Fostering dignity, not dependence…Providing choice, not charity…
This past summer has been one of the toughest in Pakistan history, in large part due to the disastrous floods that have affected the entire country. Schools, homes and crops have washed away and more than a million people have been displaced. Extremist organizations are capitalizing on slow international response to gain appreciation and loyalty of communities. Marshall Direct Fund (MDF) is assisting in the long term reconstruction efforts and will continue to provide primary education and expand operations to include vocational education to decrease vulnerability, contribute to economic opportunity, and alleviate poverty.
Generally, MDF schools are closed from mid-June to mid-August. However, this year the continuous rains caused a nearby stream to overflow and flood one of the schools and its basement. This and the regional declaration by the government to close schools required that we delay opening MDF schools until mid-September. There was also an electric failure and damage caused to several computers - this resulted in a setback for both teachers and students, and has delayed our ability to launch the vocational education program. We are fortunate that the damage was not worse. We are pleased to announce however, that schools re-opened mid September! Unfortunately, due to inflation, we need to do additional fundraising to ensure that we are able to offer youth healthy meals, purchase new uniforms, shoes, stationary, text books, notebooks, and kitchen supplies. We continue to build upon the infrastructure and develop relevant partnership so that we can launch the vocational education program this year.
More and more families in the communities that we operate want to send their children to our schools and many families are excited at the prospect of the vocational program. Unfortunately in our primary education program there is more demand and applications submitted than we can currently accommodate. Despite the challenges associated with the flood and additional funding to grow, one of our schools expanded to admit a class of 25 students for nursery aged students (3 to 5 yrs.). At another school we expanded to include more incoming students for grade 4 and 5. New and returning students are happy to be in school. Executive Director and Project Director are looking forward to seeing them and re-connecting with teachers and staff in a few weeks. We will be collecting prototypes of the embellished fabric and clothing for the vocational program so that we can create additional market linkages to launch the program.
MDF would sincerely like to thank all of our donors and supporters. Please know this project is helping youth and their families to obtain credible education, critical thinking skills, and a safe place to learn and grow so that we may all have a more secure and rich future. Please help us generate awareness – Become a fan of our Facebook page, join us on Twitter, and share with your networks. If you would like to start a MDF Circle group in your community there are various one-time or re-occurring ideas and activities that we would be pleased to share. You can reach us at email@example.com or +01 (970) 963-3150.