Karachi: As part of the project to educate 1,000 girls and help them find jobs and sustainability so they could eventually become donors themselves, the charitable programme Educate a Girl celebrated 500 vocational scholarships for deserving girls in Pakistan to become journalists.
The multiple award-winning and globally-recognised programme funds media studies at an institute for journalism and supplements the coursework with training in professionalism and grooming.
Swiss Consul General in Karachi Emil Wyss, who personally funded the 500th scholarship, was the chief guest at a special ceremony organised at a restaurant to commemorate the occasion.
Samir Dossal (president of the Canada Pakistan Business Council and an angel donor) and Imtiaz Seyid (head of the South Asia Markets, Royal Bank of Canada) were special guests who had flown in from Toronto.
Tara Uzra Dawood, founder of the initiative, said: “Educate a Girl focuses on the field of journalism because we wish to remind our girls that they have a voice, provide them with a platform for their voices to be heard and to encourage their freedom to say what they wish. Two of our alumni have already educated two other girls from their first-ever pay cheques.”
Congratulating the winners on their achievement and urging them to make the most of the opportunity, Wyss spoke of the unlimited possibilities of education.
Dossal talked about global support for the initiative and the partnership between the Dawood Global Foundation and the Canada Pakistan Business Council.
Seyid spoke of his desire to help Pakistan’s female entrepreneurs to market their products in Canada and how much he supported the initiative.
Of the 500 scholarships funded, 278 girls have graduated, many receiving top placements, including two who have become news anchors.
News anchor Jaweria Ali has become a donor herself, educating Marwah Malik out of her pay cheque. Marwah in turn has stated her dream to educate a girl as well.
Within this initiative, Educate a Girl has started Project 150 and is providing scholarships in the names of those who lost their lives in the Peshawar tragedy.