Take a Stand for 5,500 Girls in Pakistan

by Human Development Foundation (HDF)
Aqsa in front of her school
Aqsa in front of her school

HDF is thrilled to share the story of a remarkable student, Aqsa, who scored the highest marks on her Board exams in her district!

Aqsa is 15 years old.  Her father is a carpenter who earns approximately $150 per month, supporting a household of 10. She has seven siblings, and  her parents’ utmost focus has been on providing a comprehensive education to all of their children- boys and girls alike. Aqsa’s father placed confidence in HDF’s Formal School Basti Khandoo in Rahim Yar Khan where all of his children are currently studying except for his eldest son, who graduated from the same school.

Aqsa has been studying in HDF’s School from nursery school, and has always claimed the highest scores in every examination at the school. Following her outstanding performance, she aced the recent matriculation exams in the Humanities Group and proudly stood 1st place in the overall board. She was awarded with a gold medal honoring her determination and  exemplary dedication to education, and a cash prize of $150. She will also be receiving a laptop from the Government of Punjab. HDF is proud of this stellar student’s achievements, as she is the prime example of how education can truly open the door to a brighter future!
Community awareness and student enrollment campaigns were initiated in Aqsa’s community through HDF’s Social Mobilization Program. Nearly half of primary school age children are not enrolled in school and among eligible girls, 3/4 are out of school in Pakistan. (Data from UN 2012 Report).

Over 55% of HDF students are girls. We have established schools in marginalized communities to transform lives for the better. HDF has been doing groundbreaking work in Rahim Yar Khan for the past 13 years. Through our programs and projects in this region, over 345,000 people have ensured that themselves and their future generations are able to overcome the debilitating effects of poverty. Over 1,700 students receive an education yearly in this program region, and our hope is to provide a prosperous future for girls like Aqsa. The sky is truly the limit!
Aqsa with her family
Aqsa with her family
Shabana is an intelligent, conscientious 12 year old student at HDF’s Elementary and Secondary School in Tando Muhammad Khan. HDF has been working in this area since April 2000. Currently, HDF is providing services to over 29,000 people in this region.
Shabana is one of 6 children: four boys and 2 girls. Since both of her parents are teachers by profession, education is highly valued and emphasized in her family. Shabana has been studying in HDF schools since 2010 and she is very happy with the education facilities, resources, and opportunities she has received . “I love coming to school and studying”, she said. Her siblings also attend HDF's school in this region. This bright girl has hopes of becoming a doctor in the future.

The foundation of HDF's efforts is to create a culture of independence where our beneficiaries are the ones leading the charge for a better future. This begins with Social Mobilization, where HDF facilitates the formation of democratic community organizations, that represent each household, and empower individuals to have a say in the decisions that affect themselves, their families and their communities. For girls in these villages this is the first step to bring about change! 


Samreen at school
Samreen at school
Samreen is a very talented 4th grader at HDF’s School Ramzan Lasi in Karachi. The teachers rave about her academic and extra-curricular performance, stating that she is a very active and energetic girl. Samreen has been studying in the school since Nursery and is the star pupil in her grade. Her hobbies? Drawing, painting, and reading poetry!
Samreen comes from a large family, and is the eldest of 6 children. Her father is the sole breadwinner in the household, and works out of the city as a mason for a meager income of less than $6 per day. His income is insufficient to afford her educational expenses to become a doctor. Samreen has ambitious plans for the future and someday hopes to become a doctor. HDF has provided her with the chance of completing her education and empowering her to pursue her dreams.
60% of girls in HDF schools are girls.Through HDF's Education and Literacy programs, we help to build their self-esteem, protect their basic human rights, protect them from preventable diseases, make sure they goes to school and receive appropriate skills training so they have the power to earn. This will transform their lives, help lift their family out of poverty, and give them the resources and opportunities to contribute to their community. Research has proven time and again:  Education is a pathway out of poverty, an escape from slavery, hunger and disease – and it offers the promise of a better future, not only for girls but for us all.


Samreen with her family
Samreen with her family

Enoo Bhatti is a village area near Lahore that, while being close to one of the largest cities of Pakistan, children of the area were forced into labor due to poverty, and education was not regarded with value. The government schools were highly inadequate and the parents were not satisfied with the education system in their village.

In 2006, HDF constructed a child friendly school system for the community. The school started with 187 students, and now educates almost 300 children.

School activities include annual health screenings, vaccinations, tree plantation around the school, teacher's training, & education campaigns among other initiatives. We are planning a sports day in Spring 2014 for students.

Here are some highlights of the school's activities:


1) New Academic Session: An enrollment campaign was organized for awareness about education as well as to target out of school children. For this purpose, students and teachers, along with a community PTA, reached out to  school- aged children for enrollment.

2) Provision of free books: Academic books were provided to all the students of HDF Secondary School for the session 2013-14. 

3) Academic Camp for Students & Homework Group Activity: An Academic Camp was arranged during vacations for academically weak students. The teaching staff was told about the importance of curriculum development and motivating students.

4) Monthly Monitoring: To ensure quality education in HDF schools, the Education Coordinator visits the school once a month for monitoring purpose. During the visit, the Education Coordinator keenly observes all aspects of the school including record keeping, management, and guides teachers about accurate assessment of learning outcomes, use of time, teaching learning strategies, examinations and assessment.

5) In-service Teacher Training: A 6 days in-service teacher training was arranged for all teachers for capacity enhancement and curriculum development.

6) Debate & Quiz Competition: Inter- school level debate and quiz competition was organized in the school in which students from HDF schools participated.

Fatima at school
Fatima at school

Fatima is a 5th grader at HDF Formal School in Village Ramzan Lasi Goth, Karachi. Her father works in a textile mill, while her mother tends to the household chores. Coming from a large family, Fatima’s family lives in dire poverty. She is the eldest child out of 5, and often helps her mother look after her siblings. She is a responsible and conscientious girl. In her spare time, she loves to read mystery novels and her favorite subject in school is Math. A star pupil, Fatima has high ambitions for the future and wants to become a doctor when she grows up. HDF’s school in this village has provided 200 girls in this region access to education that they wouldn’t have had before.

In Pakistan, more than 7 million girls are denied their basic right to receive an education. Their struggle goes well beyound the lack of schools and classrooms. Factor in the devastating effects of poverty and the social & cultural obstacles, the girl is often the first one to suffer.

HDF has launched an initiative, Girls-Matter, to continue providing resources and opportunities for girls in the most marginalized communities of Pakistan. Together, we have placed almost 6,000 girls in school, but our work is far from done.With less than 8% of girls pursuing a college level education, too few will enter society with the necessary skills to actively participate.

Learn more here: www.girls-matter.com

Fatima with her classmates
Fatima with her classmates



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Organization Information

Human Development Foundation (HDF)

Location: Schaumburg, IL - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.HDF.com
Human Development Foundation (HDF)
Project Leader:
Human Development Foundation
Schaumburg, IL United States

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