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How children’s dreams just got bigger in Pakistan

How Tearfund is improving access to education for girls and minorities in remote regions in Pakistan.

Rachael Adams | 17 Sep 2021

Credit: The Primary Education Project

Credit: The Primary Education Project

In one province in Pakistan, more than half of the poorest children do not attend school. But our local partner is working to change that – and it’s making all the difference to children like Sumra, whose future just got brighter…

Tearfund’s local partner, The Primary Education Project, is building schools in some of the most marginalised areas of southeast Pakistan. They are focusing on improving access for girls and minorities, with guaranteed places and support to enable these groups to be able to attend and thrive.

The Primary Education Project currently has 132 schools and more than 6,000 children enrolled. Sumra* is one of these pupils.

Sumra’s story

Sumra lives in southeast Pakistan. Her parents are farmers. They rent land to grow crops so they can earn a living. The hours are long and it is hard work for little pay. Sumra’s parents wanted her to attend school, but it wasn’t a possibility before The Primary Education Project built a school nearby.

Sumra is now in her final year of primary school and is flourishing.

‘In the beginning, I was scared… but when I went regularly to school, I saw the teacher is very responsive and he teaches the students in a friendly environment,’ she shares.

Sumra helps her younger brother with his homework in the evenings | Credit: The Primary Education Project

Sumra helps her younger brother with his homework in the evenings | Credit: The Primary Education Project

And it’s not just Sumra who is overjoyed.

‘I want my daughter to study further and earn a good name for family. I do not want her to work like me; in the fields, in extreme weather and earning too little,’ shares Hafsa*, Sumra’s mother.

‘I feel indebted to The Primary Education Project and supporting partners for providing education to the marginalised children, especially in the remote areas.’

Sumra’s classroom is full of children whose future’s just got brighter with opportunities | Credit: The Primary Education Project

Sumra’s classroom is full of children whose future’s just got brighter with opportunities | Credit: The Primary Education Project

Cycles of poverty broken

‘Access to education – like the work of The Primary Education Project – is a key way we can end cycles of poverty,’ explains Martin Leach, who oversees Tearfund’s work in Eurasia and North Africa.

‘When children can attend school and learn, meet other children and grow together, the opportunities for their future expand greatly. It is exciting to see.

‘Many of us have been faithfully praying for children around the world to be able to attend school and get an education. Stories like Sumra’s remind us that God is at work and these prayers are being answered.’

Let us pray for even more answers to prayer.

Pray with us

Dear God,

We thank you that you hear our prayers for children to be able to attend school. Thank you for how you are at work around the world to enable children like Sumra to get the education they deserve. We pray for even more barriers to be removed that stop children – especially girls – from going to school. Thank you for the work that The Primary Education Project is doing – bless them, Lord, and give them the resources they need to reach even more children in need.

Amen.

*Names changed to protect identities

Rachael Adams


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