Dear Friends of Hoshyar,
As we enter the summer season, I have some great news to share with you. In the past twelve months, Hoshyar has built two new schools in honor of Malala Yousafzai. We also facilitated the construction of two others by working with the Maria-Helena Foundation of Vancouver, Canada. Every month we get requests from villages all over Mansehra and neighboring districts to rescue failing schools. This is a mark of our success, and a great endorsement of the reputation we have built carefully over the past seven years with our local partner, the Friends Welfare Association.
Thanks to your generosity, the Hoshyar Foundation now supports eleven schools in remote mountain villages. I look forward very much to visiting all these schools when I return to Pakistan in early September, after schools re-open following the month of Ramadan and summer break.
Hoshyar never opens schools we are not prepared to keep running. We commit to supporting each new school until the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, through its education department, assumes responsibility for it. That can take three to five years, but the tireless lobbying efforts of our partner NGO and the villagers themselves have proven successful time and again.
It often seems that the rest of the world has given up on Pakistan, but I am not yet prepared to do so. I have seen villages in tribal areas come together as cooperative communities, expanding their sense of responsibility beyond their immediate families to others within their area. This spring, for example, the school management committees in three villages designed a re-organization plan for their secondary school. The Community Managed Girls’ High School in Meelbut has now become a magnet high school and Post-Matriculation Studies Center. This allows the schools we run in Jabber Gali and Mandagucha to accommodate greater numbers of girls entering middle school. Such collaborations were unheard of a decade ago.
The most remarkable aspect, in my view, is that broad social change has been brought about through community-based efforts to increase access to girls’ education. It is really working!
The less happy news: even as the scope of our work increases, donations are down drastically. Last year our income was only 60% of what we collected in 2013; halfway through 2015 we have collected less than 1/3 of our 2014 revenues. We are trying, in short, to do more with fewer resources, and it has been very challenging. So I am making a very direct appeal to each one of you. Some of you have already donated generously this year, for which we are most grateful. Others may have intended to make donations but haven’t done so yet. We all have many commitments and often have to make tough choices. But I do ask you to consider whether you can possibly resume your support or, if in a position to do so, even increase it. We have a monthly donation program via PayPal for those who find this convenient, but will gratefully accept whatever you can contribute to our work in whatever manner best suits you.
Every one of you who cares about Hoshyar’s work can take pride in our success. I ask you to please help keep it going. In return I promise you my continued energies and commitment, and that each dollar you contribute will be spent with responsibility and care.
Prof. Carla Petievich