Project #11867

Educate 1,500 Children in Pakistan's Northern Area

by Developments in Literacy
Areej at a dinner for Prince Charles
Areej at a dinner for Prince Charles

Act today to support quality education and watch your contribution grow! For a short time only, the Safer World Fund will match your donation. Your gesture of kindlness today will kindle the fire of education in the lives of girls like Areej. Here is her story....

“I want to grow up to be a fashion designer and want to stand on my own two feet,” says 7th Grader Areej Fatima.That would not be unusual in most parts of the world, but as a poor girl growing up in Pakistan, the odds are against her. “Most girls  where I live work from home making envelopes, peeling garlic for the market or sewing clothes,” explains Areej.

Areej is a DIL student and her parents are extremely supportive of her and her three sisters. Her father is a textile worker and her mother is a seamstress, but they are both adamant that Areej study further and be given more opportunities than those that were available to them.

Due to her parents’ meagre earnings, Areej was forced to attend a local public school at first.

“In that school, I didn’t have the opportunity or a chance to do something. We just studied the old fashioned way, reading and writing and learning things by heart.”

Two years ago, Areej enrolled at a DIL school. She now studies chemistry and biology, and after-school groups to learn English and computer skills. At her school, students are encouraged to do online presentations, research current topics and teach others. “Now I feel confident and can present in front of my whole class.”

Areej’s success in school prompted DIL Trust UK to host her in London for five days in February.

When she arrived, Areej bought new shoes, went sightseeing to Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace, and went to a banquet attended by the Prince of Wales. She was also interviewed by an anchor at the BBC.

“What I loved most about London was the sense of style and shopping malls.”

We wish Areej every success in her future endeavours!

Hamida smiles: "I am optimistic about my future."
Hamida smiles: "I am optimistic about my future."

Hamida Solangi never had the opportunity to learn to read and write. As a housewife living in Khaipur, a remote area in Pakistan, she has taken great pride in raising her four daughters and three sons. But she also sensed that something was missing.

“My husband is a headmaster and I felt less in front of him as I could not read or write. Perhaps, if I knew to read and write, he would think better of me and I could truly earn his love and respect,” relays Hamida.

Hamida decided it was important to educate her children, especially her daughters, so in her words “they would never feel what I felt.”

Some years ago, she admitted the children to a DIL School. Hamida took pleasure in watching them complete and discuss their homework with one another. One day, she gathered her courage and expressed that she too wanted to learn.

“I was taken by surprise by their eagerness and enthusiasm to help. The children brought books from school and started teaching me. They rushed to share with their teachers in school and the principal offered the children help on how to be better teachers to their mother,” Hamida smiles and says.

 That is when the change began to happen at home.“My husband, whose attention I craved and who had always been reserved, realized what was going on in our home. He became angry and resentful that I could be such an upstart and pursued this behind his back," Hamida explained.

His anger did nothing to deter the children. As he stood by and watched them teach their mother, his irritation gradually melted away. One day, he even sat down to help with a lesson. Hamida's face lights up with a smile as she says, "I am now optimistic about the future and our life together as a family."

Pakistan has the highest percentage of illiterate adults and the second highest number of out-of-school children in the world. DIL students are encouraged to give back through outreach programs for adults like Hamida as well as out-of-school-children, A DIL education focuses on activity-based learning, confidence building and teamwork. Students receive life skills training and scholarships, so they can access opportunities beyond school that will lift them and their families out of poverty.

Hamida's daughters teach her to read
Change the life of a girl through education
Change the life of a girl through education

Shumaila, a 5th Grader  Shumaila was absent for more than a month. The principal asked her class mates to looking on her and also send a message to her mother to come in to school but neither Shumaila nor her mother ever showed up. Instead she sent back words: “I have no interest to get education”.

These words set the principal thinking. She set out for Shumaila's home to pay her a visit. As she questioned Shumaila quite crossly, it emerged that Shumaila's father had married second time with a child Shumaila's own age. “My father will soon will arrange my marriage and my new mother is my best friend, so I want to stay with her all the time," Shumaila said.

The principal acknowledged her fears and advised her if she studied further, she could fight for her rights. She further explained to her that time was very precious and not to be wasted. After this advice, Shumaila's outlook on life changed. She realized the importance of her education and promised that from next day on, she would come and continue her education with all her heart. She is now a regular and punctual student at the school. 

Your support is critical to girls like Shumaila - with your help, our team can continue their outreach to out of school girls and mentor them to complete their education.Girls who complete primary education are less likely to get married before the age of 18 or become victims of domestic abuse. A child of a mother who can read is twice as likely to live past the age of 5. 

Change the direction of Pakistan's next generation...provide quality education to Pakistan's girls. 


A DIL Student on her way to school
A DIL Student on her way to school

Developments in Literacy (DIL) supports 30 schools in the remote regions of Pakistan. These community schools enroll over 1,500 students, mostly girls, many of who are the first in their family to attend school. Here are some inspirational stories of quality teaching and learning in one of the most neglected corners of the world:

* In Zarbaig School, students learn math through hands on activities. In order to teach place values, the teacher was observed handing out base ten materials, breaking the children into groups and allowing them time to manipulate the materials and and make observations in their notebooks.There was clearly more clarity and understanding of the content taught.                                                           

 * In Khushmuqam School, teachers are very expressive at story time, and students follow their teacher in mimicing expressions while reading. In one session that was observed, children from Grade 2 read aloud the story “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”.  The teacher paused and asked questions, which the students answered with great enthusiasm. They enjoy and learn from this method of story reading. 

* In Wara Banda School, preschool students are very hands on in circle time. In one session that  was observed, the Kindergarten teacher taught the names of fruits with the help of colorful charts. This was an interactive session where children responded well to the teacher when she asked questions. By the end, the children could name and identify fruits and shapes. To celebrate Environment Day, the children of Wara Banda participated in garbage collection from in and around the school grounds. Teachers report that that these activities are important for awareness raising and modeling to students to keep their environment clean.

Your help makes this possible. Please continue to support these children in receiving a quality education that can empower them for success in school and beyond!



A DIL teacher works with her students
A DIL teacher works with her students
DIL Bagga Sheikhan School
DIL Bagga Sheikhan School

DIL Allamabad Community School

Students in lower Dir face a number of challenges making quality education difficult to obtain: girls drop out of school at the middle and high school level due to a scarcity in educational options, long distances to school and early marriage.

In light of these challenges, the DIL Allamabad Community School in lower Dir, Pakistan is poised to move to a centrally located, purpose-built school with upgraded facilities to better accommodate its growing student population’s needs.  Currently, due to scarcity in resources and land, the school is being run in two locations
in rented buildings. With two rooms each, the 108 students (82 girls and 26 boys) from Classes KG to 7 are forced to sit three classes per room. The location is not accessible by public transport so students have to walk a
distance of 30-40 minutes.

The community has identified the plot of land to begin construction of the new building. The location is in an area accessible to families from neighboring villages, to the satisfaction of many parents that
their children (especially daughters) will not have to walk such long distances. The school will have 9 separate classrooms for each grade, an office, play area, library, computer lab and 4 toilets. The new school will
provide space for expanding to the middle school level further encouraging girls to attend beyond the primary level. The building will be constructed to provide an environment conducive to learning with large rooms for proper seating
arrangements and facilities for allowing students to expand their technology skills.

DIL will provide extensive training to the teachers for all grades and subjects and empower the principal to manage the school effectively. DIL aims to further develop the community to support girls’ education so that future generations of girls will be educated, informed and confident citizens.

DIL Rangali Community School
For the four villages in Rawalapindi, Pakistan served by the newly constructed DIL Rangali Community School, the building stands as a beacon of hope for a brighter future. Before Developments in Literacy (DIL) built and managed this quality school, educating their children was not even aconsideration for most families in this community who survive as low wage agricultural workers and simply cannot afford to send their children to school. Many mothers in this community, who never had the opportunity to learn to read or write, only dreamed of sending their daughters to school. That is until recently.

Today, with the generosity of individuals from around the world, Rangali Community School proudly
serves 224 students, and of those 172 are girls. Students up to Grade 8 fill the newly built classrooms. But enrolling children is really only the first step. DIL’s long-term commitment to providing quality education through tailored
curriculum and teacher training in student-centered pedagogy ensures attendance and positive learning outcomes.

DIL Bagga Sheikhan School

Upon entering Development in Literacy’s BaggaSheikhan School, student and staff pride in this purpose built school is very apparent. The excitement of learning and possibilities is palpable. Bagga Sheikhan School was built in the heart of the village located in rural Rawalpindi, Pakistan.  While the community is supportive of girls’ education, many drop out after grade eight due to distance and travel cost needed to attend secondary school: a situation Developments in Literacy is determined to remedy by adding grade levels to provide a full secondary education.

Currently, the school serves 245 students including 95 boys and 150 girls. With trained teachers, student learning is demonstrated in student work and strong board exam results.  In addition to the expected academics, students have been actively participating in the co-curricular activities, which provide opportunities to develop problem solving and
collaborative skills.

Despite the many exciting accomplishments adorning this beautiful new school, the library at Bagga Sheikhan School needs more resources to meet the full range of grade levels to support the reading development of all the students. Another challenge currently facing the school is the lack of electricity.

The principal has applied for electricity connection and hopes for a positive response soon, as the furnished
computer lab is just waiting to be used. To overcome the electricity issue required for the operation of the
computers in the school, DIL is exploring laptops as an option. Continued donor support will make all the difference in making the library and computer lab fully operational.

Girls Learn in Dir, Pakistan
Girls Learn in Dir, Pakistan
DIL Ranjajali Purpose Built School
DIL Ranjajali Purpose Built School

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Organization Information

Developments in Literacy

Location: Irvine, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Developments in Literacy
Project Leader:
Kendra Puryear
Irvine, CA United States

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