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.
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