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.
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