Year End Update from Girls Ed Pakistan

 Tanveer Iqbal

Tanveer Iqbal

As the year comes to a close, we don't have a lot of news to report from the field. The girls are continuing their studies and our partner on the ground (Bedari) continues to refine the program. In the past we mentioned a tract that was added to augment the scholastic aspect of the program: a series of women's self-growth (health and social education) workshops. These have very successful and have kept the level of engagement in the program very high. 

After some experimentation in the field, Bedari has requested permission - which we granted - to substitute some of the workshops with "exposure" trips, where the girls are escorted to locations outside their immediate villages. We'll hear more about these in the coming months, but they have been welcomed by the girls, their families and communities.

It cannot be overstated how important family support has been in making this program a success. We have seen evidence in our both our first and current projects that our investment merely helps overcome inertia, and once the educational cycle begins, families and communities work hard to keep it going. For perspective on this, we heard from Tanveer Iqbal, relative of a student in our program in the village of Dharyala Kahoon who has taken a leadership role in the community-based organization providing support:

I am living a retired life here in my village. I served Pakistan Army for around 25 years. I receive pension from government. I had plenty of free time, and was looking for ways to make good use of it. Bedari provided me a very good opportunity. They had established a Community Based Organization (CBO), which was working for the protection of children from violence and abuse, and providing support to girls who wanted to continue their education up to secondary level. I decided to join the CBO, and contribute to the welfare of children, and girls’ education.

I knew of so many parents who wanted to send their girls to high school, but could not do so because of financial constraints. We enlisted such girls, and provided the list to Bedari staff. They visited the girls, met with their parents, and checked the status of their daughters’ education.

They announced a scholarship program for girls who wanted to continue their education up to secondary level. Our CBO volunteers worked really hard to convince girls and their parents. Our efforts bore fruit, and we are glad that our share in the Bedari’s Girls Education Program is the highest. Bedari is providing scholarship to 100 girls, and 31 of them are from our village. We are really proud of this achievement.

We are grateful to Bedari, and pray that Allah may give it strength to expand this program to every village in our district. Girls education will sure transform our villages. 

 We're very grateful for the support of the girls' families and local communities, the tremendous work done by Bedari, and our donors who help make this possible. We remain firm believers that it is only through continued educational choices that these young girls will grow to achieve all that they are capable of.

We hope that as you contemplate charitable giving at year-end, you'll consider making an additional investment in Girls Education International. 

Best wishes for the holiday season and the New Year!