By Tamrika Khvtisiashvili - Pakistan Project Leader
Dear supporters, as the world unfolds in new and unexpected ways Girls Ed International and our partner in Pakistan are also facing novel situations. We don't have all the answers and solutions to the possible troubles but we do know that we are committed to standing by our partner in Pakistan, Bedari, and offering our support during those difficult times.
At the moment in Pakistan COVID19 cases are spreading rapidly and governments across the provinces are enforcing social distancing guidelines. In response to the outbreak, schools closed in Mid March. There is no clear information when schools will reopen. Most of the exams that our girls in grades 8-12 were scheduled to take to graduate or move to the next level have been postponed indefinitely. There is no online education system for the students of government schools. Government started some classes/lectures on Pakistan Television (PTV) but this has not been too effective because in remote areas there is no provision of electricity. For examples Kot Shamas and Pather are the areas of Sadiqabad where there is no electricity and many of our GEI students are from these areas. On top of that, in areas where there is electricity, in most of the houses, there is no television. Needless to say, GEI girls belong to poor families. Poverty has only increased due to COVID 19. The daily wagers are in financial crisis as they have no stock of food items and money to fulfill the necessities of daily life. In these types of situations, parents consider the burden of girls. The early marriage possibilities become a reality quickly.
As the response, together with Bedari, we believe it is necessary to engage girls as much as possible in healthy activities. They need to know that their formal education will be a reality again and staying engaged is a pathway to that. We are in the process of identifying these stimulating activities and hope to make a difference in lives of those young women, perhaps in times when they need us the most. We will keep you posted as the ideas get finalized and become more concrete. We can't do this without you, our supporters, so we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
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