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Education can lift whole communities out of poverty

Education lifts whole communities out of poverty forever. Oxfam is doing whatever it takes to get more children into class. We lobby governments, train teachers, and even build schools in rural Pakistan, where only one third of girls have ever been to school.

Pakistan: Lift-off for girl's education

Amna's story

It is important to get an education. I want to come to school so that I will be able to teach other young girls so they will have better lives.

Anna Khatoon Brohi, schoolgirl (and future teacher), Sindh, Pakistan


When nine-year-old Amna's school was swept away by devastating floods in 2010, she thought her dreams of one day becoming a teacher were over. But with a little help from Oxfam supporters, her dream is back on track.

Like many girls in Pakistan, Amna faced an uphill battle to get an education. Outdated teaching methods, lack of equipment, early marriage, and attitudes to girls' schooling mean that in rural areas like Sindh, only one in three women have ever attended school. Amna knew that without an education, it would be hard to escape the poverty that she - and her parents before her - grew up in. We wanted to help kick-start a change.

Giving girls a head start

For every year a woman spends in school, her life chances - and those of her children - increase dramatically. Education gives people the head start they need to build a better future, not just for themselves but for generations to come.

It doesn't take a lot to help Amna and other girls get an education that can change their lives - for good. We're helping communities to build 'model schools' that can withstand floods and have proper sanitation facilities so parents know their daughters' dignity and privacy will be respected. We're training teachers to make lessons more engaging and raise standards in the classroom. And we're working to inspire communities to value education for all their children, girls as well as boys.

And it's having a positive knock-on effect right across the flood-affected district. By sharing the success of these model schools with local government, officials have begun to address the safety concerns and standards of teaching, which has made school more accessible for thousands more girls. 

Amna's dreams back on track

The numbers of girls enrolling is increasing day by day as families see the benefits of sending their girls to school. "I want my daughter to study in school for a better future," says Ghulam, Amna's dad, who is delighted that she will have the opportunities he and his older children missed out on.

Now that Amna is back at school, her dream of becoming a teacher is alive and well again. She's already busy persuading other girls that school's the place to be.

"I love to come to school… and if I study then my younger sister will too."

And so, what's been started by a little help for Amna will keep on changing other lives for good. 

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