Located 90 miles north of Islamabad, Mansehra is the district capital of a mountainous region in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Friends Welfare Association Pakistan, a grassroots NGO that arose after the devastating earthquake of 2005, is based here. In partnership with Friends, Hoshyar currently supports nine middle and high schools in District Mansehra.
Two of these schools were built under a special initiative honoring the education activist and Nobel Peace Laureate, Malala Yousafzai. Constructed in two separate villages, these schools opened their doors in September 2014.
The hallmark of all the Mansehra schools is the high degree of community participation including village elders. Frequently the girls themselves have raised their voices to urge that an inactive school be reopened or another level of teaching be provided. Although most of these schools were built by the government, their daily operations depend upon help from other sources. Hoshyar provides teachers’ salaries, furniture, textbooks, transportation, and building maintenance.
In 2016, there are some 550 students enrolled in Hoshyar-supported schools, and enrollments are expected to increase to 750 within this academic year. High school education for girls is now a reality in these mountain villages. We seek ways to extend educational opportunities at post-high school levels including university.