Project #14074

Continuing Malala's Dream - Educating Pakistan

by Fatima Memorial Hospital
Students fromt the NUR Foundation School
Students fromt the NUR Foundation School

We are shaped as human being through our experiences, our education and our parents or loved ones.

The day we are born we are held by our mothers, who nurture us, feed us and protect us.

They are our very frst guide, teacher and cares for us like no other.

Mothers only know how to give and that is what they do to the best of their abilities. It is our civic duties as educated members of society to ensure that we educate our girls. 

We educate a girl, we will educate a generation.

NUR Foundation launched the education component of its  program in 1996, today after 2 decades thousands of girls have graduated and today are mother who have an educated outlook towards life and how they will raise there children.

We thank you for your support.

The standard of living of people is an amalgamation of health, education and employment, such that one without the two cannot improve the socioeconomic status of the population. The NUR Foundation adheres to this principle, which has formed footing for its NUR Community Outreach Program. As of today, more than 18000 students from a low socioeconomic background have completed their primary and secondary education through the NUR Foundation schools. In addition, the NUR Community Outreach Program’s health component encompasses of a holistic community health provision model that comprises of primary health care centers, food banks and mobile health units that are dedicated towards improving the health indicators of the population. Lastly, vocational training and micro-financing opportunities through NUR have opened new avenues for people to enhance their skills and has broken the cycle of poverty and dependability.

‘Of the many inspiring stories, one such story is of Rihanna who belonged from a poor household in the outskirts of Lahore. With the help of her teachers at the Nur Foundation schools she was able to complete her matriculation and went ahead with further education. She is now able to afford a good lifestyle not only for herself but also for her family. Today she is working as a receptionist at a local clinic and is able to afford education for her younger sisters.Rihanna continues to be a source of inspiration for her juniors at the NUR foundation schools’.

In 2000 the millennium development goals set global targets of prosperity for all. The 2015 MDG status report shows unsatisfactory performance by Pakistan for achieving Universal Primary Education. Pakistan was able to meet approximately 50 percent of its target for net primary enrollment and 68 percent of its target for the literacy rate. This gap could be attributed to a paucity of educational facilities in the country. In light of this scenario, Fatima Memorial Hospital is striving immensely to provide education to underprivileged children to achieve the new targets set for the sustainable development goals through its NUR outreach program.

The NUR community outreach program believes that education attainment and success cannot be justified by merely measuring a childs’ attendance at school, instead it’s a nurturing process measured by learning. Quality education provision at NUR envisages a system that helps in not only developing a quality learning atmosphere, buy also develops awareness. As of today, children from under-privileged backgrounds have completed their primary and secondary education from NUR schools. Starting initially with 3 schools and 1435 students in 1985, the program has successfully scaled to 12 schools and 18000 students. In addition, 256 teachers have been trained through the program.  Along with striving for childrens’ education, the NUR community outreach program is also working towards improving community health and providing microfinance opportunities and vocational training to under privileged communities.

In the past quarter, NUR schools have held numerous activities that aim to not only to provide education but also targets to encourage numerous activities that will contribute to childrens’ personal growth. An Earth day was held in the Nain Sukh Community School to develop awareness amongst students regarding environment protection. In addition, students have been distributed books and been provided with nutrition counselling through NURs’ Food distribution program

Most students at the NUR schools belong from families having a poor socio-economic background and standard of living. These communities have limited resources to fulfill the basic necessities of living. One such story is that of Akhtar Ali, who was unable to afford education for his three daughter. The family has a small house with Ali being the sole breadwinner for the family. The girls despite having a passion for going to school the girls could not do so and would help their father in maintaining a stable financial status by working in in houses. When the team at FMH heard of their story, they agreed to fulfill their dream of going to school. The purpose of NUR foundation is to target such communities and build a healthy and stable environment which will inspire and encourage them to succeed in life. Access to a quality education will pave pathways to success for children which in return will flourish a stable home environment for themselves and their families.

Sabeen, eldest daughter of Akhtar Ali, is a student of grade 5 now. She always wanted to go to school.

‘I used to watch my friends walk to school with their backpacks while doing household chores. I was always curious about what they studied at school and loved listening to their stories. Thanks to the NUR outreach Program I am one of them now.’

Sabeen goes to school every day with her friends and her friends are help her out with Maths and English.

studying at NUR Foundation School
studying at NUR Foundation School

The year 2016 brings a new frame work for global prosperity and sustainability in the form of The Sustainable Development Goals that promises equitable quality education all. However, the state of education in Pakistan provides a bleak picture of its adherence to these goals. Out of 53 million children in Pakistan, between the ages of 5 and 16, 25 million or 47.3% are out of school. For those who do go to school the learning outcomes are not satisfactory. In addition, a severe problem in the education sector is the dropout rate for primary, middle and high school level. Starting off with a net enrolment rate of 57%, the number further drops to 22% for middle school level and 13% for high school level. This depicts an abysmal picture of the Education sector with 46% of students dropping out before finishing primary school[1].

Fatima Memorial Hospital is contributing to improve the provision of education through its NUR outreach programme since 1985. In addition to education, this program also aims to improve the health status to people in distant areas. The programme also equips students with free books, uniforms and stationary items every year. As of today, 18,000 children have attained primary level education from NUR foundation schools and this number continues to grow.

Out of the many influenced, this student whose life now is better due to access to quality education through The NUR outreach programme. This access has opened numerous opportunities for her that will promise a healthy standard of living, not only for her but for her family as well.

I am 12 years old and studying in grade 8th. With the help of my teachers at the NUR Foundation School, I will give my Matriculation exams next year. They have been engaged tirelessly in providing us with resource material and explaining concepts, especially with English and Math. I aim to finish school with good grades and will continue to attain further education’’

Malala Yousafzai, youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner and Pakistani activist for female education, continues to inspire people around the world yet again. The high school junior is currently in second place in TIME’s People of the Year Poll, putting her ahead of world figures including Pope Francis and Barack Obama.  Her struggle for education for females has crossed transnational boundaries, making her a global symbol for promoting education and bringing the challenge of ‘education for all’ at the forefront in the global development agenda.

Recently, Malala and First Lady Michelle Obama launched the “62 Million Girls” campaign that is planned to ensure millions of girls worldwide that are not currently in school, receive the social and economic opportunities to receive an education. As we know, when these girls aren’t given a chance to realize their potential, the whole world loses out. In her speech at the launch, Malala spoke about the relationship between education and poverty, highlighting the fact that although we have the resources to prioritize education and combat the challenges that lack of education can bring with it, the fact remains that these resources are being used to fund activities that are not useful to society.

“It’s not that there is lack of money in this world,” she said. “We have billions and trillions of dollars, but where the money goes is military; it’s things that are useless and that are not useful to society”, the 18 year old Nobel Peace Prize winner said.

 A key part of this “62 Million Girls” campaign is to encourage and support community-led solutions to reduce barriers that prevent adolescent girls from completing their education.

The communities we work with under Nur Foundation, comprise of many such females who come from poor socio-economic backgrounds, who might not have the resources to afford quality education or the support to continue their education but have the hunger to learn and succeed in life. Our aim is to continue on with Malala’s dream and eliminate the barriers girls face in these communities and provide them with equal opportunities to make them active citizens. Over the past 19 years, we at Nur Foundation have seen many females become success stories, inspiring their families and the community to send their daughters and sisters to school as well. 


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Organization Information

Fatima Memorial Hospital

Location: Lahore, Punjab - Pakistan
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Arif Kabani
Lahore, Punjab Pakistan

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