Schools: Educating underserved youth in Pakistan

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 or +01 (970) 963-3150. 



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Project Leader

Jodi Fischer

Program Director
Aspen, CO United States

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