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.
Oct 31, 2011

Update on Long-term Reconstruction

We’ve just had our first snow in Colorado. Our children wait hopefully in anticipation of school closures. To their disappointment, school was open as usual. The families in the Punjab region of Pakistan may be hoping for a different outcome. Pakistan has been bombarded with natural disasters that have severely hindered progress as the Pakistani government and everyday families struggle to build their economy and provide a bright future for the nation.

Pakistanis in the Punjab must contend with something much more severe than snowfall. An epidemic of dengue fever has broken out, with more than 4,000 cases in the region over the last two months. But life goes on, and for the children they hope for school to go on as well. Marshall Direct Fund has one school in the affected region. Families who are at risk were asked to stay home for at least 10 days. Our superb field team of teachers are making sure to educate using safe measures to limit risk of exposure, the spread of the disease, and care for the afflicted. We are grateful to our dedicated field staff, one of which has lost a family member to the disease. Any and all donations, monetary and otherwise help MDF to persist in the face of additional challenges.

Last month, Marshall Direct Fund was the proud recipient of $25,000 worth of equipment from IRD. The equipment includes desks, chairs, office supplies, and laptops. The materials are being used to support the schools and vocational centers of our partners.

Please know this project is helping youth and their families to obtain credible education, critical thinking skills, and a safe place to learn and grow where they can also better respond to natural disasters in the future. 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 Circle 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.

Sep 10, 2011

Update on Vocational Training in Pakistan Sept.'11

Marshall Direct Fund is thrilled to announce that we have been chosen as one of eight organizations to participate in the Safer World Matching Campaign through Globalgiving! The drive begins on September 11, 2011, to commemorate the tragedy in which over 3,000 people from 90 different countries lost their lives. The Safer World fund has recognized MDF as an organization whose program is committed to building a safer world, and they are prepared to match donations to the Marshall Direct Fund at 50% up to $15,000. Our goal is to raise $20,000. We have already raised $11,350 and with your help we can make it all the way. 

Our strategy is to open the door to economic development and security by providing vocational training for 100 women in Pakistan. The goal of our project is to offer women the skills they need to support their families. To achieve this we are partnering with the Foundation for Social Change to provide further business training and financial literacy skills to the women in the centers. Through the vocational training program, women have already seen success. Tunics made by the women were showcased at our recent fundraiser and they are working on adding footwear products to their repertoire. We are looking to develop further market links for the product as soon as the prototype footwear is completed. The women who have participated are very excited about the their prospects and will surely find further economic opportunities once they complete the program.

MDF would sincerely like to thank all of our donors and supporters. MDF encourages your involvement and welcomes any ideas that would enable 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 of us. 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 Circle 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.

Jun 23, 2011

Update on Long-term Reconstruction efforts

Marshall Direct Fund (MDF) continues to work very hard to maintain operations and provide ongoing support to teachers, staff, students, and families affiliated with our schools. As much as we would like to grow the organization and expand our reach into additional areas that are in desperate need of educational facilities we believe it is very important to serve those at our existing schools well and help them become self-sustaining. In the wake of the floods and the successive inflation and lack of access to quality food, it has been a priority to ensure that schools have what they need to ensure that children shelter, quality education, healthy meals and all other necessary items/conditions to learn in a secure environment.  As mentioned in our last report, we are very fortunate to have an amazing community of Pakistani teachers and project staff that work together and engage families to come up with innovative solutions to make sure that the learning experience for underserved youth is a positive one.  Instead of purchasing brand new books for students advancing a grade level, for example, students in the level above recycle their books after they have completed the course so that the students entering that class have access to the materials they need without the schools incurring costs for brand new books.

We are excited to have a strong partnership with local organization, IKI Foundation, that has several established vocational centers. We are working with end market retailers in the US and women in the vocational centers to give them input and market linkages for producing tunics, sandals, yoga mat bags, and embellished goods for the international market. We will be piloting their first line of products in the marketplace at a handful of retail outlets over the next few months. Depending on retailer feedback and successive demand, we will be scaling the project to get more women involved. Once we have confirmed adequate demand for these products, the more experienced sewers and manufacturers in the IKI Foundation vocational centers will train women in the communities that MDF has schools. This will enable more women to gain economic opportunities and fair wages that will help alleviate conditions of poverty for them and their families, including the students enrolled in MDF schools. This contributes to a more self-sustaining financial model, which allows the students and families affiliated with MDF schools to be less dependent on ongoing donor dollars.

MDF invites your input and involvement and would love any ideas that would enable us to attract wider support. As always, we sincerely thank all of our donors and supporters. Please know this project is helping youth and their families to obtain credible education, critical thinking skills, and a safe place to learn new skills and grow so that they can better respond to natural disasters in the future. 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 Circle 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. 

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