Keeping Our Promises—the Malala Fund
We have good news, and reason to be optimistic at Hoshyar, despite what an unhappy year 2014 has been for Pakistan. We have built two new village schools in honor of Malala Yousafzai, the young education activist. For this we can thank your generosity, the dedication and hard work of our partner-NGO, Friends Welfare Association in Mansehra, KPK Province, and the communities in which we work for girls’ secondary education.
One is in Chota Bala, a remote mountain village where no school for girls ever existed before. You may recall that we started the Malala Fund the day after gunmen shot her and her schoolmates in October 2012. We quickly met our goal, and during the past six months, we used the Malala Fund to build the Chota Bala school (see photo above). Labor was donated by the community, and operations and engineering were overseen by personnel from Friends Welfare Association.
Classes started in May 2014, and construction continued over the summer. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this effort, there are now eleven girls in school in Chota Bala, with more enrollments anticipated in the next few months. The school will be officially inaugurated during September, with a plaque installed to dedicate it to Malala Yousafzai.
The remainder of the Malala Fund was used to build a high school wing at an existing Government Girls School in Khairabad. Girls who have completed middle school will no longer have to stop their education at eighth grade. They will be able to proceed all the way through high school. There are already 26 students enrolled in grades 9 and 10, and 15 more will come through the pipeline next spring.
No matter how hard obscurantists try to suppress girls’ education, we will keep the dream alive, village by village, with your continued help.