Naya Jeevan Breathe Easy (NJBE)

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Naya Jeevan Breathe Easy (NJBE)

Karachi, PakistanLondon, United Kingdom
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

NAYA JEEVAN is the emerging world's first healthcare plan for the marginalized. We now intend to introduce clean energy efficient stoves

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In conjunction with our aim to improve the healthcare landscape of Pakistan, we intend to combat indoor air pollution(IAP)in low-income dwellings in peri-urban Karachi through our Breathe Easy program (NJBE). IAP is an outcome of burning poorly treated fuel (for cooking) on inadequately constructed stoves without ventilation. The emissions, nearly 20 times higher than the World Health Organisation deems safe, are detrimental towards the health of inhabitants (especially women and children). Around 1.6 million deaths per year, mostly women and children, are a result of diseases caused from smoke/ fume particles when cooking on open fires (like TB, pneumonia,lung cancer, cataracts. The most common stoves in these settlements is the traditional 'three-stone stove' that uses biomass fuel.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The Naya Jeevan Breathe Easy Program(NJBE)will introduce ROCKET STOVES- an innovative stove that can use wood fuel, charcoal briquets or fuel prepared from cow-dung. Fuel is burned in a simple high-temperature combustion chamber containing an insulated vertical chimney;ensuring complete combustion prior to the flames reaching the cooking surface. They are ideal for peri-urban Karachi as it is easy to assemble using locally available materials and it uses biomass. According to the World Bank Pakistan's annual biomass consumption in 2007 was 28.2 million Tonnes of oil equivalent. The Stoves will: Reduce smoke creation and inhalation and Lessen accidents resulting in burn victims. More efficient use of fuel will reduce household spending on fuel and also valuable time women spend on collecting and prepping fuel. Emission reductions from the improved stove depend on: Fuel sourcing, fuel size, complete combustion, pre-treatment of fuel and skill of the cook operating the stove.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Other programs focusing on clean stove provision in Pakistan were by Escorts Foundation, Lahore and Aga Khan Planning & Building Services. Both were based in rural areas, focusing on environmental protection or female empowerment. NJBE is unique as it focuses on a clean, healthy living environment and also energy security. Ultimately, we intend to curb household healthcare expenses by improving indoor air conditions. NJBE's peri-urban location means housing structures are smaller and the fuel-mix used is different. Therefore the above mentioned initiatives, although of a similar nature, will not hinder success. Lastly, NJBE is well informed on health indicators through households enrolled into health insurance programs and the community is accessible via the loan portfolios of KASHF.
About You
Naya Jeevan
Background Information
First Name


Last Name


The competition is only open to people between 18-34 years-old and resident in UK, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark or the Netherlands. Does this apply to you


Country of residence of entrepreneur

Tell us about your personal background. Why are you passionate about this issue? Making an idea a reality takes innovation, dedication and strong leadership. Do you have the necessary entrepreneurial skills to realize your vision?

My personal background is in the field of environmental sustainability. In 2010 I completed an MSc from UCL in Environmental Sociology with a thesis on urban agriculture and the relationship(s) people form with nature when growing food. I have over two years experince in the field of Corporate Responsibility and am now a freelance consultant, providing advice to development NGOs (microfinance, disaster management) along with co-working on a book (due this year) on sustainable communities and food-growing worldwide. I am passionate about this issue because I feel sustainable approaches to development are the way forward. Developing countries have always been somewhat sustainable purely out of nessecity (as opposed to 'trendy' western greenwashing approaches) and this can be preserved by social entrepenurial activites.

About Your Organization
Organization Name

Naya Jeevan

Organization Country

, LND, London

Country where this project is creating social impact

, Karachi

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The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities

NAYA JEEVAN has already successfully engaged multinational corporations operating in Karachi in enrolling their low income staff into out health insurance plans. A similar partnership is being nurtured with our microfinance partners, KASHF, to disseminate Rocket Stoves for our Breathe Easy program.

NAYA JEEVAN’s primary activities, i.e. provision of health insurance plans, include:
Annual medical check-up, which promote the early detection of disease.
A 24-hour tele-medicine helpline managed by doctors available to all beneficiaries to handle any concerns or emergencies that may arise.
A Health Rescue Fund, which assists beneficiaries for uninsurable conditions or when their hospital management/health care exceeds the maximum annual insurance coverage.
Preventive Health workshops that detail the causes, symptoms, treatments and prevention against most common maladies to allow individuals to be better able to protect themselves and their families.

The Breathe Easy program complements these activities, and simultaneously ensures a reduced household spending on preventable (respiratory and eye) illnesses; thereby securing insurance for unforeseen and catastrophic health expenses.

For proper dissemination of this program the stove needs to be:
Compatible with local fuel and cooking techniques,
Addressing the requirements of local people,
Rolled out within the community using a participatory approach.

The Stoves will be available via micro-credit options through pilot projects in the following areas: Malir, Baldia, Organgi and Lyari. The choice of areas has been deduced by the location of our microfinance partners, KASHF. Since 1996 they have supported 500,000 clients by disbursing US $ 256 million. KASHF has 157 branches nationwide, with a large number of clients in their 4th loan cycle.

This all-inclusive approach ensures scalability and makes the project easy to replicate in other localities.

In accordance with our ecosystem approach, Naya Jeevan's model for the Breathe Easy program has a three pronged approach:

1. Rocket Stoves will be made accessible to the community members and affordability will be assured through micro-credit. Our microfinance partners will introduce a KASHF Stove Loan to enable purchase of Stoves at a reduced cost (with mandatory attendance to workshops described below). Paybacks on the loans will be plugged back into the project. A portion of this grant will be used to develop stoves. In-situ rocket stoves can be built for less than Rs. 80.00 (<$1) within half-an-hour. The building materials are 16-18 bricks or a mixture of mud and rice husk/wheat-straw and donkey dung (strong enough to sustain heat and does not burn out). Portable, metal rocket stoves are more expensive- but provide users with a flexible option. They can be constructed out by beating together a metal sheet or reusing large tin canisters.

2. The importance of having cleaner indoor air will be instilled by providing free participatory workshops for the entire community on improving the way biomass fuel is treated and used for cooking and also how to create better ventilation when cooking. Therefore, if community members cannot afford to buy stoves immediately, they can attend workshops and improve on their current cooking practices. A portion of this grant will be used to organize the initial series of workshops.

3. Thirdly, as the stoves can be made by hand using locally available materials, we will provide training in stove making. This will enable the entire community and program to become self sufficient.

Select the stage that best applies to your business

Operating for 1-5 years

Social Impact
What is the social impact you have had to date and how you measure it?

Since 2010 NAYA JEEVAN has enrolled over 16,000 beneficiaries across 100+
organizations. We have expanded to a workforce of 25+ employees and generated approximately $360,000 in annual revenues in 2010.

We measure Social Impact by monitoring:
Numbers of calls received on our 24/7 medical hotline (~150/month),
Customer feedback surveys
Utilization of our donor‐financed Health Rescue Fund
Changes in Health Outcomes and socio-economic indicators

In order to assess our Social Return On Investment we are adopting the Impact Reporting and Investment Standards(IRIS).

NJBE will be monitored through the microcredit loan repayments, attendance for workshops, an annual survey with particpants on health, fuel use. Monitoring the health of participants will help gauge success/impact.

What barriers might hinder the success of your business? How do you plan to overcome them?

The challenges that can hinder the success this program are:
1. Encouraging and convincing people to modify their ways of cooking and adopting new techniques to prepare their fuel.
2. Getting people to pay for the stoves via microfinancing options instead of handouts and ensuring attendence to workshops.
3. Simultaneously encouraging local entrepreneurship to build stoves.

We can overcome these by:
Participatory approaches in workshops, allowing community members to be active participants.
Using pre-established relationships, clients, to roll-out stoves.
KASHF can provide guidance to entrepreneurs building stoves

How does your model address financial, social, and environmental sustainability?

NJBE is financially sustainable on two accords:
1. It allows participants to purchase stoves via micro-credit. Making the stoves accessible to everyone in the area. Payback on loans will be plugged back into the project, ensuring longevity.
2. Rocket stoves are easy to manufacture by hand and therefore, with the correct training, can promote local entrepreneurship.

A community and technology driven participatory approach will ensures social sustainability as the project will address the needs of the community.
It will empower women in the household and enable them to live cleaner and healthier lives- free from acute (and preventable) respiratory illnesses and eye infections/ problems. Child health (respiratory infections) and mortality will also be decreased. NJBE also includes workshops on: improving the way biomass is supplied and used for cooking and better ventilation in the home/cooking area will bring about behaviour change with regards to living conditions and therefore, compliment the provision and better use of the rocket stoves.

NJBE is environmentally sustainable as it promotes cleaner indoor air along with efficient use of fuel and energy. It can also assist families reliant on polluting, finite sources of energy to convert to Rocket Stoves. 2012 is the UN year of sustainable energy for all. Workshops will demonstrate how to prep fuel and sourcing it in an environmentally friendly manner.

Awareness & learning
How do you see social entrepreneurship contributing to the improvement of developing countries?

In resource-scarce environments where the public sector is often dysfunctional or nonexistent, social entrepreneurship can create tremendous social, financial and environmental value through innovative market-based solutions to poverty. Largely by catalysing the rapid and frugal development of new products, services and distribution channels. In developing countries, social entrepreneurship is also illuminating new pathways of thinking around recalcitrant social issues. It breaks down the relics of outdated approaches from the 90s i.e. the prevalence of dependency on aid and handouts. Instead programs focus on community empowerment, capacity building, and gradually being weaned off into becoming more independent and self sustaining.

Social entrepreneurs are a new breed of action-thought, win-win trailblazers who believe that a rising tide lifts all boats. Their role in developing countries is to encourage people to take the risk and set sail.

What aspects of your stay in Uganda as part of the competition do you think you will find most challenging and rewarding?

As a sub-Saharan African developing nation, Uganda is bedevilled with the same sort of structural and governance issues as those that plague South Asia, which is where we are currently operational. It will be fascinating to see and learn from the out-of-the-box solutions social entrepreneurs in Uganda have implemented to thrive in this challenging ecosystem.
Also, Rocket Stoves were introduced in Uganda with great success, wining the Special Africa Award and Ashden Award in 2006. Engaging with other the other winners and VSO in Uganda will be rewarding. Although working with local farmers in a rural setting in Uganda could be challenging, I am adaptable and cope well with change. My academic and research background is in sustainable agriculture and am adamant I can tackle this challenge and make it a rewarding experience.