Help us meet our goal of raising $50,000

Thursday, July 07, 2011

A Man with a Vision Educates a Village

Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you. ~Mother Teresa

This quote underlies the actions of Mr. Ghulam Murtaza of Pakistan, who decided to reach out and make a difference for his village. Mr. Murtaza lived in Lahore for 20 years, working in the health care sector. When he returned to his village after retirement, he was struck by the challenges his people faced. He decided to continue working at a grassroots level to improve the lives of those in his immediate community.

Initially, Mr. Murtaza set out to alleviate the workload of the women in his village who had to walk for miles to retrieve water on a daily basis. Given the distance and terrain of this journey, this essential task would only come to wear the women down. Mr. Murtaza envisioned a solution and ultimately realized his goal with the completion of the community’s first well. Can you imagine the relief – physical, mental and emotional – for the women of this village!

After this project, Mr. Murtaza pioneered for girls’ education. He was aware of the positive impact of education on families and the community at large. He sought assistance from GEI’s local NGO partner, Bedari who contacted us about initiating a scholarship program for girls in this region. Once the funding was secured, Bedari relied upon Mr. Murtaza to identify the girls that could benefit from this opportunity. Initially, the idea of the girls going to school wasn’t received well. Girls at home are a valuable asset to the families – they work in the fields and help their mothers around the house. However, when Mr. Murtaza presented the educational opportunities as scholarships for only the brightest and most successful primary school children, the villagers saw this as an honor and a privilege. They soon had 21 girls enrolled in the program.