This year has been a good year so far for the people of Swat. There has been no major violent incident, Taliban have been pushed back, markets are reviving, and most importantly education is booming once again. There has been increase in girl enrollment at all schools which is a sign that fears of Taliban are removed now. ADN's own school in Swat with the name of The Gateway School has started its second year from April 2011 and enrollment has reached 100. Orphan children benefiting from the sponsorship scheme from this school has increased to 43.
A team of Government's Education Department visited The Gateway School in response to request for registration and the team showed its pleasure that this school is providing free education to orphan and poor children. School would sooner be registered as a Middle School with the respective Education Department.
Negotiation with a donor for the construction of building is under process with positive directions. However, for this purpose, school need land of its own. ADN is now requesting all friends of Swat to contribute for the purchase of land so that a permanent school building where only girls will receive secondary education will be constructed.
Swat is returning to normal routine while the peace is being retained by the presence of Pakistan Army. ADN team visited the Madyan last week in search of suitable land for the construction of the Gateway School. Four different locations on main Madyan Road were visited and two have been selected for further consideration. The Gateway School has opened last month with new class and so the education year started with new dreams.
We have learnt that all four government schools for girls destroyed by the Taliban in Fatehpur are still not reconstructed and the girls of these schools are awaiting for better education environment. This has led us to consider construction of a girls middle school in future and thus design for the buildings have been prepared.
Torrential rains have caused widespread destruction throughout Pakistan . Rain began on 23/24 July, 2010 and quickly wreaked havoc, destroying property, houses, infrastructures and crops. 25 Bridges have reportedly been washed away as the water sweeps downwards to the Kabul and Indus rivers. Swat has also been severely affected by the floods and caused immense loss of life and property.
School started in Swat is partially damaged as per the reports coming from field and 3 teachers are reported to be missing due to floods. Roads leading to Swat are closed for last three weeks.
Al-Mustafa Development Network is working on the grounds to provide food and water for survivors in Noshera and Charsadda districts.
Al-Mustafa Development Network (ADN) has started a new school in Swat where 78 conflict affected children have been enrolled. Out of this number 37 children are orphans whose parents lost their lives during the army operation against Taliban. School has started with the name of "The Gateway School" and is supported by UKC4C and ATI (UK).
Head Teacher of Government Boys' Primary School Bari Kot called this week and said;
"It was a great distribution ceremony and all of our 428 students received new uniform, school bags, pencils, notebooks and candies. Our students are very happy, our staff has admired the quality of goods delivered. Parents have thanked us for this help. I am really thankful to Al-Mustafa and its staff who reached us in troubled times when ordinary people are afraid to travel to Swat. Our heartfelt thanks to all those people who have contributed for these gifts to our children. I want to convey them that Swat is now safe and it is only education that can ensure lasting peace."
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