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Schools: Educating underserved youth in Pakistan

by Marshall Direct Fund
Schools: Educating underserved youth in Pakistan
Schools: Educating underserved youth in Pakistan
Schools: Educating underserved youth in Pakistan
Schools: Educating underserved youth in Pakistan
Schools: Educating underserved youth in Pakistan
Schools: Educating underserved youth in Pakistan
Schools: Educating underserved youth in Pakistan
Schools: Educating underserved youth in Pakistan
Schools: Educating underserved youth in Pakistan
Schools: Educating underserved youth in Pakistan
Schools: Educating underserved youth in Pakistan
Schools: Educating underserved youth in Pakistan
Schools: Educating underserved youth in Pakistan
Schools: Educating underserved youth in Pakistan
Schools: Educating underserved youth in Pakistan
Schools: Educating underserved youth in Pakistan
Parents at the end of year awards celebration
Parents at the end of year awards celebration

With school now out for the summer, a few reflections on the past academic year:

Final exams for 5th, 8th and 9th graders were over by mid March and the students were extremely successful with a 99% pass rate. Our 5th graders did so well on the exams that when the local community received word, admissions went up by 50 children total for the next school year. Next year both schools will also add grade 10, with our first class graduating in June of 2020. With new admissions for the 2019-2020 school year, the total strength of students is at almost 400.

Through the Global Kid Connect Pen Pal Program, the upper grade students have corresponded with their pen pals in the US through letters and photos. The Power to Pakistan Club at Aspen High School is working on a fundraiser cookbook and one of the students in Aspen has set up a mobile ice cream bike in order to raise money for our student’s scholarships!

In April, we conducted a workshop on ‘Discipline in the Classroom’ for our teachers in order to guide them on how to create a respectful classroom environment. This included how to support students to learn responsibility and self-discipline. A second teacher training will be conducted in August before the classes resume after summer break.

It has been an incredibly successful school year with attendance rates and re-enrollment at its highest. We contribute this to our student’s hard work proving to the community that education is an important step in climbing out of generational poverty. We also contribute our success to our amazing teachers who work tirelessly to support our students.

Help support our 2019-2020 school year! With our increase in students we will need more support than ever! Consider donating directly to our projects through their new Global Giving page at https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/schools-educating-underserved-youth-in-pakistan/

Thank you for your continued support!

Links:

Girls stitching a shirt in the new sewing room
Girls stitching a shirt in the new sewing room

As part of our youth education program we offer the upper grades girls a chance to start to learn vocational skills as well as the opportunity to learn more about what career opportunities exist for them post graduation from our schools.

We want to respect the local traditions and culture of our communities, while, yes, pushing the envelope in terms of building gender equity and empowering women, but also doing it in a way that does not alienate.  We have started with basic home economic skills (sewing, tailoring and stitching) with our youth because it is acceptable among their families. Through this we are able to see them grow and become more curious about what other skills they could learn. We discuss with them different career paths beyond home economics and host different professionals to come to the school to give presentations.

Once our first class graduates in June 2020 we are going to be working with the local government technical training centers, called TEVTAs, to assist us in enrolling the students. Once enrolled the girls and boys can choose from around 20 different technical skills programs. The TEVTAs we are partnering with will even be supporting our girls with a $5 a month stipend to prove to the families that the girls can already make an impact on the household income and that marriage is not needed as a solution to relieve the pressure of her being a financial burden.

 

Thank you for supporting our students on their road to a brighter future!

Vocational Training with Upper Grade Girls
Vocational Training with Upper Grade Girls

In our schools we are happy to report that we have maintained a 98% retention rate in enrollment. Our students are staying in school and the ones who withdraw have only left due to their families moving out of town or a change in the school they attend.

This is a huge success in terms of the impact on child marriage, especially among girls. Our girls are not being removed from school when they hit “marriageable age” around Grade 5 since the families are starting to understand the positive correlation between increased years of girl’s education and future economic gains in the household.

When there is a lack of understanding among the families around the link between increased education among girls and the economic impact, families are stuck in an endless cycle of generational poverty. According to Oxfam, a “lack of education among parents and young people serves to perpetuate the practice, as it is often accentuated by poverty and limited economic opportunity. Girls are less likely than boys to be educated due to the belief that investment in a girl’s education is wasted once she marries. As a result, they lack the valuable and necessary skills to enter the labour market, thus limiting economic progress for themselves and their families.

We have been able to change behaviors around early marriage and girls’ education among families through a variety of methods. By involving our upper grade girls in vocational training the families see them develop useful skills that will lead to income generation in the near future. We have also explained to the families how all the students, upon graduation, will gain entrance into the local government vocational training center where the girls will receive a stipend to attend and skills that will directly contribute to a future income. The families see the benefit in delaying their marriages in order to increase the income of the household.

We have also been working with the girls to understand their rights around forced marriage and education. The girls themselves work hard to advocate within their families on their own behalf and many, if not all, have successfully delayed engagements from becoming full marriages. They report its hard work, but with the help of their mothers they are able to push the envelope and stay in school.

Have a wonderful holiday season and thank you all for your support in this very important work.

Color Day 2018
Color Day 2018

 

School is back in session! Our students just completed their start of the year national exams and are well on their way to a successful school year! Due to your incredible support we were able to add Grade 9 to the schools this year and continue to provide quality education to our students who completed Grade 8. Next year we will be graduating our first class (Grade 10) and are thrilled to see our students getting excited for their futures. Many will attend the local TEVTAs (government vocational training center) with whom we have longstanding partnerships. We have integrated the TEVTA curriculum into our home economics courses so our students are prepared for the next steps in their career. Many of the TEVTAs provide a small stipend to encourage students to attend their schools. This encourages the families to keep the girls in school and delay any marriage plans.

With 5.3 million students lacking access to education in Pakistan, and a majority of them girls, Marshall Direct Fund takes pride in being able to provide access to education for the most vulnerable. We prioritize and incentive education for girls, but in order to combat gender disparity in education, our approach includes boys in the process.

 

Thank you for your continued support!

Students with their end of year awards
Students with their end of year awards

We are proud to announce that 99% of our students have passed their exams this year and are now enjoying summer vacation. The students that needed extra assistance in order to pass the exams will spend one-on-one time with the teachers in order to reach the standards required in order to move on to the next grade. We believe every child has the right and should have the opportunity to reach their educational goals. Our teachers take pride in their ability to ensure each student receives the appropriate attention towards their studies.

With 5.3 million students lacking access to education in Pakistan, and a majority of them girls, Marshall Direct Fund takes pride in being able to provide access to education for the most vulnerable. We prioritize and incentive education for girls, but in order to combat gender disparity in education, our approach includes boys in the process.

Thank you to our supporters for making this school year possible. We are excited for the upcoming school year and supporting even more children to receive the access to education they deserve.

 

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Organization Information

Marshall Direct Fund

Location: Aspen, CO - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Jodi Fischer
Program Director
Aspen, CO United States
$17,132 raised of $50,000 goal
 
57 donations
$32,868 to go
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