How do you bring a nation out of the darkness and into the 21st century?
You begin a campaign to bring one million of its children into schools.
We first began our work in Pakistan as American Refugee Committee in 2002, providing humanitarian assistance to Afghan refugees and host communities. We joined the international disaster response following the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and 2010-11 floods which affected 35 million people across the country. Through the years, we reinvented our programme strategy, becoming a trusted provider of emergency and relief services, and a frontrunner in tackling the most pressing development challenges in the country. We helped people survive conflict and rebuild sustainable communities and healthier lives following life-changing disasters.
Our powerful campaign increased access to safe, drinking water, sanitation services, and health education in Azad Kashmir’s Bagh district in 2005, expanding to providing health care services to Afghan refugee villages in Balochistan in 2007 and tackling gender-based violence in remote communities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2009. Along the way, we worked on reproductive health with communities affected by the Cyclone Yemyin in Balochistan in 2008, consolidated access to WASH services for Swat’s displaced returnee populations in 2009, and strengthened educational infrastructure in Punjab in 2015. Our work in disadvantaged communities led us to recognize and address the recurring, missing gap: education.
Today, we are conducting the nations’s largest intervention for out-of-school children of primary school age. The country has the world’s second highest number of out-of-school children: a stark 22.8 million. This is 44% of the country’s population (UNICEF).
We decided to change this. In 2018, we began a campaign to bring children aged 6-16 into the perimeters of an educated society. Today, 5.8 million children between 6-16 are outside of educators’ reach.
We aim to reach 1,050,000 of these.
Our mission is run in partnership with the Government of Pakistan and Education Above All (EAA) Qatar, under the latter’s Educate-A- Child (EAC) programme. This strategic programme aims to reach at least ten million children globally with quality primary education, addressing the root causes and barriers to education at primary level. Our strategy is aligned with the priorities defined in National Education Policy 2017 of the Government of Pakistan.