Schools: Educating underserved youth in Pakistan

 
$12,510
$37,490
Raised
Remaining
Mar 3, 2014

Update on MDF schools in Pakistan

boys at barakahu school
boys at barakahu school

We have had a busy few months. Students at MDF schools celebrated Iqbal (national poet), Kashmir Day, Valentine's, and International Volunteer day. Lectures on health and sanitation were provided and a health club at one of the schools started! Founder of the nonprofit, Silbi Stainton visited the students, teachers, and staff late fall and was so happy to see all proud and strong. Teachers have received some extra workshops on best practices and behavior management. In December both schools started terminal examinations. Students will be preparing for another round of exams to take place end of March. 

Marshall Direct Fund is happy to report that we have finally secured local registration in Pakistan. Our Pakistani organizational name, Moqah, means "opportunity" in Urdu. We want all deserving youth and young women to have opportunities for a better future and believe there is no better way to ensure this than through education. WIth local registration secured, Pakistani's and local organizations will now qualify for tax benefits. We are actively seeking local organizations able to donate or subsidize uniforms, books, USP generators, and technology to support staff needs and operations. There will be new opportunities for the organization and its beneficiaries! Thank you for your previous support. We welcome you to stay involved. 

As always, we welcome site visits by anyone interested in our schools and activities. Know that this project enables youth and their families to obtain credible education, critical thinking skills, and provides a safe place to learn and grow where they can better respond to natural disasters and other challenges Pakistan faces 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 at +01(970)963-3150. Thank you so much for your continued support!

Nov 25, 2013

Shazia's story and update on MDF schools

“My name is Shazia. My family is poor but hardworking. We receive our livelihood from harvesting, and I was responsible for grazing our cattle, helping my family with their work, and serving as a maid in other homes to increase family income. When I first started at Sheikhupura school, the teachers took pity on me and cut my hair, and nails, taught me how to brush my teeth. I felt like a brand new person.  I could look in the mirror and feel proud of myself. They were so kind, it’s hard to keep clean with the type of work I had to do from the moment I left school. When I started falling behind because I did not have time to do homework, the teachers spoke with my parents. I would not be able to excel in school if I didn’t also do my homework and study for my exams. One day we had a field trip to the zoo. I was SO happy! I got to see animals that I had only previously known of in books. I started reading aloud all the boards at the zoo and the other students were surprised by my reading ability. When I was asked how I could read some of these difficult words I replied, “Before I started school I was a dirty little girl, now I am confident, smart, and important”. My parents now excuse me from most of my responsibilities so I have enough time to study. They are proud and happy and now understand the value of an education. I have promised them I will be a good student and share all that I am learning so others can benefit from my education too!”

Shazia is one of many students that have faced great challenges in their lives and hurdles to gain access to education. Thank you for your support in making it possible for her and so many others to gain skills and confidence that will forever change their lives. The schools resumed in late August after Eid holidays. Due to some issues with an anticipated grant not being delivered yet we are short funding to fully support the schools with sufficient uniforms and books which has affected morale and attendance, but we have faith that with the upcoming holidays we will be able to raise additional funding to cover this unanticipated shortfall. Should you or anyone you know be interested in donating before year end there is a 100% match opportunity through Global Giving starting at 12pm EST on December 3rd. There is a limited amount of matching funds available so we urge donations to be made as close to the opening date/time as possible.

As always, we welcome site visits by anyone interested in MDF schools and activities. Know that this project enables youth and their families to obtain credible education, critical thinking skills, and provides a safe place to learn and grow where they can better respond to natural disasters and other challenges Pakistan faces 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 at +01(970)963-3150. Thank you so much for your continued support!

Aug 15, 2013

Update on MDF school activities

Join us in creating an army of Malalas
Join us in creating an army of Malalas

It has been blazing hot in the Punjab with power outages of up to 18 hours a day, but despite this, it has been a full few months for the staff and students at Marshall Direct Fund schools. April was the start of another school year and we welcomed 40 new nursery aged students. Their smiles and eagerness to learn is something precious to watch. In addition, schools instituted an annual election where students vote for leaders to assume various responsibilities including mentoring younger students, keeping the schools clean, and serving as representatives of their class and school. In May and June students made cards for Mother’s Day, 5th graders participated in a cooking class, a writing competition was held, measles vaccine administered, an anti-smoking assembly took place, and parent teacher meetings scheduled to discuss homework to be performed over the summer break. During the first month of summer holiday teachers held a camp to assist students needing extra help in any given subject. Now teachers are preparing for their annual training and are in the midst of participation in an exchange with teachers in the USA. The Story Swap is conducted in partnership with the Aspen Institute’s Aspen Writers Foundation. Teachers share correspondence to get to know one another then share a personal story that has impacted their life. These stories are then written by their counterpart as if they were them, putting themselves in the other persons shoes. We very much look forward to the final stories and the impact experienced by this meaningful exchange.  

We welcome site visits by anyone interested in MDF schools and activities. A darling video of some of the students, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPyItZU5Tiw, is online to thank you for believing in them.  Know that this project enables youth and their families to obtain credible education, critical thinking skills, and provides a safe place to learn and grow where they can better respond to natural disasters and other challenges Pakistan faces 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 at +01(970)963-3150. Thank you so much for your continued support!

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. 

Links:

Jan 2, 2013

Winter Updates on MDF School Activities

Class Photo at the Japanese Gardens
Class Photo at the Japanese Gardens

In light of the recent shooting of Malala by the Taliban, we are reminded of the importance of our work educating both girls and boys in Pakistan. The fact that the Taliban target a girl like Malala is further evidence that the education of girls will be their undoing. We feel very fortunate to have a dedicated community of local professionals who consistently invest their time and resources into improving the lives of children in underserved and at risk communities in Pakistan.

The students lives are greatly enriched through their participation in Marshall Direct Fund schools. Students look so proud in their recently received uniforms. The kids enjoyed their very first visit to a zoo where they learned about animals that they had never seen before. The Director of the schools recently provided students with an in depth lesson on personal safety, human rights, and self-care. On a different day last quarter, students learned the importance of hand washing for hygiene, and got to practice the ‘10 steps to best practices’, and the little ones received their vaccinations for Polio. Health care is a very important component of our programs! The school staff have been engaged in a rigorous professional development program to be effective teaching professionals and health care advocates.

Please know that this project enables youth and their families to obtain credible education, critical thinking skills, and provides a safe place to learn and grow where they can also better respond to natural disasters and other challenges Pakistan faces 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 at +01(970)963-3150. Thank you so much for your continued support!

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Organization

Project Leader

Jodi Fischer

Program Director
Aspen, CO United States

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