Since 2004, I have written several newspaper articles on the work of the Aga Khan Development Network. It is an impressive organization driven by a fundamental ethic to improve health, education and economic conditions for some of the poorest people in the developing world.
Although the Aga Khan is the spiritual leader of the world’s Ismaili Muslims, a progressive Shia branch of Islam, the network pursues its mission without respect to race, creed, gender, or politics. More than 90 per cent of its 80,000 employees are non-Ismaili and its multi-denominational staff and volunteers come from many backgrounds including those who identify as Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Sunni Muslim.
The discourse around Islam has grown vitriolic with the rise of militant extremists claiming to be Islamic, such as al-Qaeda, ISIS and Boko Haram. In my many years of looking at Aga Khan activities, I have seen an organization that is the counter-opposite, and whose work many westerners would regard as epitomizing Christian values.
In this section of my site, you can read what I have learned about the organization and its work. I have visited Aga Khan projects in India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uganda, Tanzania, Zanzibar and Kenya. I have received no financial assistance or compensation from the Aga Khan network. My travels have been assisted in part by members of an Aga Khan donor group without any expressions of favour, and in part by The Calgary Herald.