Increase Girls' Access to Education in Pakistan

by Girls Education International
Increase Girls' Access to Education in Pakistan

Project Report | Dec 29, 2023
Reflecting on 2023

By Mercedes Ward | Pakistan Project Manager

Warm greetings to all during this holiday season!

As one year comes to an end and another is beginning, we find ourselves at Girls Education International (Girls Ed) reflecting on the generosity of the people who support girls’ education around the world. We are so grateful for those who have supported and continue to support the project, Send 60 Girls in Pakistan to School, implemented by our local partner organization, Bedari. The project provides monthly travel stipends for sixty girls across six villages in Chakwal district who would not be able to attend school without this support.

Earlier this month I was in Islamabad and had the pleasure of meeting with our Bedari colleagues in person. I learned even more about the project’s implementation and impact—and I know you are eager to learn more as well!

As described by Sawera, one of the students receiving transportation support (translation/interpretation by our partners at Bedari): 

“… my school is quite a distance from my village. To make the journey, I rely on transportation support.

My father works as a rickshaw driver, although the rickshaw is on rent. Unfortunately, what he earns each day barely covers the rental costs, leaving us with no savings. Despite these financial hurdles, my siblings and I are deeply committed to our education. Being part of Bedari fills me with pride as it provides the means to continue my schooling.

It pains me to see many girls in our villages forced to leave their education after completing middle school. I consider myself fortunate to be one of the girls who have received support from Bedari.”

The impact of your support is evident at the individual level, expanding the possibilities for girls to achieve their dreams—and it also has broader impacts on families and communities. One reason for these broader impacts is that Bedari is incredibly effective at creating opportunities for girls to share their experiences and perspectives with leaders and even policymakers. This past October, the Girls Ed program supported several girls’ participation in Bedari’s 4th Annual Provincial Conference for Girls’ Rights held in Lahore on International Day of the Girl Child. Key moments from the conference are highlighted in this video created by Bedari. These kinds of exposure trips can be transformative for the students. When we talk about education empowering girls, this extends beyond the formal curriculum to informal, out-of-the classroom, real-world learning opportunities.

We know Bedari is a strong advocate and ally working with girls and their communities to overcome and even dismantle systemic barriers to girls’ education. This is especially important for preventing child marriage in Pakistan. But barriers to education persist, and so we also want to take time to reflect on the girls who haven’t been able to continue their studies—such as one student this past year who had to drop out due to an illness in the family. This highlights the importance and urgency of the work we do, and we are grateful for your partnership. Thank you!

We look forward to 2024 with hope and gratitude. As always, please feel welcome to connect with us at info@girlsed.org.

With warm regards,

Mercedes Ward

Pakistan Project Manager
Girls Education International
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Organization Information

Girls Education International

Location: Denver, CO - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @girlsed
Project Leader:
Mercedes Ward
Boulder , CO United States
$73,994 raised of $100,000 goal
 
1,270 donations
$26,006 to go
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