Girls Education: A key to Development

  • By Kashif Ali
  • Sunday, November 16, 2014

““In the little world in which children have their existence, there is nothing so finely perceived or finely felt as injustice”.

Although, Dickens was writing this at the time when children had a troubled existence with widespread child labor and streets of London filled with destitute street children. But we still live in same world, where millions of children are trapped in utter state of destitution and no access to literacy. Among them the majority are girls who embrace illiteracy. So the beginning to make this world a better place for children has to start with the realization that girls and girls education plays a very significant part in that.

It is this understanding that RETO is successfully bringing to the families and communities to encourage an environment in which young girls can contribute. The task is certainly monumentally difficult but where there is a passion, difference becomes a reality. And the story of Ms. Rajwanti is the difference we are making. She joined Shades, a project of RETO, at the time when the foundations of the organization were in the making. She was determined to become a doctor to serve her community, and through our humble guidance and her persistent hard work, she is set to join the leading medical institution in Pakistan, LUMHS to do her Bachelors. As I’m writing this, many girls studying in RETO partner schools will never drop out and married after primary school like majority of their counterparts in other obscure towns of Pakistan are forced to do.

We are also creating an environment where girls take leadership role and stand shoulder to shoulder with boys. RETO’s foundation is based on the principles, where annual elections are held among the student community to elect their respective representatives who are united by the desire to change and take active part in decision making alongside with RETO’s executive team. In doing so, we are introducing the same model for girls to provide them the leadership platform and space to think, act and impact the society on a large scale. By creating such a vicious cycle of change, we believe to promote a culture where girls from the very early stage are capitalized and enabled to become the leaders of tomorrow.

Change is a very slow process, it evolves gradually, but it needs someone making an initiative. We at RETO have begun it. Rajwanti’s success is evidence that even if we change one girl, we change one family, one community, one village, one country and above all – one generation. As , Brigham Young said, “You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.”