Karachi: To commemorate International Day of the Girl, Educate a Girl celebrated the completion of the education of 1000 vocational scholarships funded for deserving girls in Karachi to become journalists, as part of a project to educate and wire 1000 girls in 1000 cities (1 million girl project) and help them find jobs, sustainability and eventually be donors themselves. These thousand girls studied at Institute of Journalism, Indus University, Ziauddin University Media Studies, Benazir Bhutto Shaheed University, Lyari, Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology, as well as included the Sindh Governor’s House’s staff’s children. Educate a Girl has also educated 250 deserving girls in Lagos, Nigeria and plans for 10 cities of Pakistan.
“We are very humbled and excited by this important milestone and especially by the impact,” said Educate a Girl President Tara Uzra Dawood. “3 girls have become news anchors, several girls have newspaper columns, some now work at tv channels, and 8 girls have today funded the scholarship of other girls out of their first ever paycheck and Educate a Girl winner Jaweria Ali has funded two scholarships including Ghanwa Akram, our 1000th winner! We very much look forward to beginning this journey now to educate 1000 deserving girls in Lahore.”
This celebration which was hosted by Lincoln’s Corner, Pakistan American Cultural Centre (PACC) included training modules by sculptor Amin Gulgee, designer Deepak Perwani, news anchor Nadia Naqi, Imran Zakir [Bureau Chief (KHI), Pakistan International Press Agency], Social Development Professional Bilquis Rehman, grooming expert Khadija Chagani of Pivot Point, Honorary Consul General of Finland Sadia Khan, fashion journalist Zurain Imam, news anchor Sana Hashmi and news anchor Jaweria Ali.
“I’m a supporter, donor and trainer for Educate a Girl,” stated Deepak Perwani. “We are proud to be doing women empowerment. Come join us in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.”
The entire programme of educating the 1000 girls – including visually and hearing impaired students – had included trainings also by Tehmina Khaled, Shanaz Ramzi, Khursheed Hyder, Iram Noor, Dr. Fouzia Khan, Swiss Consul General Emil Wyss, Russian Consul General Oleg N. Avdeev, British Deputy Head of Mission Gill Atkinson, English Professor Emeritus Dr. Ishrat Lindblad of Sweden, climate journalist Sarah Phillips of Australia (in partnership with the UNDP and the Australian High Commission), Northwestern University Professor and Chicago Tribune ace Finance Journalist Susan Chandler of the US (in partnership with the IBA Centre of Excellence in Journalism), as well as Alex Preston of the Guardian and BBC (in partnership with the British Council).
Trainings to date have been live, but since in some areas, girls schools are being blown up, and with a mindset to increase outreach and impact, the programme is transitioning to both a live and online combo model, and is also in talks to include artificial intelligence tutors.
Prominent donors to this award-winning cause include Mian Abdullah, Hassan Shehryar Yasin, Nadia Hussain Khan, Abrar Hasan, Maliha Bhimjee, Midas Safety, Himont Pharma, Zeenat Saeed Ahmed, Canada Pakistan Business Council, Moneeza Butt, Ronak Lakhani, Dr. Parveen Kanji, Neeshay Jaffer, Blue Sky Club, Danish Iqbal Alimohammad, Afsheen Teli Dada, Oxford University Press, Iara Lee & Cultures of Resistance, among others. Pakistan Fundraising Chair Nazneen Tariq Khan and Canadian Fundraising Chair Nilufer Mama, as well as Australian Ambassadors Ayesha Bux, Canadian Ambassadors Samir Dossal, Hassan Ahmed, Hina Beyg, Nadia Lakdawalla, UK Ambassadors Tanya Anand and Asma Khan, as well as US Ambassadors Rich Chen and Chris Edwards, played a critical role in reaching this goal.
Educate a Girl is a platform of Dawood Global Foundation which is audited by a global audit firm and is eligible for tax credit in Pakistan, the UK and US.
Some of the more noted alumni include award-winning journalists Fariha Fatima, Syeda Nazaan Jabeen, Simrah Siddiqui, Sabiha Taj as well as Stephanie Aloynius, Sobii Khan, Areej Tahir, Misbah Leghari, and Pirah Qazi.