Dear Girls Ed Pakistan Project Supporters,
I want to share with you a special promotion that is occurring right now through the Safer World Fund for our Pakistan project. Until the matching funds are depleted, Safer World Fund will match donations up to 50% for donations up to $2,000 per project per donor. You don't need to do anything special, just submit your contribution as usual, although the sooner the better if you would like to take advantage of this opportunity to have even more impact!
I'm pleased to report that all the GEI-sponsored girls have taken their exams and have been promoted to the next grade!
Here’s the status, if you’re keeping track:
Five girls were promoted to Grade 8
Seventeen girls were promoted to Grade 9
Three girls were promoted to Grade 10
One girl was promoted to Grade 11
Two girls were promoted to Grade 12
In our discussions with Bedari, Girls Ed is planning to expand its educational assistance into other regions within Pakistan while continuing to support the 30 original students until they have completed their secondary education. Your continued support will allow us to broaden our reach to these additional girls. We will work with Bedari to determine where our efforts will be most beneficial and bring you the updates as plans develop.
Dear Girls Ed Pakistan Supporters,
Thank you for your continued support. This month, Safeer Ullah Khan of Bedari, the Pakistani women and girls’ rights organization and Girls Ed partner, stopped in Denver to visit with GEI board members and co-founder Lizzy Scully. Safeer was in the United States to participate in the International Volunteers Leader Program sponsored by the U.S. State Department.
Although Girls Ed has partnered with Bedari and worked with Safeer since 2009, it was the first face-to-face meeting with him. Safeer shared much information about the state of girls’ education in Pakistan, but perhaps most striking was the effect of the GEI/Bedari partnership on the lives of 30 girls in Laphi, an agricultural town of 3,500 people in north-central Pakistan.
Before the partnership began, no girl in Laphi had ever attended secondary school. Most girls would get married before their 16th birthday and begin their own large families — the average is seven children per woman in Laphi.
Some men in the village were against educating girls, fearing the girls would become disrespectful to their elders. Also, the scholarships, which some in Laphi saw only as charity, were not initially welcome by the proud residents.
Three years later, there have been significant changes. Ten girls in the village have completed their secondary education, with 30 girls currently attending secondary school. Twenty-two of those girls are sponsored by Girls Ed. The other eight? Their families are now paying for their daughters’ expenses, which speaks volumes about the change in attitude towards girls and secondary education.
Our thanks to Safeer Ullah Khan for traveling to Denver to update us on Bedari‘s efforts on behalf of our Laphi girls. It’s always inspirational to meet an individual who is so committed to the rights and education of women and girls in under-developed parts of the world.
Girls Ed is pleased to be working with Safeer and Bedari to change not only the lives of these 30 girls, but to help create a larger, positive trend towards girls’ education in Pakistan. And, we are pleased to have so many supporters. It is through your caring and generosity that Girls Ed is able to work with Safeer and Bedari to continue to bring educational opportunities and their benefits to these girls in Pakistan.
Dear Girls Ed Supporters,
Thank you for your continuing support. We were especially excited to be able to share with the girls the overwhelming number of you who responded with new and increased donations after the attack on Malala Yousafzai; a clear signal to them that we will continue to support their courageous endeavors to move themselves and their communities forward. Although her road to recovery will be long, Malala's strong spirit is apparent in her continually improving condition.
We are happy to report that the girls in Laphi and Sar Kalan have experienced no threats to or interference in their studies. Further, as our local contact, Bedari, reports, "[A]n overwhelming majority of the people of Pakistan is in favor of girls education and has condemned the cowardly attack on Malala." Unfortunately, educating girls in countries like Pakistan remains a challenge in overcoming pre-established norms and cultural bias. Mainstream education of girls is not likely to occur anytime in the near future.
With your support, though, Girls Ed will continue to provide assistance to those families in Pakistan that see the value of an education for all of their children, male or female. We will help to provide the economic resources not available to girls through the Pakistani government so that they can attain a better future for themselves and their communities.
Loni Riley, Board Member GEI
I am happy to report that the girls continue to prosper in their studies. In a recent update from our local contact in Pakistan, Bedari, we learned that all of the girls passed their annual exams at the end of this past school semester! Each of them has now advanced to the next grade, two of them having graduated.
Bedari continues to make sure that the girls receive a well-rounded education through regular monthly meetings in which they are guided through discussions on such topics as health and hygiene, communication skills, and gender issues. Each of these are subjects that for cultural reasons would typically not be part of a formal education, but are all so very vital to the true success of these girls as they strive for a better future. Bedari reports that the girls have come to look forward to these meetings and are active participants.
We look forward to sharing with you in our next project update profiles of some of the girls as they have progressed through the program. Your continued support is truly changing lives!
I am happy to report that our 30 students continue to progress in their academic pursuits; thanks to you! With your continued support, we fully expect to see each of them successfully through to the completion of her studies.
The benefits of an education for girls in Pakistan is immense and we continue to receive requests to sponsor additional students. As funding comes in, we will do our best to reach more and more girls bringing to their communities hope for a better future.
Thank you again!
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Member, Board of Directors