Marshall Direct Fund

Our mission is to improve relations between the West and the Muslim world by working together to alleviate poverty and illiteracy via sustainable educational and economic development in Southwest Asia.
Apr 11, 2013

Spring 2013 Updates for Marshall Direct Fund schools

Students studying
Students studying

It has been a full few months, students prepared for and took their annual exams in march and several 5th grade students took the centralized exams organized by the Federal Education Department as well. Parent conference meetings took place in January so that teachers could share strengths and weaknesses of student performance and behavior, and discussed ways to improve and support students. The Director of Operations also brainstormed with parents how they might be able to contribute to their children’s education so that the schools will be able to achieve long term sustainability for the schools.  Head Teachers at the MDF schools continue to send weekly reports which help address challenges they are facing and provide the support necessary to run effective schools.

Our director, Sabohi Ali delivered a session at a university in Lahore on Community Development.  MDF teachers were able to attend and college students were introduced and informed how teachers are serving the community and provided input on how to volunteer and give back to their communities.  We were delighted to learn that a group of volunteers offered to help obtain resources to provide sewing machines for the vocational training MDF is now doing.

Lastly, students have been able to do several creative projects, decorating their classrooms and working with new art mediums. We were also lucky to have visits by potential partners and donors – students showed off their artwork, and skills by reciting nursery rhymes and poems. We welcome site visits by anyone interested in MDF schools and activities. To see current photos of our school activities, please visit our Director of Operations albums on facebook here. Thank you to all of our supporters who have made the success of this program possible. 

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Apr 11, 2013

Peace of the Action - First product roll out!

Vocational training taking place in Multan
Vocational training taking place in Multan

The potential for Small & Medium Enterprise development in Pakistan is very high. A large portion of the population are under or unemployed and possess the desire and potential to easily acquire marketable skills to acquire substantial incomes if linked with more lucrative markets. One of the most notable skills that entrepreneurs possess is embellishment on a variety of fabrics, products, and shoes, but it is a skill that they struggle to turn into a profitable asset due to isolation, lack of market access, lack of access to inputs, and lack of market knowledge.

After successful completion of the Vocational Training pilot project in Kashmir, Marshall Direct Fund is pleased to announce that a successive training has been conducted by the excellent trainer, Ruby Dewan, in Multan (South Punjab-Pakistan). Without a training facility secured, Ruby conducted the training out of her own home and nine women have graduated and completed the eLife training curriculum learning Communication Skills, Time Management, Market Survey and Research, Production, Entrepreneurial  Competencies, Advertising and Promotion of Business, Costing, Pricing and Business Plan Development. The entrepreneurs are now actively engaged in creating the first product line for Peace of the Action, the for-profit entity associated with Marshall Direct Fund. Last month an office and training center in the region was secured and we are well on our way to reach our goal of reaching 1000 entrepreneurs within one year! Thank you to all of our supporters who have made the success of this program possible. 

MDF encourages your involvement and welcomes any ideas that would help us to attract wider support. The project that you are supporting provides a safe place for mothers and their families to learn and develop skills that help make the world a safer and more secure place for all. Please help us generate awareness – become a fan of our Facebook page, join us on Twitter, and share with your networks. If you would like to start a MDF Allies in Action group in your community there are various one-time or re-occurring ideas and activities that we would be pleased to share. You can reach us at info@marshalldirectfund.org or +01 (970) 963-3150. Learn more about our activities by visiting our website at www.marshalldirectfund.org

Jan 8, 2013

Pilot Project Success - Vocational Training for 200+ Women

Congratulations Graduates!
Congratulations Graduates!

We are excited to share that the pilot group of over 200 women successfully graduated from the Vocational Training program early December. We received an overwhelmingly positive response from the participants. We were repeatedly informed that the training provided information and skills in areas of great need. Several women traveled over 2 hours one way and pooled their resources to secure transportation to make sure they could regularly attend. The eLife curriculum, developed by the Foundation for Social Change and implemented through Marshall Direct Fund and our partner IKI foundation, brought real world skills on business acumen for young women who seek to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. The curriculum was adjusted to meet the specific needs of the community. Women had time to work on and share business plans based on the individual or group enterprises they are seeking to start or further develop. They testified that feedback from their peers was very helpful.

We are looking forward to helping them with next steps and increasing the scope of the success of this project. You can learn more and see more photos on the award winning blog Peace of the Action which was written by the wonderful Pakistani trainer who facilitated the training – Ruby Dewan! Here you can learn about specific participants such as Nagina, who already had developed a successful sewing business but needed further guidance as to how to grow her enterprise. With the knowledge she gained in the program she has put new skills to the test and seen positive results. Marshall Direct Fund plans to expand our program to reach 1,000 women in 2013. Thank you to all of our supporters who have made our first success possible.Thank you as well to Safer World Fund and continuing to make matching funds available to enable donor dollars go farther!

If you are interested in meeting some of the women participating in this program and learning more about Marshall Direct Fund we are scheduling a group trip to Pakistan and Nepal in May 2013. Check out all the details here

MDF encourages your involvement and welcomes any ideas that would help us to attract wider support. The project that you are supporting provides a safe place for mothers and their families to learn and develop skills that help make the world a safer and more secure place for all. Please help us generate awareness – become a fan of our Facebook page, join us on Twitter, and share with your networks. If you would like to start a MDF Allies in Action group in your community there are various one-time or re-occurring ideas and activities that we would be pleased to share. You can reach us at info@marshalldirectfund.org or +01 (970) 963-3150. Learn more about our activities by visiting our website at www.marshalldirectfund.org

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