Education is the Answer– Samreen’s Story

25-year-old Samreen Ijaz is a primary school teacher in Roshni Community School in Basti Thirajanwala.  “I was 18 when I got married and had only done Matric. My husband was very supportive and encouraged me to complete my studies and currently I am doing MA from AIOU”, says Samreen.

Samreen teaches a class of 40 students, mostly girls. In this far-flung area of basti Thiranjanwala, girls have no access to education. Underage marriages are common. Parents cannot afford education and would rather use their children for work rather than wasting resources on education. Samreen being an education mentor has played a key role in sensitizing her community elders to educate their children. The school provides basic educational items – bags, books and stationary, free of cost to the students.

This school is part of Women’s Voice and Leadership – Pakistan project funded by the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada and implemented by Oxfam Canada, in collaboration with Oxfam in Pakistan.

“My education has made me self sustainable and I earn good money and help my husband to run our day-to-day expenditures. I give my example to the people in the village and encourage them to send their daughters to school so that they can have a bright future as well”, shares Samreen.

She takes pride in the fact that in an area where girls education is often overlooked, most of her family members and neighbours have trusted her enough to send their girls to study. The school’s methodology is unique as it encourages Emerging Women Leaders to come out of their house and gain understanding on GBV concepts and issues. Some of Samreen’s friends and family are also part of these groups. These women like Samreen further play supportive role to increase girl’s enrollment especially in Roshni community schools and act as champions to mobilize community on women rights issues.

This story was covered by Kanwal Manzoor on 15th November, 2021

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