Donations to this project are eligible for a 50% match *

Vocational Training for 5,000 Women in Pakistan

by Marshall Direct Fund Vetted since 2010 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit

As we launch next month into our next group of trainings in Pakistan, I want to share a little on why we do what we do.

According to the recent Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report only 1% of Pakistani women are engaged in entrepreneurship, which is the lowest proportion in the world.

We know, according to the 2012 World Development Report, women earn less and are less economically productive than men almost everywhere across the world. Women now account for more than 40% of workers worldwide yet they are more likely than men to work as unpaid family laborers or in the informal sector, operating smaller businesses in less lucrative sectors. Women’s economic participation and their ownership and control of productive assets speeds up development, helps overcome poverty, reduces inequalities, and even improves children’s nutrition, school attendance, and health.

Women in Pakistan lack in resources and opportunity, but it becomes blatantly clear that in order for women to participate in the economy, they must be empowered in the family and community life as well.

According to the Lahore Journal of Economics, a majority of the women trained in courses like ours will become wage earners and by equipping these women with knowledge and skills we can help them move out of that place of desperation that leads to marrying children off early, extremist recruitment, extreme poverty, etc. Our goal is to equip them to become employable and have life-long financial independence and we believe that two crucial parts; rights and skill development are the first steps to putting them on this path.

During our trainings with the women we educate them on their rights. There is a big difference between skilled and unskilled labor and being taken advantage of. If a woman enters a workplace with no skills, no knowledge of her rights she will get exploited. But once she knows her rights and brings a skill to the table she moves from a place of powerless to powerful. She knows how to demand a fair wage and knows her worth. This also applies to women in the marketplace who run their own businesses. They know their right to the money made on their goods, how much their items are worth and how to negotiate a fair price.

Without women in the workforce Pakistan will never make large gains economically. The national economy is basically leaning only on half the population and there is a whole population left out; the women. An investment in human capital is always a worthwhile strategy and especially when it involves women who are completely left out of the workforce otherwise.

Thank you for your support!

Next group of women ready to start training
Next group of women ready to start training

In March Marshall Direct Fund participated in the Girl Fund Campaign, which resulted in incredible support and raised more money than we anticipated!  Thank you to everyone who supported the Girl Fund Campaign and voted for our program!

Since we now have enough funding to support more women than expected with our vocational skills and business training we have decided to start the training sessions this August. Between now and August we are working on further building our Monitoring and Evaluation system to ensure we are effectively tracking the progress of the training program. We plan to conduct a baseline survey with the new women who will be trained in August so we can best track their specific progress. We also are ensuring that we developed the correct market linkages and training plan so we are providing our trainees with the most effective skills and resources possible for their future success.

Thank you again for your support!

Asma
Asma

The ultimate vision of Marshall Direct Fund is to provide our women participants with life long financial independence and skills so they can be employable. As part of this we are equipping our 7th and 8th grade girls (and boys) with skills and additional curriculum lessons to match that of the local Government Vocational Skills Training Program (TEVTA). The hope is that each student upon graduation will gain entry into the TEVTA program and continue on their selected career path.

This is Asma, she is 15 years old and dreams to be an artist. She is currently in Grade 8 and is engaged to be married (her fathers decision). She partakes in the vocational training courses at the school and hopes to run her own business one day incorporating her art with tailoring. She has successfully convinced her parents for the past 2 years to put off her marriage so she can finish school. She knows once she is married she will not be able to continue her schooling. Every year she is able to convince them to keep her in school is one step closer to future employability. She hopes she will be able to continue on to the TEVTA school and have a career and financial independence.

The Safer World Foundation continues to match every donation made to this project by 50%- help us unlock the $9,000 remaining in the campaign- time is limited! Think of how many lives we could change together with these additional funds. Please share this opportunity with friends and family you think might be interested in supporting underserved young women in Pakistan so that they may receive the hand up they need to chose peace and prosperity over violence and despair. 

Thank you to all our generous supporters- its supporters like you that give us the confidence to continue our work!

Two young girls who are learning to sew
Two young girls who are learning to sew

In my recent visit to Pakistan I witnessed first hand the impacts of our program on young women. The girls that are receiving education and vocational training through our program are not being forced into early marriages.  We have prevented over 108 early marriages alone this year! The parents acknowledge that the girls can be an asset to the family and help with household costs, which means they are not as likely to marry them off. 

We did notice there is a gap of 50 girls who have received up to grade 5 education, but were not given the opportunity to continue their education. We would like to include them in this project in order to provide them with vocational skills and business training so they can begin to provide income for themselves, decrease their dependence and not be forced into early marriage. We will hopefully begin these trainings in January 2018.

When young girls are married while they are still children (under the age of 18) the result is that they are denied fundamental human rights. Child marriage compromises their development and often results in early pregnancy and social isolation, with little education and poor vocational training reinforcing the gendered nature of poverty. Required to perform heavy amounts of domestic work, under pressure to demonstrate fertility, married girls and child mothers face constrained decision-making and reduced life choices. Both boys and girls are affected by child marriage but the issue impacts girls in far larger numbers, with more intensity—and is wide ranging.*

The Safer World Foundation continues to match every donation made to this project by 50%. Please share this opportunity with friends and family you think might be interested in supporting underserved young women in Pakistan so that they may receive the hand up they need to chose peace and prosperity over violence and despair.  


Thank you on behalf of the students, entrepreneurs and MDF staff!
*Early Marriage: A Harmful Traditional Practice, UNICEF, 2005.
 
Business Training
Business Training

 We currently have 20 students enrolled in vocational training at each of the schools. With a recent donation of a new sewing machine we are able to support more sewing classes and students. The Enterprise Development program will now operate exclusively in the communities where MDF has closer ties to the local community and therefore can more easily monitor progress. We expect about 1000 enrollees between 2017-2018 and estimate a higher level of post training success as a result of our increased monitoring capacity.

Our vocational training and enterprise development programs have a direct impact not only on the wellbeing of the women who participate in our program but on the wellbeing of their entire family as well. Women who earn income tend to reinvest that income in their families at much higher rates than men do. When women acquire marketable skills and the knowledge base to start and manage a successful business, they are furnished with the means to provide for their families’ needs (in terms of health care or education) on their own.

From Amina*, a project participant in Vocational Training,  "I started sewing and doing embroidery work for women in my neighborhood. For five years I continued to sew and stitch, but could not earn enough to maintain livelihood. Then I came to know about Marshall Direct Fund. This came as a ray of hope for me. I was lucky to be selected for 4-days vocational training program which helped in improving my existing skills and here I learnt about decision making, communication and financial skills. The vocational training program plays a very important role in shaping the lives of women like myself and contributes to empowering women and lifting them out of poverty."

*Name changed to protect identity

The Safer World Foundation continues to match every donation made to this project by 50%. Please share this opportunity with friends and family you think might be interested in supporting underserved young women in Pakistan so that they may receive the hand up they need to chose peace and prosperity over violence and despair.  

Thank you on behalf of the students, entrepreneurs and MDF staff!

 

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Organization Information

Marshall Direct Fund

Location: Aspen, CO - USA
Website: http:/​/​marshalldirectfund.org
Project Leader:
Danielle Givens
Executive Director
Aspen, CO United States
$131,723 raised of $200,000 goal
 
570 donations
$68,277 to go
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