Send 60 Girls in Pakistan to School

by Girls Education International
Send 60 Girls in Pakistan to School
Meeting with Students
Meeting with Students

Dear Pakistan Project Supporters,

As the new year begins, we are happy to share some exciting news with you. Because of your generous support, we have been able to deepen our partnership with Bedari over the past several months, culminating in a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) between our organizations.

The pandemic highlighted the importance of supporting learning experiences outside of the traditional classroom context—and our conversations with Bedari affirmed the value of these experiences for the girls in the program. We heard the same from students like Ifra, who shared this suggestion for improving the Girls Ed program: “I am still hearing exposure visit stories from village girls when Bedari took them to Sargodha and Khewra Mines. I wish Bedari would take us too, so we can have memories for life and see the world beyond Talagang. Also, please arrange some extracurricular activities for girls in the village.” We also heard from our partner that it was important to recognize the girls, their families, and their communities in supporting girls’ education.

So, in October, 10 students we support participated in Bedari's 3rd Annual Provincial Conference for Girls’ Rights in the city of Lahore. This conference is a platform for advocacy where community activists and girls are invited to raise their concerns with decision-makers. Girls were invited to participate in a moot court chaired by Punjab’s Minister for School Education (see the photo on Bedari’s Twitter feed here). This kind of exposure visit by which girls travel beyond  their village and engage in policy-related conversations is precisely the kind of transformational learning experience we have committed to support through our new MOU. 

Given these recommendations, our new MOU now explicitly includes financial support for co-curricular and extracurricular learning experiences as well as an annual celebratory event. We hope the celebration contributes to developing an alumni network that will be an ongoing resource for girls and women. 

Finally, we reaffirmed our commitment to covering the tuition fees and other expenses associated with attending “higher secondary education” (i.e., grades 11 and 12). Each additional year of education matters for girls and young women—and we are excited to see the paths they create for themselves as they pursue their dreams!

These additional commitments do not detract from our ongoing commitment to support girls’ access to school by providing for the cost of safe transportation. Rather, the growth in what we can do to support girls’ education is only possible through your generosity. We sincerely thank you! 

As always, please feel welcome to connect with us at

With warmest regards,

Mercedes Ward
Pakistan Project Manager
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Dear Pakistan Project Supporters,

Our hearts are with the people of Pakistan. With one-third of the country flooded, we hope that you and your loved ones are safe. Many of you are probably anxious to hear an update about the girls in the program you support.  

Bedari, our partner organization in Pakistan, has informed us that flooding has not occurred in the areas where the girls live. The girls and their villages are safe—at least for now. We know that further monsoon rains are in the forecast, and the situation could change rapidly. Moreover, the social and economic impacts of a disaster of this scale are tremendous—and they will ripple across the entire country (and world) for a long time to come. 

We are committed to working with Bedari to continue to support girls’ access to education amid this crisis. We hope you will stay committed as well. 

We also know that such a massive disaster requires immediate responsiveness of the global community. GlobalGiving has launched a special campaign to raise funds for flood relief (click here to donate to GlobalGiving’s Pakistan Flood Relief Fund). We are grateful to be part of a nonprofit and donor community that cares. It is through our collective actions that we can co-create a better world for all. 

With love and in solidarity,

The Girls Ed Team

(Mercedes, Kate, Shelly, Lauren, and Loni)


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Dear Pakistan Project Supporters,

Warm greetings! On behalf of Girls Education International (Girls Ed), I sincerely thank you for your generous support of our project, “Send 60 Girls in Pakistan to School.” 

This project is a collaboration with Bedari, our partner in Pakistan, and I am delighted to share with you a few updates about our partnership. In recent months, we have been working together to enhance our data collection and management for impact reporting so that we can share not only more stories (like this one) about current students but also about alumni. We are also looking at ways to create opportunities for current students and alumni of the Girls Ed program to come together with their families and village communities to participate in creative arts, sports, and other social activities. Events like these would celebrate the girls’ success and everyone’s collective commitment to supporting girls’ access to education. 

We also hope to create new synergies with other initiatives aligned with the Girls Ed mission to amplify the impact of your investment in girls’ education in Pakistan. Specifically, we are in the process of exploring ways we might partner with Bedari to enhance girls’ access to co-curricular programming and informal learning experiences—including vocational training, self-growth workshops, artistic expression, sports, and exposure trips. You might recall that during 2020, when schools in Pakistan were closed, we were able to keep the girls engaged by supporting their participation in other learning opportunities, including Bedari’s self-growth curriculum. We know that these kinds of enriching learning experiences can improve student retention and success in school—and we look forward to further discussion with our colleagues at Bedari about ways we might further partner in support of these kinds of educational activities. We hope you too are excited about these possibilities!  

And of course, we will continue the heart of the work we do together: providing funds to cover transportation costs so that girls from remote villages can access secondary school. Girls Ed currently supports girls from across six participating villages in Chakwal District. Because the travel distance and transportation costs vary across villages, we are able to support one additional student at this time, so there are 61 girls currently enrolled in our program. 

Each quarter we look forward to sharing updates about these efforts and the positive outcomes for the students–which are only possible with your generous support. YOU make all of this possible! If you would like to learn more about the work Girls Ed does in Pakistan and beyond, please check out our podcast, follow us on social media (Twitter @girlsed), or reach out to us at We would love to hear from you!

With deepest gratitude,

Mercedes Ward

Pakistan Project Manager
Girls Education International
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Dear Pakistan Project Supporters,

Warm greetings! On behalf of Girls Education International (Girls Ed), I sincerely thank you for your generous support of our project, “Send 60 Girls in Pakistan to School.” This project is a collaboration with Bedari, our long-time partner organization in Pakistan. 

Access to education is so important for children everywhere, and in the context of rural villages in Pakistan, lack of transportation is a major barrier keeping girls out of secondary school. This, in turn, puts girls at elevated risk of child marriage. Your contributions to Girls Ed have helped keep girls in school and supported their participation in Bedari’s self-growth sessions. 

These experiences empower girls to see themselves as agents of change, as illustrated by the stories shared by some of the girls themselves:

Iqra said:

“My education makes me strong and enables me to use my agency, educate girls about their rights, and speak up against abuse.”

Muqaddas expressed a similar sentiment: 

“My education helps me understand that women and girls are equal human beings, and I stand with everyone. I am now capable of spreading awareness on rights among women and girls and will continue to do so.” 

This kind of ripple effect is key to breaking the cycle of poverty and ending child marriages. Another key factor is persistence, for as long as there is injustice in the world, there is work to be done!

And with your support, we continue the work. After 30 girls graduated last fall, Bedari recruited new participants into the program. Girls were recruited from across six different villages, including some with shorter travel distances than others, which allowed Bedari to add one more girl to the program! There are now 61 girls enrolled in grades 6–12. Each one of these girls has a story all her own. Stay tuned in the coming months as we share many of their stories on our blog and social media.

Having allies like you who are willing to support and advocate for girls’ basic human rights – especially access to education – can make such an enormous difference in girls’ lives. We are so grateful for your support in sustaining this important work!

If you would like to learn more about the work Girls Ed does in Pakistan and beyond, please check out our podcast, follow us on social media (Twitter @girlsed), or reach out to us at 

With kindest regards,

Mercedes Ward

Pakistan Project Manager
Girls Education International
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Self-Growth session conducted by Bedari.
Self-Growth session conducted by Bedari.

Dear Pakistan Project Supporters,

Warm greetings to all! On behalf of Girls Education International (Girls Ed), I thank you for your generous support of our project, “Send 60 Girls in Pakistan to School.” Through your investment in the education of girls in Pakistan, 60 girls have gone to school who otherwise would not have. Thank you—we couldn’t have done it without you!

I also wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself because I recently joined the Board of Directors for Girls Ed as the Project Manager for the Pakistan Project. After finishing my PhD in anthropology, I spent five years on the project management team for a USAID-funded initiative in Pakistan that aimed to expand access to high quality educational opportunities. During this time, I became more aware of the specific barriers to education that girls in Pakistan, especially those in rural villages, must overcome (e.g., lack of access to safe and reliable transportation to school). I also was reminded that effective and appropriate interventions require local partnerships. That’s why when I learned that the Girls Ed model is one of fundraising on behalf of local partner organizations, I wanted to learn more about Bedari, Girls Ed’s partner in Pakistan.

And what I learned—as many of you already know—is that Bedari is led by an amazing woman, Executive Director Anbreen Ajaib (listen to Girls Ed’s recent interview with Anbreen). Bedari’s approach is culturally sensitive, thoughtful, and empowering. Bedari’s deep community relationships have proven essential for an adaptive response throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

What that means in practical terms is that 100% of the girls supported through the Girls Ed Pakistan Project were successful in their studies and promoted to the next grade, including 30 students who have now graduated out of the project. Congratulations to all of these resilient and persistent girls! Applications are currently being received by Bedari to select new students to bring the total participants back up to 60 students.

Finally, since it’s often when we take a long-term view that we see the biggest impact of investment in girls’ education, let me share a couple of updates we received from Bedari about alumni of the Girls Ed Pakistan Project. One alum, Mariam, received support from Girls Ed from 2014 to 2017 and is now running a tuition (coaching) center with more than 50 students! Another alum, Emaan, received support for four years and is now a schoolteacher pursuing her Master’s degree in social sciences. These are the kinds of outcomes we hope are possible for all students supported through Girls Ed’s partnerships.

In upcoming GlobalGiving reports—and via the Girls Ed blog, social media (Twitter @girlsed), and newsletter (sign up here)—we will continue to share stories of girls whose access to education is made possible with your support. As the Girls Ed Pakistan Project Manager, I also look forward to strengthening our impact analysis and reporting in collaboration with Bedari.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at Girls Ed with any questions or suggestions. Together we can help ensure access to education for girls living in rural villages in Pakistan and beyond!

With kindest regards,

Mercedes Ward

Pakistan Project Manager

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Organization Information

Girls Education International

Location: Boulder, CO - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @girlsed
Project Leader:
Mercedes Ward
Boulder, CO United States
$65,349 raised of $75,000 goal
1,158 donations
$9,651 to go
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