At the end of 2014, Iqra Fund met with the Village Education Committees (VECs) in Skardu for two days of training. The VECs are made up of fathers, elders, and community leaders, all of whom are committed to granting their daughters access to quality education. During these two days, the men focused on different themes, such as the roles and responsibilities of VECs, roles of parents in child development, and the importance of volunteerism.
At this training session, members of the VECs worked together in small groups to learn how to apply their lessons to their villages and in the larger scope of the community. One member reflected after his training, “From today onward, we will take initiatives and start contribute to our schools. It is our main responsibly to enroll all school age children.” To further VEC training in the future, the fathers and village leaders suggested to Iqra Fund to arrange a field visit to a local VEC to put theory to practice and to learn from their experience and successes.
Iqra Fund formed VECs to encourage active participation of the community in the growth and development of our schools. Many members of these VECs rely on Iqra Fund for monitoring their smaller, local initiatives and for guidance in setting up a village governance system for their children’s education. As the VECs undergo more training sessions and larger projects, these fathers and village leaders will be expected to take more responsibilities of their schools and their daughters’ education.
Hello Iqra supporters! My name is Sumner Lawson and I have been Iqra’s intern since January, focused primary on socialmedia. I’m excited to announce that I will be continuing my work while I study Global Health and Education at Colorado College this fall. I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself, and give you an update on a recent event.
“Chicas to Chico” is an annual women’s mountain bike ride starting in Bozeman, Montana, crossing a mountain pass to the historic Chico Hot Springs Lodge in the Paradise Valley. This year the ride was held on June 26th, and the Chicas – who range in age from 18 to 60 – invited the Bozeman-based Iqra Fund team to join the group for the overnight adventure, and to share a bit about our work. So, Genevieve Chabot (our founder), and I peddled 36 miles through beautiful Montana countryside with the Chicas, and then settled into a cabin to share the Iqra vision.
The Chicas are a diverse group of very involved, accomplished, athletic and inspiring women (one of whom is my mom!) and their response to the Iqra story was overwhelmingly positive. Many immediately offered support, and at this point it appears that the ride generated enough funds to send seven girls to primary school for an entire year, and the checks are still coming in!
With such a success behind us, we are now looking towards next year in hopes that we can do it again. So, mark your calendars for mid-July, 2015 and join us on this great adventure for a great cause!
Until a decade ago, the only snow leopard a resident of Pakistan’s Basha Valley wanted to see was a dead one. But today the endangered big cat has brought education to their homes, especially to their daughters.