As mentioned, Hope HDWA has helped families in various parts of Pakistan, besides the main project in St Anthony’s English School. The school building itself is old and precarious, not to mention far too small – the Gill’s family house is used in to try and accommodate all the classes. Books, pens, pencils, jotters, desks, blackboards and chalk are extremely scarce which makes teaching and learning extremely difficult. School fees are unaffordable for most students meaning teachers are underpaid and under equipped for their job. Combined with the fact that many parents need their children to work on farms simply to eat means their education is rarely a priority – in contrast to Scotland where non-attendance at school is illegal.
With adequate funding, the children will receive a high enough standard of education to seek skilled jobs and higher education which will lift them and their families out of poverty. Given that many of the children attending the school are religious and ethnic minorities among a largely Muslim community, they often suffer persecution in a place where there is little support from corrupt authorities. Education not only allows them to eat and live, but to protect themselves and their families from harm.
So far we have helped to supply the school with more equipment, furniture and covered some teaching fees – we also aim to provide one meal per day for the students. With your help through sponsorship and use of our domestic social projects, we can commit regular funding and help children lift themselves out of poverty and discrimination.