HDF is thrilled to share the story of a remarkable student, Aqsa, who scored the highest marks on her Board exams in her district!
Aqsa is 15 years old. Her father is a carpenter who earns approximately $150 per month, supporting a household of 10. She has seven siblings, and her parents’ utmost focus has been on providing a comprehensive education to all of their children- boys and girls alike. Aqsa’s father placed confidence in HDF’s Formal School Basti Khandoo in Rahim Yar Khan where all of his children are currently studying except for his eldest son, who graduated from the same school.
The foundation of HDF's efforts is to create a culture of independence where our beneficiaries are the ones leading the charge for a better future. This begins with Social Mobilization, where HDF facilitates the formation of democratic community organizations, that represent each household, and empower individuals to have a say in the decisions that affect themselves, their families and their communities. For girls in these villages this is the first step to bring about change!
Enoo Bhatti is a village area near Lahore that, while being close to one of the largest cities of Pakistan, children of the area were forced into labor due to poverty, and education was not regarded with value. The government schools were highly inadequate and the parents were not satisfied with the education system in their village.
In 2006, HDF constructed a child friendly school system for the community. The school started with 187 students, and now educates almost 300 children.
School activities include annual health screenings, vaccinations, tree plantation around the school, teacher's training, & education campaigns among other initiatives. We are planning a sports day in Spring 2014 for students.
Here are some highlights of the school's activities:
1) New Academic Session: An enrollment campaign was organized for awareness about education as well as to target out of school children. For this purpose, students and teachers, along with a community PTA, reached out to school- aged children for enrollment.
2) Provision of free books: Academic books were provided to all the students of HDF Secondary School for the session 2013-14.
3) Academic Camp for Students & Homework Group Activity: An Academic Camp was arranged during vacations for academically weak students. The teaching staff was told about the importance of curriculum development and motivating students.
4) Monthly Monitoring: To ensure quality education in HDF schools, the Education Coordinator visits the school once a month for monitoring purpose. During the visit, the Education Coordinator keenly observes all aspects of the school including record keeping, management, and guides teachers about accurate assessment of learning outcomes, use of time, teaching learning strategies, examinations and assessment.
5) In-service Teacher Training: A 6 days in-service teacher training was arranged for all teachers for capacity enhancement and curriculum development.
6) Debate & Quiz Competition: Inter- school level debate and quiz competition was organized in the school in which students from HDF schools participated.
Fatima is a 5th grader at HDF Formal School in Village Ramzan Lasi Goth, Karachi. Her father works in a textile mill, while her mother tends to the household chores. Coming from a large family, Fatima’s family lives in dire poverty. She is the eldest child out of 5, and often helps her mother look after her siblings. She is a responsible and conscientious girl. In her spare time, she loves to read mystery novels and her favorite subject in school is Math. A star pupil, Fatima has high ambitions for the future and wants to become a doctor when she grows up. HDF’s school in this village has provided 200 girls in this region access to education that they wouldn’t have had before.
In Pakistan, more than 7 million girls are denied their basic right to receive an education. Their struggle goes well beyound the lack of schools and classrooms. Factor in the devastating effects of poverty and the social & cultural obstacles, the girl is often the first one to suffer.
HDF has launched an initiative, Girls-Matter, to continue providing resources and opportunities for girls in the most marginalized communities of Pakistan. Together, we have placed almost 6,000 girls in school, but our work is far from done.With less than 8% of girls pursuing a college level education, too few will enter society with the necessary skills to actively participate.
Learn more here: www.girls-matter.com
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