Greetings Girls Education Pakistan Project Supporters!
It is with great joy that we share with you our final project report for this Girls Ed Pakistan program. Can you believe it's been five years! And now, we are not only fully funded, but the program is self-sustaining and thus, we are moving onward and upward into new villages to support 100 new girls in Pakistan!
Here's an exciting recap of what you helped us accomplish (based on the report from our in country partner NGO, Bedari). Get ready to feel your heart smile!!
Girls Education is now a trend in Laphi! As reported by Bedari volunteer Mr. Murtaza, the village of Laphi now has a new batch of girls with secondary education after a gap of 30 years.
“I believe nobody can stop our girls from going to school now.” - Mr. Murtaza.
The Future of a Village. Our partners at Bedari believe that the village of Laphi will change beyond recognition in the coming 10 years as these girls will soon be earning, mothering and mentoring the new generation.
Success Stories!! One of our students, Awatif, has completed her graduation after 14 years of education. She is now working as a teacher at a local adult literacy center! Another student, Sobia, received a scholarship from the government to continue her studies after completing secondary education.
Child Marriages Subsiding! Last but not least, this project has contributed significantly to the reduction of child marriages. Of all the girls who benefitted from this project, only one girl got married at the age of 17. Some girls are now 20 years old, and still unmarried. This is going to have a huge impact on the health, family size, decision making, and overall empowerment of girls in the community in the long run.
WHY IS THE PROJECT CLOSING?
Two Great Reasons:
1. It became sustainable! After 5 years, the increase in girls attending secondary school has risen significantly, even outside of this project. The influence of the project on this trend is undeniable. We acknowledge, along with Bedari, that a reasonable period of intervention in one village should be around 5 years. We cannot (and should not) provide support to girls in one village infinitely. That would create dependency. We should focus on villages where girls’ education is not a priority, intervene for 5 years, make girls’ education a priority and leave when it becomes a priority. Guess what - in the original villages we began working with - Girls Education is now a PRIORITY! Bravo and Thank you for your support!!
2. We are moving on with more girls in more villages! The project has concluded in the orignial villages, but now we continue our partnership with Bedari in a new project. This project aims to support 100 new girls in the villages of Maria, Thirchak, Chakki Rangpur, and Dharyala Kahoon. The photos you see are from the ceremony held in Dharyala Kahoon to celebrate the launch of our girls education project. In attendance was the principal of the nearest secondary school, where most of this village's girls will continue their education. We foresee a promising relationship with this school's administration.
Again, we have to express our deepest gratitude to all of you for your support over the past several years. When we donate to causes around the world, it's hard to know what impact we've really had. Thanks to our partner, Bedari, we have been able to keep you updated on the girls, and now, share the amazing impact this project has had on entire communities. It's truly remarkable and we are so happy to have had you along for this journey! Thank you!
Please, continue to support us in our efforts to increase awareness about girls education, support girls in Pakistan, and ensure that girls ed is a priority! You can do so by supporting us through this new project on GlobalGiving.
Thank you so much!
The Girls Ed Team & Bedari
Dear Girls Ed Supporters,
We continue to be touched by your generosity and loyalty! Please take a moment to read this update, then see how you can increase your impact on the Youth Spark Bonus Giving Day - Today June 25th! (see below)
Girls Education International, in partnership with Bedari, is reaching more and more girls in Pakistan! Thanks to the support we've been receiving from donors and those who simply spread the word, we were able to expand our reach in Pakistan. In a recent report, we shared the news that the Bedari Communications Manager, Safeer Ullah Khan was exploring the potential for expansion of girls education initiatives in new villages.
On June 9th, Bedari moved into phase 2 of "Girls Education beyond Primary Level". Mr. Abdul Waheed, District Officer of Secondary Education was the chief guest at the occasion. At the launch ceremony, 70 girls from 5 remote villages – Thirchak, Natto Wala, Maira Aemah, Chakki Rangpur, and Hattar – were awarded scholarships. The ceremony was attended by the notables of the area including Mr. Abdul Waheed, Master Ghulam Ali, Executive Director of Sarban, members of child protection committees, parents of the selected girls, and representatives of other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community based organizations (CBOs).
The selected girls had performed really well in their studies, and come from underprivileged families. Bedari will be bearing the cost of the girls' travel to and from school. The support will continue until they complete their secondary or higher secondary education. Girls Education International is providing financial support to alleviate the burden of school fees and transportation costs.
This project was conceived of by our partner, Bedari back in 2006, and it was piloted it in a remote village in district Chakwal. After the successful completion of pilot phase, the project launched in two more villages – Laphi and Sarkalan – in tehsil Kalar Kahar, district Chakwal. Girls Ed has been happy to join Bedari in supporting 30 girls who received scholarships and continued their studies up to secondary or higher secondary level.
This project is part of Bedari’s efforts to ensure girls’ rights to education, and elimination of child marriages. Girls Education Internation is grateful for your support and we hope that you will continue to contribute, spread the word, and join us as we empower these young women through education!
Join us for Youth Spark Bonus Giving Day ... All donations made to this project between 12pm and Midnight (EST) on Wednesday, June 25th (Today!) will be matched up to 100% for donations of $10 - $1000 per donor, per project! Plus, the organization who raises the most will earn an additional $2500. And the organization with the most unique donors will get an additional $2500! Can you help us support more girls and double your dollar while you're at it!! June 25th, 12 pm .... Donate - every bit counts.
Dear Girls Education International supporters,
Thank you for helping to give 30 girls in Laphi and Sar Kalan books, uniforms, and transportation to attend school at Government Secondary School Buchal Kalan, district Chakwal, Pakistan!
Our partner agency, Bedari, sent a report on Zofishan, one of the girls our program is supporting. Excerpts are below (the full report is on our website www.girlsed.org). This report is translated as close to Zofishan’s words as we could get it:
After three years, I am back in school – Zofishan
“My name is Zofishan and I am studying in 6th grade. I have 5 brothers and one sister. All my brothers are studying in various grades. However, my eldest sister Fatima is not going to school. I, too, was not going to school for three years.
I had studied up to grade 5 in our village school. But we do not have a secondary school in our village, and the nearest secondary school is 14 kilometers away from our home. We could not afford to pay the huge amount of fare charged by the only local van available.
It was such a sad time of my life. I had to stay at home, and help my mother in household chores, or would go out with my mother to the jungle to collect wood for selling it in the local market. My father has a small herd of cattle. He takes them to jungle for grazing and spends almost the whole day there. The time was passing and I was losing hope of joining my school again. I would borrow my elder brother’s books, and study them. My brother is very loving. He would teach me as much as possible.
One day a volunteer came to our village and talked to the village elders for identifying girls who wanted to study up to secondary level. When I heard that, I asked my brother to meet the volunteer and get my name registered for the scholarship. I was very excited and prayed all the time for getting selected. I heard from my brother that there were 21 girls registered for scholarships. And finally the good news came. I came to know that all the 21 girls were given scholarship including myself.
Dear Girls Education Supporters,
We are excited to share a follow up about one of our scholarship recipients, Awatif Aslam. Below is the story, as told by one of our our in-country partners, Safeer Ullah Khan. It's the whole story from the beginning to the exciting new development in Awatif's life! Her life has been changed thanks to having earned an education, something made possible thanks to supporters like you. We hope you feel your impact!
Awatif wanted to study further but her parents had other plans for her. As they could not afford to keep her in school, they had selected a groom for her and wanted to marry her off as soon as possible so that they could have one less mouth to feed. Awatif was in deep trouble and just did not know if there was any way out of this difficult situation.
That was the time when Bedari, with support from Girls Education International, announced a scholarship program for girls who had completed thier primary education in Laphi – Awatif’s village. She applied for the program and got selected. The next step was to convince her parents to delay her marriage and let her continue with her education. It was a difficult part but the local volunteer at Bedari pulled the right strings, i.e. discussed the matter with elderly people of the community who, then, talked to Awatif’s parents, and got their consent. In a matter of a few weeks, all the formalities were completed, and she was back in school.
She made the most of the opportunity, cleared her secondary school exam and requested Bedari for support for another two years to do her higher secondary certificate - necessary for graduation. Bedari, seeing her passion, decided to continue the support, which resulted in successful completion of her higher secondary level education as well.
Support from Bedari came to an end at that point. But Awatif’s passion for further education had swelled even further. She was again in a difficult situation. Seeing her passion, her family got together and discussed different options. The largest chunk of expenditure on her education was actually on her daily travel from her village to her college in the nearby town. If that expense could be avoided, the family could afford to continue her education (Bedari was paying for her transportation before).
At that point, her grandmother stepped in. She lived in the same town near Awatif’s prospective College. The Grandmother offered her home to Awatif, so she did not have to take a van daily but could walk to and from college. Awatif happily accepted her offer. She started living with her grandmother. Her uncle provided her with books. She walked to her college daily and visited her parents on weekends. In another two years, she graduated!
And now for the exciting new development ...
She is now 20 years old and ready to take up the responsibilities of married life. However, life presented her with another opportunity. An NGO wanted to establish an adult literacy center in the neighboring village, and was looking for a teacher. As it failed to find a well-educated female teacher in that village, it started looking for one in the neighboring village, and came to know about Awatif. She was immediately hired and sent for basic training in adult literacy. She has completed her training and is now teaching at the Adult Literacy Center. It is difficult for her to hide her joy. Now she is completely ready to take up the responsibilities of married life.
We are just thrilled for Awatif. She was able to enjoy her youth, study, and acquire a paying job as an educator! Not only has her life been changed, but the generosity of her grandmother to help her continue her studies shows that education is something to be cherished. When communities see the potential of education to bring prosperity and happiness into the lives of young women, they will continue to fight for each girl's right to have equal access to quality education. And we all know that will change the world!
Congratulations, Awatif! And thank you Girls Ed supporters!!
Please share this story and the work we are all doing together by bringing this up in conversation or using the sharing buttons below. Encourage friends and family to make a contribution so that we can continue to grow our programs and support many more young women like Awatif. The gratitude is ever flowing!
The Girls Ed Team
Thank you so much for your continued support of our project in Pakistan. Through your assistance we have been able to provide ongoing support for the 30 girls in Laphi, some of whom have now graduated while still others no longer need our financial assistance, having garnered support from their families who have seen the merits of an education!
As we mentioned in previous reports, we have been looking into expanding our reach in Pakistan to include girls from additional villages. Our local partner, Bedari, undertook a process this past fall to examine the needs and receptiveness of other villages within the area. Some of the primary criteria that Bedari included in its assessment were the feasbility of attending secondary school as determined through looking at the distance to the nearest school, the need of the girls as determined by the extent of poverty of the village, the number of girls ready and interested in pursuing a secondary education and the support that family, elders and the overall community would provide.
As Bedari finalizes its village selection process, Girls Ed will provide its input and determine if we are able to support these additional girls. With your help, we hope to be able to expand our efforts and work with Bedari to assist the girls from the selected villages attain a secondary school education. We will provide you with continued updates as program changes are solidified.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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