gilgit-Baltistan Performance Management & Reforms Unit (GB PMRU) operates under the chief secretary’s office to implement the province’s reform agenda, dedicated to enhancing public service delivery and driving holistic development in Gilgit-Baltistan.

About Code for Pakistan:

Code for Pakistan is a civic tech nonprofit leveraging technology and innovation to create accessible and citizen-centered governance solutions that serve all Pakistanis. The organisation is committed to fostering collaboration between government and civil society.

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