February 2011 update on Girls Ed Pakistan project
By Therese Thompson - Executive Director
Dear Girls Education International supporters,
Thank you for helping to give 30 girls in Laphi and Sar Kalan books, uniforms, and transportation to attend school at Government Secondary School Buchal Kalan, district Chakwal, Pakistan!
Our partner agency, Bedari, reports that all 30 girls have remained enrolled in school and that the van hired to transport them to and from their villages and the school is running smoothly. Two girls, Sidra and Khadija, have passed their regular exams and have been promoted to the next class – class 10. The rest of the girls will be taking exams in March 2011.
Public schools in Pakistan are not good at organizing extracurricular activities, so Bedari has been holding a monthly meeting with all the 30 girls in the village. This meeting has two objectives:
- Get updates from the girls about their schooling, any problems they are facing, and learn about their issues.
- Provide them a platform for extracurricular activities.
In these meetings, the girls sing songs, share jokes, recite their favorite poetry etc. In the next year, Bedari wants to organize self-growth sessions for these girls to provide them training in basic life skills – communications skills, confidence building exercises, and an understating of gender issues.
Safeer Ullah Khan, our project officer with Bedari, described only one challenge in his recent project report to Girls Ed:
"We are having a difficult time getting progress reports from the school. The Head Teacher at the school has not been cooperating with Bedari staff. We have held meetings with the senior officials of the district education department, and have managed to get some information. However, it is still not easy to get progress reports from her.”
Safeer's report reminds me of why we believe that Girls Ed has a unique program service model with great potential for success - we partner with local organizations that already work in the regions we serve. These local organizations already have relationships and infrastructure in the rural communities that allow us to maximize existing resources through strategic partnerships, while respecting existing culture and values. They understand the culture/politics and have staff available to mitigate any unforeseen challenges. We are confident that the challenge in obtaining progress reports will improve as Bedari’s staff builds trust with the school administrators and they see the benefits of the program.
Thank you so much for continuing to provide support to our girls in Pakistan and giving them this opportunity to continue their education!