COLABS is one of the fastest working spaces. It has always been working on creating an impact in Pakistani Society. They have launched xWave, Pakistan’s First Technology-Driven Flood Relief Initiative. Salahuddin Khawaja, the founder of Hypermode (a NY-based crypto consulting firm) and the digital agency, Declaration is heading this initiative. The event was held at COLABs.
Salahuddin Khawaja said, “I think xWave has been years in the making. I helped build 3,000 shelters during the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, and this year, when the flood crisis hit, I wanted to give back again. I’ve had a passion for edtech for years and I’m hoping xWave helps unleash a wave of change, innovation, growth, and economic activity in Pakistan. Today, more than ever, we need fresh ideas to create new avenues for the overlooked. xWave is a futuristic way of reimagining our communities that creates financial empowerment in the long run.”
Bilal Tareen, part of the xWave and IEC team said, “As part of xWave, we will be supporting families to upskill themselves as they learn digital skills. The IEC will be introducing courses and once the students are digitally equipped, they’ll be able to support their families and get back on their feet,”
In this initiative, there are 10 different organizations LUMS, Arbisoft, Code for Pakistan, COLABS, TABADLAB, KhudKaar, etc. The main aim is “to bring a tech-based approach to disaster relief by not only rebuilding homes in Pakistan’s flood-affected areas but also by providing digital literacy to 300 families through Khawaja’s passion project, the Institute of Emerging Careers (IEC).”
Wardah Noor, a social activist and the founder of KhudKaar said, “xWave will prepare those who’ve been hit hardest by the crisis to become financially empowered and allow them to sustain themselves over the course of xWave’s 10-year plan. xWave is building a community that is not dependent on anyone if this crisis, God forbid, hits Pakistan again. I believe we can use technology to build those communities back up so that they can fight back and not ever be in a powerless position again.”
Qaiser Imam, Senior Manager at IBM said, “I think what really resonated with me is the fact that xWave is a very well-thought-out process. It’s a process where all the stakeholders involved are approaching the flood crisis in a rational and methodical manner. That’s why I feel xWave is going to be successful…the partnerships are so critical and I’m happy to know that there are both academic institutions as well as companies that have real hands-on experience that is part of this.”
Yasser Bashir, the CEO of Arbisoft said, “I’m so proud that Khawaja and his team are trying to pull this off. The flood crisis is an unprecedented calamity that has hit us. I don’t think any other organization in Pakistan is currently trying to create employment opportunities for the flood-affected areas, so that’s a unique aspect of xWave. I’m personally backing this initiative and I hope more people can join and support Khawaja on his mission.”
We hope this initiative helps the families of the affected.