Today, I am going to highlight our recent – and our first ever – grant to Pakistan.
Organization: Mubarika Campus
Location: Sialkot District, Pakistan
Context: When a girl has a solid education, she is better able to protect her health, make a good living, and raise a healthy family—improving her own life and the lives of those around her. In resource strapped areas, computers and Internet make this easier than ever before. Educating girls is also a powerful way to fight extremism. Since disenfranchisement and poverty are often its origin, an educated, financially secure, and empowered mother can directly impact the paths her children take as they grow.
Background: GO’s Local Hero Nadir Minhas is ensuring that 1,200 children in rural Pakistan have access to a quality education. His school, Mubarika Campus, offers quality schooling and a hope for a better life for underprivileged children who would otherwise be left behind. The majority of students at the school are girls. Education for girls is still not a norm in many rural villages in Pakistan. Girls are often kept at home in protected environments. Mubarika Campus is happy to share that in the last 6 years since the school’s founding they have seen an increase in the number of girls enrolled as well as a drop in their rate of absenteeism.
Current Status: In September 2015, GO Campaign approved a grant for $11,800 to Mubarika Campus to expand their existing computer lab. Funds were used to purchase equipment and provide students with access to the internet. For the first time, students who had only heard about laptops and the internet are using this technology and being exposed to the world beyond their small village. Students are sharing that they feel their quality of education is now on par with students in the large cities.
Azka is a 9 year old student at Mubarika Campus. Before the project started Azka was asked if she knew about the internet. She responded that she “knew the net is on the phone” but she did not use it because she did not know how. After the computer lab was open, Azka was one of the first to run into class to use the computers. She picked up the system quickly and is continuing to learn more each day. When the teacher asked her what she wants to be when she grows up, she looked up, smiled, and said, “an engineer.” When asked what an engineer did, she responded, “My father told me that the engineer was the man who came and installed the computers.” We are excited that Akza has a new definition for an engineer and we know that she will study hard to realize her newfound ambition.