“By shopping with Buckle & Seam, you help (…) empowering girls by giving them access to literacy, hygiene and tolerance awareness.”
According to UNICEF statistics, Pakistan’s Adult Literacy Rate is 54.9%. Already one of the lowest rates in the world, the situation for women is even worse. Only 45% are able to identify and write their name – the only two criteria to be considered literate according to UNICEF. Such circumstance in a country vast of resources and craftsmanship, is a true inhibitor to greater growth of Pakistan and improvement of living conditions for millions of Pakistanis.
Having lived and worked in an abundance of developing economies across the world, nowhere else we had encountered such disparity than during our year working in Pakistan. Despite this situation, the people are incomparably welcoming, warmhearted and giving. Having thus bonded with the country and people, we knew we wanted to do more than just produce and leave with our perfect products without looking back.
Simply partnering up with an NGO and transferring an amount to Pakistan, was not an option to us. We wanted to find a project where we have direct insight into the investment being made. We want to evaluate personally the impact being made which is unusual to find. We managed to get in touch with Anum School (Anum means peace). Anum School was founded just over 30 years ago thanks to a brave woman who decided to install a medical camp in a neighborhood where women did not always have access to healthcare and were generally suppressed socially by men. She quickly realized those women never received an education and decided to transform the camp into a school. She had to fight for years to legitimate the need for her little school, for girl education.
Most of us take education for granted. For women in Pakistan it remains a big challenge caused by various reasons: weakness of the government schooling system, poverty and most of all gender discrimination. Women are often confined to their house management role, education becoming a wasted effort. What the founder of Anum School understood is that stay-at-home women in poor neighborhoods are still the strongest knowledge medium for the children they raise, to the future generation.
Today, the school receives more than 120 students per year. They learn how to read, count, and write. They get History lessons, learn about science, English but also about basic hygiene, tolerance, and respect. The community is thankful for the opportunity to send their children to school for a minimal contribution. Moreover, the high quality of education has made a name for itself so that the school can not nearly accommodate all the demand it faces. Currently the school operates on two shifts daily in two class rooms where kids from all ages learn together.
Due to the limited and infrequent funds through friends and family, the school has not been able to make significant investments into the betterment of the infrastructure. Such as: renting more rooms, hiring more teachers, or affording necessary school instruments and uniforms for the children. We have decided to partner up and help this little microcosm improve and spread. How? We committed to give part of our revenue per bag sold to Anum School.
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