Apr 5, 2019

Dr. Mubina (Founder of HOPE) Visits Kashmir

Dear HOPE Friends, 

We at HOPE USA are very excited to share our most recent progress report with you - in the last week of January 2019, HOPE founder, Dr. Mubina Agboatwalla traveled from Karachi, Pakistan to the mountains of Kashmir (a two-hour flight to Islamabad and then a rocky four-hour journey by van) to visit the students and teachers in the HOPE home schools in the region.  She and her team spent a week in Kashmir engaging the students, distributing new warm clothes, and making sure the schools are running smoothly.  All these activities were made possible by your support of HOPE USA's Educate a Girl in Kashmir campaign. Below, please find the highlights of the trip along with pictures of the students receiving new clothing: 


  • Dr. Mubina's HOPE team visited HOPE Home Schools located at Garhi Dupatta, Malsi, Thotha, Chinari, Hatiyanbala, Habibdori, Darbartangi, Dhani Bakalan, and Parhour.  Temperatures hovered around 20 degrees Fahrenheit (even colder with windchill) and the electricity and heat supply fluctuated every hour.


  • They children and teachers were excited to welcome Dr. Mubina and other team members from Karachi after a long wait of one year.  The children prepared plays to entertain the team.  They also performed different songs including Kashmiri folk songs and Pakistani national and patriotic songs.  Dr. Mubina made an uplifting speech to boost the morale of the students and staff.


  • The HOPE team distributed backpacks, clothes, sweaters, hats, socks, gloves, biryani (rice and chicken dish popular in South Asia), snacks, pastries, and juices to the students.  The clothes included high quality pants, shirts, warm tops and fleece jackets.


  • It was bittersweet (yet heartwarming) to see many children wearing the same clothes distributed to them by the HOPE team last year.


  • Dr. Mubina gifted winter shawls to the teachers as a kind gesture. The teachers belong to the same poor communities who have struggled to obtain an education and rise from the ranks of poverty.  These teachers are living role models in their communities and proof that an education can change the future of generations.


  • The HOPE team also demonstrated the process of cleaning water using P&G Purifiers of Water (PuR) in Malsi.  Through this presentation, the students and their families learned the importance of drinking clean water and how to use the PuR kits by themselves at home.  Each family was provided a purifying kit that consists of a cooler, a bucket, muslin cloths, spoons, and 120 sachets of P&G Purifier of Water.


  • These visits to Kashmir provide proof and fuel for the fact that HOPE is truly making a difference in the communities of Kashmir, and particularly helping to empower girls and women in the region.  Girls were at the forefront of extracurricular activities in this visit (and past visits) and many of them go on to further HOPE's cause by helping to educate others.  


As always, we wanted to thank every one of your for your support of our Kashmir campaign. We generated new interest and donors during GlobalGiving's Girl Campaign challenge, and we are thankful and proud of all our donors. Please feel free to share our progress with others and help spread the word. We are dedicated to making sure your donations maximize their impact upon girls’ education in Kashmir.  

Until next time, take care!


Best regards,

Ambereen Siddiqui

Director - HOPE USA

Jan 7, 2019

Your Donations At Work in Kashmir!

Dear HOPE Friends, 

We HOPE you had a wonderful time over the holidays and 2019 is off to a terrific start!  We at HOPE USA wanted to thank you sincerely for your support in launching our Global Giving campaign and helping us to earn a permanent spot on the Global Giving website.  Several of you have become recurring donors and for that we are extremely grateful.  Our Help Educate a Girl in Kashmir campaign is flourishing due to your support and dedication.  We are about 1/3 of the way towards our $20,000 goal!

As you may know, HOPE USA is a multifaceted charity which supports health and education efforts in the third-world South Asian country of Pakistan.  Currently, we are humbled to say that we support a network of hospitals and schools which provides healthcare to over 500,000 patients annually and education to almost 10,000 students per year, all for minimal cost or for free.  Most of HOPE's patients and students are impoverished women and children.  

For this campaign specifically, you supported the efforts of our 35 home schools which are scattered in the Northern Areas of Pakistan, also known as Kashmir.  Home schooling is an innovative concept that was scooped up and highlighted by HOPE.  Essentially, home schooling is a practical and affordable means of educating children in remote and rural areas (such as the mountainous regions of Pakistan).  It addresses several barriers that these children face in their quest to achieve an education: the feasibility of constructing schools in mountainous areas, the dangers of traveling long distances across rough terrain, the poor quality and lack of availability of government schools, and pervasive cultural barriers that prevent girls from achieving an education.  HOPE promotes home schools by encouraging trusted and educated community women to set up a learning environment for eager students in their own homes or a common area.  The teachers use materials and curriculum provided by HOPE.  They are paid a stipend through HOPE and are provided the necessary materials to teach in a conducive learning environment.  Parents are familiar with the teachers and are comfortable because schools are accessible within their villages and students are able to travel to them safely.  The home school concept has opened the door of education to many children, especially girls. 

Below, please find a summary of accomplishments and activities of HOPE's Kashmir home schools.  These accomplishments were supported through our initial campaign collection of approximately $5,500.  Specifically, these activities were made possible by your donations!

  • HOPE is proud to say that its home schools are the only functioning educational options within Azad Jammu and Kashmir.  Currently our home schools provide education from grade 1 until grade 8 and in some cases until Matriculation (high school).  We are pleased to say that out of 1,810 students, 75 percent are girls and 99 percent of them complete their education until grade 8.  Furthermore, 60 percent of students go on to complete their Matriculation levels.  


  • Accessibility in these mountainous areas is a challenge and many areas remain isolated in winter due to snow.  HOPE has set up 35 informal registered schools in Azad Jammu Kashmir area located on various mountain tops.  Children travel through the rough terrain of mountains on foot carrying their backpacks and endure harsh weather conditions to reach HOPE home schools.  It is the passion and enthusiasm of these students which allows them to overcome hurdles and take advantage of the opportunities presented in HOPE home schools.   


  • Recently, a debate competition was held amongst HOPE home schools in which students displayed their elocution skills.  The debate competition held in order to commemorate Iqbal Day, a Pakistani holiday celebrating the life and services of Allama Iqbal, a well-acclaimed Urdu poet, philosopher, and politician.  The purpose of the competition was to promote public speaking skills and teach students to be articulate while expressing their thoughts and opinions.  The speakers of grade I through grade VIII spoke eloquently on different topics relating to Allama Iqbal.


  • HOPE home schools are subject to the same standards as all schools in Pakistan.  Students from HOPE home schools participate in in Board Exams and pass with flying colors.  Preliminary examinations were held in the last week of November 2018 and overall HOPE students performed very highly.  These exams given to prepare students for the Annual Board Exams to be held in March 2019.


  • New furniture for the students of HOPE School Garhidupatta has been successfully provided with our campaign funds.  This includes new wooden desks and benches as per the needs of students.  Initially students used to sit on plastic chairs and used plastic desks.  As students grew and plastic wore out, old furniture was unable to cater to their needs and became a source of discomfort and distraction.  An investment was made in better quality furniture in order to bring about a positive change in performance.  Since the acquisition of wooden desks and chairs, students are able to sit comfortably and focus on classroom activities.   


  • Education has brought about a profound change in the culture amongst the traditional people living in the Northern Areas.  Many girls are being given the opportunity to become educated (as opposed to ten years ago) and many go further go on to make a difference in their communities.  An example is Kiran Nazir; she was born into an extremely poor family and studied at HOPE home schools.  She and her siblings traveled long distances everyday to reach the HOPE home school.  With support and guidance from HOPE, Kiran was able to ace her Matriculation exams.  The HOPE home school team in Kashmir recognized Kiran's potential and gave her moral and financial support so that she was able to study beyond high school levels as well.  Once Kiran finished her education, she married a man in a village four hours away from her home.  There were no opportunities for women and children in her new village.  Realizing the importance of education, Kiran wanted to to improve the lives of other underprivileged children.  With her HOPE foundation under her belt, Kiran took the initiative to open her own home school in her new village.  She credits HOPE for the inspiration of her philanthropic endeavors and said if it were not for her HOPE home schooling in Kashmir, she would not have been able to get an education or achieve so much in her life.     


Thank you for taking the time to read about how your support has made a difference in the lives of 1,810 children in the mountains of Kashmir!  We HOPE that you realize what an impact you are making everyday.  In the next progress report, we will be able to share with you pictures of Dr. Mubina Agboatwalla's (founder of HOPE) upcoming trip to the Northern Areas.  Meanwhile, please enjoy these recent pictures of children you are helping.  Until next time, take care!  



Oct 9, 2018

Thank You for Supporting HOPE's Kashmir Campaign

Dear Friends and Supporters of HOPE USA, 


I wanted to take this opportunity to personally thank you all for supporting HOPE USA's Educate a Girl in Kashmir campaign!  Some of you may know that this campaign was a special project in which our organization was challenged to raise $5,000 from at least 40 different donors over a span of three weeks in order to earn a permanent spot on the GlobalGiving website. Due to your generous donations, HOPE USA has graduated from GlobalGiving's Accelerator program and we have earned a permanent spot on their website! This could not have been done without the dedicated support of our regular donor base as well as new donors.  We are grateful to each and every one of you for helping us achieve this goal.  This is a great milestone for HOPE USA and will allow us to post various projects, grow as a nonprofit organization, and even attract corporate donors.  


In regards to the Kashmir campaign you supported, thank you again!  We raised a total of $5,636.12 from 48 donors and reached our target before the Accelerator deadline. We will receive disbursements from GlobalGiving on the 25th of this month and can then funnel the money towards the Kashmir home schools that are supported by HOPE USA. Towards the end of December 2018, HOPE's chairperson, Dr. Mubina Agboatwalla will be traveling to Kashmir with her team to visit the home schools and also personally hand out new warm clothes and uniforms to the children.  We will be able to update you with wonderful pictures in January. You will also learn how your donations were used to enhance the lives of these students and their teachers.  


We are so excited to have earned a spot on the GlobalGiving website and wanted to thank you for making this possible! Trust is a two-way street and we are honored to have earned your trust and will work hard to show you how your donations are making an impact.  


We will keep in touch!


Best regards,

Ambereen Siddiqui


Director - HOPE USA


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