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.
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 email@example.com or at +01(970)963-3150. Thank you so much for your continued support!
It’s back to school time for the children at Marshall Direct Fund schools throughout Pakistan. While the children spent time with their families, the teachers were hard at work. MDF staff took part in professional development programs with the goal of learning how to better serve the students and provide support to one another. Over the Summer, our new Director instituted an array of new and improved processes that the staff and students have benefited from, including more regular meetings chaired by different staff on various subjects with the objective of sharing challenges and learning from each others’ experiences, increasing confidence and range of skills, fostering leadership and respect for diversity, and improving time management and creativity. We intend to conduct future teacher training on subjects that range from IT development, volunteerism, and human rights, and to facilitate more frequent exchange of ideas between teachers at the different MDF schools.
We are very proud of the 250 students that graduated to the next level last June. We look forward to seeing their smiling faces in class this month. This year we will be implementing the Global Kid Connect (GKC) program in January or February for a fourth year of connecting students on one side of the globe with another! This academic year, we will be partnering with Citizens Archive of Pakistan in order to reach more schools in Pakistan. Students who participate in GKC interact with their peers at sister schools in the U.S. via a classroom blog. On the blog, students exchange letters, pictures, drawings, cards, and collages all within a program that is designed to foster empathy and cultural exchange. The students at Pakistani schools had a lot to talk about last year. They got to go on their very first field trip ever - to a Museum followed by a park! We are so excited for these students to have the opportunity to take part in educational activities that provide a brighter future. We are also proud of the staff and our supporters that help make this possible.
Please know 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or at +01(970)963-3150. Thank you so much for your continued support!
Last March, Executive Director Silbi Stainton made a surprise visit to MDF schools. Staff and students are always excited to see the Marshall Direct Fund U.S. staff who help make their access to education possible and a visit from the founder is even more exciting! Silbi was moved by the changes she saw in the older children who started several years ago who have now grown into capable, compassionate, and dedicated students. Silbi shared, “The children I once knew had grown into confident young men and young women. Instead of them looking up to meet my gaze, it was I looking up to them”. You can check out our Spring 2012 newsletter on our website to read more from Silbi.
Not only are the students showing the benefits of having consistent nutrition from lunches that our supporters (that’s you!) help to provide, they are also academically achieving at every level. Four Girls and four boys from Barakahu that took their central examinations passed with high scores! In addition, the field office staff and administrators continue to develop new tools and programs to ensure the children’s success. New policies and procedures have been adopted and implemented to refine best practices. One of the activities includes weekly meetings where teachers and staff share their experiences with their colleagues regarding lessons learned, challenges, and solutions. The Country Director says, “This exercise is helping teachers and staff gain confidence in communication…and is helping generate a sense of ownership, creativity, equity.”
Thank you so much for being an active member of our community. Please contact us with any questions or concerns or to share ideas. Want to learn more or connect? Visit our website at www.marshalldirectfund.org or become our fan on facebook.
Just as I now looked up to them, I came to learn that their own communities do the same. These young graduates are the pride and hope of their towns. - Silbi
We are starting to prepare for our third year of Global Kid Connect which we will implement between 100 students in the US and 100 students in Pakistan this March. Our first pilot year was between two classrooms and schools in the US and two in Pakistan. Last year we expanded to include three. This year we plan to incorporate four or five in each respective country. Through a blog, students post pictures of themselves and their family, upload drawings, videos and exchange questions and answers. It appears these kids are finding that they have much in common and are delighted to learn more about their counterparts in such a distant land. They explore what it means to be a leader, share their definitions of peace, compare their hopes and dreams and discuss topics related to family, geography, and culture. One girl and her sister in Pakistan were pulled from school because their father believed they were getting too old for studies (it is very common for youth in impoverished areas to attend a few years of school before helping their families in the home or by earning additional income). Despite the best efforts of the project manager, teacher and head mistress, the father was not convinced otherwise. It was not until the project manager shared a letter from his daughters pen pal in the US that he looked at the situation differently. You see, he didn’t realize that a young girl half way across the globe cared about his daughter and was proud of her achievements in school. This realization compelled him to change his mind and send his daughters back to one of the MDF schools where they now eagerly learn and look forward to connecting with their friends in America.
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 email@example.com or +01 (970) 963-3150 .
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