Onwards and Upwards: Where Next in Pakistan?
By Charity RightNov 16, 2021
We don’t like to rest on our laurels so are always looking for new ways to expand our reach to help more! Our team have just returned from their fact-finding mission in Pakistan, where they journeyed all over the country to see where else we could help.
They visited our existing schools in the slum areas in Karachi, where we support 2,000 students’ education. The teachers are doing an incredible job and we’re so proud of the children’s motivation to do their best. We only operate in Karachi and Thar Parkar in Sindh so far… so where else in Pakistan can we go to help?
This is what our team found out.
There are many poor families in Muzafarghar who can’t afford to send their children to school, especially when they don’t offer school meals. When you can’t see the financial benefit of education until much later down the line, families struggle to see the value in education when they’re so desperate for immediate opportunities to earn money for food. That’s why the promise of a school meal will help increase attendance.
But what do we like about Muzafarghar in particular? The Ghazali Education Trust.
Already operating 1,000 schools in the area, the Pakistan government recognizes them as leaders in setting up schools in semi-rural areas. We’d love to make the most of this to set up schools that will help families in the area finally afford to send their children to school.
Parents take education very seriously in Baag, even though some never had the opportunity to go themselves. They realise the importance of going to school and see the value it can create for their children and community. But it’s not always easy.
Despite numerous qualified and intensely passionate teachers ready to take on as many pupils as they can, children are often faced with a commute that would make most shudder. 1.5 hours is a horribly long way to travel in a car, never mind the commute some of these children make by foot and running low on energy due to missed breakfasts. Add to that the numerous dangers lone children can face on the road, it’s not surprising some can’t overcome these obstacles.
This is a different environment with different challenges. It’s cold here – really cold. In a mountainous region with more than fifty peaks above 7,000 meters, this area sees snow and below freezing temperatures in the winter months. That’s why the biggest challenge many children face is appropriate shoes and clothes for the winter. Without having that, it makes the long journey to school not only hugely unpleasant, but extremely dangerous. Providing children with appropriate clothes and shoes to brave the weather and travel to school would be a huge step in helping them journey to school safely, but a meal at the other hand would be even better.
Our team learnt so much on their trip and we’re looking forward to crunching the numbers and information to plan our next step to help thousands more children and their families. The plan is to start operating in some of these new provinces by Ramadan 2022, so watch this space and see how you can help!