Photos: Parkash Peter, Diocese of Hyderabad
Education changes everything! In Sindh province in rural Pakistan, Tearfund’s partner is running an education project that is transforming the lives of children, as well as older people who didn’t get the chance for an education when they were younger.
When staff from Tearfund’s partner the Diocese of Hyderabad came to Bakhtawar’s village in remote, rural Pakistan and set up a school, life changed for two generations of her family.
“I was born in another village and came here after marriage,” says Bakhtawar (pictured). “When I came to this village, the concept of education was not the priority of many people who live here. It was hard for me to motivate my neighbours and colleagues and tell them the importance of education.”
Initially, Bakhtawar wasn’t sure if she would even be able to send her own children to school, as there was no school nearby. But after she learned about the Diocese of Hyderabad’s Primary Education Project (PEP), she and her husband approached them about establishing a school in their village, worked with local people to find a place to build it, and Bakhtawar’s husband trained to work as a teacher there.
Bakhtawar is a great advocate for education, especially for girls – and that has translated into a role as a mobiliser through the project. Mobilisers talk to people in their village about the value and importance of education, and encourage people to send their children to school.
“I learned so many things to motivate people of this village. I am happy that three of my children are studying in the school,” Bakhtawar says.
Bakhtawar is thankful that her own parents sent her to school and that she completed her education, but many women of her generation didn’t have that opportunity. That’s why the Diocese of Hyerabad also runs adult literacy classes as part of its education work.
Aman (pictured), who is herself in early secondary school, helps her mother run female adult literacy classes in her village.
“Opening the schools and female adult literacy centre in our village has helped us to motivate our relatives and neighbours to enrol their girls in the schools,” she says. “People around us have seen the changes we have brought in our village by promoting the importance of girls’ education.”
Another woman, Tulsi, was also trained through PEP to run adult literacy classes. “I have seen my mother doing the housework, taking care of children, cooking food for us, collecting grass for the cattle and doing field work for earning daily wages. I thought this was the life a lady gets when they marry and go to their in-laws,” she says.
Now, she has a new perspective on life. “Educating these ladies has given me confidence to share my opinion with the people in the village,” she says.
By training local people to be teachers, PEP is transforming whole communities. Mr Ghansham (pictured above with some of his students) says: “I changed my life through the different types of training I received from PEP … I learnt so many things.”
Now, his pupils are accessing education and all the potential it offers. One of them shares: “I love to come to school and read, and write my homework. I have two brothers and we all come to school together.”
Another, the oldest girl in her family, says: “My mother never went to school in her childhood – she is happy to send me to school on a daily basis. Every evening I share my lessons with my father which I get from the school. Our teacher is so nice and always guides us where I make mistakes in reading or writing.”
Your purchase of an education gift from Tearfund’s Useful Gifts catalogue contributes to a range of projects run by our partners in some of the most challenging places in the world.
Tearfund is thankful for the support of the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), which co-funds the work of Diocese of Hyderabad with Tearfund.