Dear Pakistan Project supporters,
With your tremendous support our work in Pakistan continues. In the past few years Girls Ed in partnership with Bedari has been providing safe transportation to and from school to the girls, raising the status of women and community at large.
During past 3 years we've supported over 100 in their pursuit of education. Currently 74 girls completed their matriculation and others continue their studies this year. Delaying child marriages till the age of 18 years is a tremendous achievement, as the girls receiving education begin to realize their rights and become more eager to participate in decision-making processes at home and in the community.
There have been some set backs as well. We lost three of our girls to untimely deaths due to clan reveries; and ten girls got married before completing their matric education.
Perhaps partially due to uncertain times at the home front, we have had more difficult time raising money for our project the past year. Yet, we continue strongly with our mission, realizing that impact of our work on the young women is direct, deeply appreciated and much needed. This year, due to Girls Ed’s funding restrain we are working with 60 girls only. We have identified five new villages in district of Chakwal, and 60 girls that are extremely excited to become part of Girls Ed and find their way for better and brighter future.
Beyond the transportation needs, there is high demand and need for self-growth activities for the young women. In the past Bedari organization had provided many enriching activities for them. Due to funding constraints many of these initiatives have stopped for now but Bedari is looking forward to enter into collaboration with local organizations that may provide vocational skill to enhance the growth of girls under Girls Ed program in the future.
We want you to know the girls that you support better, to understand your impact more intimately. With that in mind, this month meet Shanza in the interview below.
As our Executive Director recently said, quoting Shakespeare from Midsummer Night's Dream: "And though she be but little, she is fierce." Thank you for your continuous and generous support.
AN INTERVIEW WITH SHANZA:
Q: How has your education raised your awareness about issues around the world?
Ans: My name is Shanza Batool and I belong to village Hathar, where the basic needs are hardly met. I got the chance to receive education with Bedari. Due to education I was able to talk about myself and my village.
Q: How has your education assisted you to fight extremism, build intercultural communication and be advocate for positive change?
Ans: Until I moved out of my village I was only aware about the problems of girls in my village. But when I moved to distant places to receive education I realized that until the girls won’t speak up for their rights they would not be able to gain an equal stature in the society.
Q: Can you see yourself as agent of change in the world?
Ans: Attending different trainings of Bedari helped me understand how I can speak for myself in an appropriate manner. How I can give opinion. How I can work for the equal stature of women in the society. Education has equipped me with the power to talk.
Q: In what way do you want to make world a better place and how will education help make that happen?
Ans: I may not be able to become a source of change in this world. But I see marked difference of opportunities. Because of which I am able to bring a certain change in the attitudes of my own family at the least. According to me, awareness programs should be increased in number. A major population resides in villages and backward areas. This is the main group of people with enormous problems. Awareness programs should be made easier at village level. Parents should be encouraged to educate their daughters. There should be a way to talk against problems.