The year 2021 was a hard year for all of us. It’s a year that taught us resilience and unity. It was a tough time that brought along with it pain and suffering. COVID-19 destroyed homes and hurt the broader world economy, but most importantly, it struck a knife through the education system of the world. In this trying time, the rural areas of Pakistan were the most effected. One of such areas was Skardu and more specifically, the Muhammadia Learning Academy (MLA) in the remote village of Talu Roundu Skardu. MLA is a community based and student led initiative with an aim of “Educating In-order To Empower” the young girls of the village.
Afsana reached out and conducted an ongoing partnership with the MLA. It began as a fundraiser held from January 2021 to March 2021. It has been an extremely fruitful journey for both organizations. Through the partnership, Afsana has helped to raise awareness about girls’ education as well as helping to complete the ongoing construction of the MLA building. With the partnership in mind, the MLA representative has said, “Now we can proudly say that we have been able to provide an environment for our students where they can learn and excel. Afsana has played a significant role in helping us complete the dreams of the MLA team by organizing interviews and interacting with students and teachers.”
The partnership has been a breath of life for both Afsana and MLA. Their representative has said, “We are proud of our partnership which has helped many students as well as the MLA team and community to grow.” This partnership has aided both organizations in progressing and becoming better in order to serve Pakistan. This collaboration has aided both organizations in progressing their aims and improving in order to become more influential. Afsana has provided a platform to raise awareness about the education in the remote village of Talu Roundu, especially the girls’ education, and MLA has been using the donations from the fundraisers to make life better for the people in this village.
Furthermore, this partnership has had a substantial impact on the community. Afsana has provided the students with an opportunity to interact online by helping the MLA install multimedia technologies in its classrooms. The partnership has allowed the MLA to become digitally connected to the rest of the world, like many schools around the school have been doing.
Through interviews, interaction with students, and stories based on MLA students, Afsana has helped students to point out the issues and deficiencies within the education system. It has positively impacted the whole community by helping in the community’s educational sector and providing different ideas to grow MLA. Afsana has been trying its best to help MLA become a broader, further impactful institute.
MLA itself has progressed a lot and has been going steadily uphill towards becoming an institution providing for the students and in turn creating the next generation of geniuses. It presents a valuable opportunity to the community and its people. With the help of Afsana and other partners, the change that MLA has achieved is quite significant and evident; it has a complete a set up for the students to learn more conveniently and comfortably in the classrooms. They have grown up as an institution as well as an organisation with a greater reach across different universities within and outside Pakistan. The overall growth and development of the MLA students with these increased opportunities have been remarkable to see.
An issue that remains is the challenge for girls to pursue an education in areas like Talu Rondu. Due to economic difficulties and limited opportunities of financial development, parents don't have the resources to educate and accommodate their daughter in cities away from their homes. While sending a boy to hostels away from homes is common, sending a girl to join schools and colleges away from homes remains less common due to social, cultural, and financial difficulties. MLA thus chooses to be the institute that helps in alleviating these issues and aiding families in developing an acceptance and commitment towards educating young girls. Afsana is similarly aligned with that goal -- seeking for the betterment of female education.
MLA has encouraged the partnership and has said, “We both have a common aim of raising awareness about education and gender discriminations prevailing in the society.” They have specifically mentioned thanks for Afsana team members Sarah Khan (the founder of Afsana), abica Nasar and Farheen Khalid, all of whom were very keen to help the community at MLA.
Recently the academy was adversely affected by a series of earthquakes tat devastated the local community as well. Afsana has organized a fundraiser to aid and support at least 200 families from the effected region. We hope you will be able to support us in this endeavour. We aim to raise $6000 for this cause. Please find out more through the link below: