18 Feb The Extraordinary Power of Education
Lilian’s journey and work at the Primary Education Project (PEP) in Pakistan have been nothing short of extraordinary and this recent testimony from a student makes her work all the more powerful. Hers is a story of the extraordinary power of educating one ordinary girl…
Maya (not her real name) comes from a small village where higher education for girls is not encouraged. She began studying in 2004 in her village school that was started by PEP and is now a college student. Most of the girls in her village dropped out after primary education and Maya faced more than her share of difficulties pursuing her education.
After passing the eighth-grade exams, her parents wanted her to stay at home but her teacher persuaded them to allow her to take admission for ninth grade. Maya successfully passed the matriculation exam with an A grade. She was then selected as a Women Empowerment Group (WEG) Mobilizer and has attended a few PEP workshops that increased her knowledge, and developed her confidence to lead other WEG members.
Maya soon began sharing her training and knowledge with other young women. Even though she faced lots of difficulties, she managed to motivate other women to participate regularly and realize that they have an important role to play in community development. She also helped teach and increase their awareness of various social issues.
By teaching other women on various issues such as savings, personal hygiene and the importance of education for young girls, Maya has noticed a significant change in her village. More young girls have begun to attend school regularly; women are keeping their homes cleaner, and mothers are encouraging their children to go to school. The women have learnt a lot about saving – not only money but also saving resources such as electricity, water, food, time and etc.
Many women from Maya’s village have now started to use latrines and avoid open defecation. In fact, 13 women in the village have built their own pit latrines from their own savings! The Women Empowerment Programme has taught them a lot about social issues and women rights, whilst increasing their knowledge and confidence. Maya’s hope is to continue her education all the way to university so she can achieve her dream of completing her Masters in Physics and become a Lecturer.
- For the security concerns in Pakistan, as the team at PEP begin to work with the new government;
- For the new policies and requirements of Government;
- For health and strength of office staff and their families;