Dear Friends of Friends of Pakistan USA,
You may have been able to follow Friends of Pakistan USA three week journey in Pakistan through my Facebook postings and emails. Here is a final report of our trip. Reports on the individual schools will follow with further posts.
In summary, we traveled to schools in the vicinities of Lahore, Faizalabad, Islamabad, Mansehra and Hunza. All these areas are in the Northern and more mountainous areas of Pakistan. While we were unable to visit our scholarship program at Government Girls Degree College in Azad Jammu & Kashmir because of security concerns, Friends of Pakistan USA has had an evaluation completed on the scholarship program.
The most striking and positive impression we have from our time in Pakistan, came from visiting schools that are founded and supported by a new generation of Pakistanis. They are well-educated, globally aware and committed to progressive change in Pakistan. An example of this encouraging change, is a couple in their forties living in Lahore. Sadia is a teacher and Bari is a lawyer. They have established an Adult Education Center in a village near Faizalabad for women who have dropped out of school. The Center gives students the opportunity to return to school and complete their high school education.
So what about the scholarship program that we’ve been supporting in Rerra, Azad Jammu & Kashmir? The evaluation shows that of the first group of six graduating girls one has gone on to the University and five are teaching in their village and providing income to their families. Three girls are providing free tuition to needy students in their neighborhood. Seven girls among eighteen scholarship recipients are orphans and are dependent on other relatives. The average monthly income of these families is $150. Our educational scholarships of $150 for the year make a significant contribution.
This year Friends of Pakistan USA will be considering how we can best expand our scholarship program to support the inspiring work of so many others in Pakistan. We’ll keep you posted!
I’ve posted a video on Youtube of images of our Pakistan trip: https://youtu.be/MMQQoPg786Q