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Geo-POD: Empowering Communities through Innovation and Sustainability

By John Coster:

After the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004, I created this simple outline sketch of a facility that could help communities start again. After 20 years it’s about to become a reality. There have been a few false starts and dead ends along the way but I’m stubborn.

In a world grappling with vast socio-economic disparities and healthcare access challenges, Geo-POD emerges as a beacon of hope. This new international NGO is set to revolutionize the landscape of community development by addressing critical issues through a multifaceted approach. Geo-POD’s mission is to empower underserved communities by focusing on micro-enterprises, education, and healthcare, all while adhering to the principles of environmental responsibility.

A Vision for Sustainable Development

Geo-POD’s innovative model is grounded in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a commitment to fostering economic empowerment, education, and healthcare access. By leveraging repurposed shipping containers for its facilities and utilizing renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydro power, Geo-POD aims to create sustainable and scalable solutions. The organization will initially focus on Rawalpindi, Pakistan, with aspirations to expand globally.

Key Components of Geo-POD

Geo-POD operates through three primary components, each addressing a specific area of need:

1. Trade-POD: Focused on supporting micro-enterprises, Trade-POD will provide resources and training to help small businesses thrive. This component aims to empower local entrepreneurs, especially women, by offering microfinance initiatives and business development programs.

2. Edu-POD: This component is dedicated to enhancing educational opportunities. Edu-POD will offer a range of educational and training programs designed to equip individuals with the skills necessary for personal and professional growth. The focus will be on creating accessible and affordable educational pathways for underserved populations.

3. Medi-POD Addressing the critical need for healthcare access, Medi-POD will provide essential health services. From primary care to specialized treatments, this component will ensure that even the most vulnerable populations receive the medical attention they need.

Objectives and Goals

Geo-POD’s objectives are clear and ambitious:

1. Establish Facilities in Rawalpindi: Within the first year, Geo-POD aims to set up Trade-POD, Edu-POD, and Medi-POD facilities in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

2. Support Underserved Populations: The focus will be on providing support to women and children through micro-enterprises, education, and healthcare services.

3. Utilise Renewable Energy: All operations will be powered by renewable energy sources, ensuring environmental sustainability.

4. Foster Partnerships: Collaborating with local stakeholders and social entrepreneurs to enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of its programmes.

Sustainable Business Model

Geo-POD’s hybrid business model combines traditional NGO funding with revenue-generating activities. Core services will be provided free of charge or at subsidized rates, while revenue will be generated through microfinance initiatives, fee-based education programs, and healthcare services for those who can afford to pay. Strategic partnerships with local businesses and government agencies will also play a crucial role in securing resources and funding.


Geo-POD is not just an NGO; it’s a transformative force aimed at addressing some of the most pressing challenges faced by underserved communities. By integrating innovation, sustainability, and community engagement, Geo-POD is poised to make a lasting impact. Its dedication to economic empowerment, education, and healthcare, combined with a commitment to environmental responsibility, aligns perfectly with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. As Geo-POD embarks on its journey, starting in Rawalpindi and aiming for global reach, it stands as a testament to what can be achieved when vision meets action.

I made this short video back in 2008 when I thought we’d found some land in Ghana to run the pilot.