Food for Thought


Despite education bans, young girls in northwest Pakistan pursue learning.

Around the world, books open young imaginations to a world of possibilities. Yet millions of children never know the joy of reading. For these girls growing up in northwest Pakistan, education does not come easily. First came a Taliban-imposed ban on girls’ education; then fighting erupted as the military flushed out Taliban militants.

Local families fled to neighboring districts. Many children, including 10-year-old Shahana (in blue) were forced to suspend their education for up to two years. Shahana’s family returned home to find food scarce, livelihoods disrupted, and schools heavily damaged by the fighting.

World Vision is helping to return a sense of normalcy to children from Shahana’s community. While students resume their pursuit of knowledge, World Vision is rebuilding their school, along with 19 other schools damaged in the conflict.

Pakistan is one of the few countries where female enrollment remains low even at the primary level. Yet Shahana is beating the odds and has big plans for her future. “I want to finish my studies with good grades to become a schoolteacher to contribute in developing a literate and peaceful society,” she says.

Photo © 2012 Muhammad Ali/ World Vision


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