Today was our Special Activity Day for the LitClub girls in Pakistan. We had a guest speaker, Mrs. Parvez, come to speak to the class. She told the girls her personal story of her struggle to get a high school education.
Eighteen years ago when Mrs. Parvez graduated high school it was very rare for girls to become so highly educated. She was the first in her family of either gender to stay in school so long. She told the girls of how her household duties often conflicted with her desire to stay in school. She spoke of how she would often wake up hours before school started to do her chores in order for her parents to allow her to attend school for the day. As her parents were uneducated themselves they saw no value in the education of their daughter.
Mrs. Parvez was a very determined girl, however, and saw how all the most respected and admired people in her life were educated. She knew education held value. She told the girls how despite the greater number of discouraging influences in her struggle, there were also voices of encouragement. Her teachers encouraged her to learn and to go further; to believe in herself.
Mrs. Parvez explained how her story goes beyond her years in school. After marriage she became a teacher and a mother. She was driven to become the voice of encouragement for her students and children. As they succeeded in school she shared in their triumph. Many of Mrs. Parvez’s students have surpassed her in their level of education. Mrs. Parvez went on to say that it wasn’t the talent or family wealth that most decided the outcome for her student but their personal determination. Her son is currently studying for his college degree and she couldn’t be prouder of how he developed a love of learning from her.
After her speech she thanked the girls for coming and listening to her story. Mrs. Parvez took refreshments with the girls and answered their questions about her struggles. Our guest speaker joined Ms. Aneela, Mr. Ishraq and I in giving out gifts of notebooks and pencils from Seeds of Hope Foundation to all the girls to aid them in their studies.
--Submitted by Faraz Javed, Founder/President, Seeds of Hope Foundation