A brief outline of the Project Five-O project, “Literacy for Life” at the BPW Quality School,

Azam Town, Karachi, Pakistan.

The school, managed and controlled by the Pakistan Federation of Business and Professional Women (PFBPW), is situated in an underprivileged area of Karachi to provide quality education to poor children. It is an English medium school for both girls and boys.

An application for a grant was received from the school to assist with the upgrading of the building and provide training for teachers to upgrade their skills. A visit to the school revealed the amazing work being undertaken with the support of the local BPW, but facilities such as a library and science rooms were urgently needed. There was no science room and the library consisted of a few, old books in a cupboard.

A grant of USD 10,000 was approved and over 2013 a library/computer room was set up, as well as a science lab. Teachers attended courses to upgrade their skills. The building has been painted and its washrooms have been upgraded. A further “top-up grant” of US $5,000 was given to complete the work by early 2015.

Unfortunately, classes in Urdu for mothers of the pupils did not eventuate. It was planned to teach them basic literacy skills, health & nutrition and the need of education for girls as well as boys. However, monies set aside for this was well used for further teacher education and refurbishment of the building.

As with all grants, it is a requirement that six monthly reports are sent to include a record of expenditures, and the project is monitored by two members of Project Five-O. In this case, the project has been monitored by PFBPW and the All Pakistan Women’s Association (APWA), an affiliate of ICW-CIF. Representatives of IFBPW are due to visit to see the work undertaken.

This project is a good example of how far a little money can go. The school is now set expand the curriculum and deliver even higher quality education to both girls and boys.

Elisabeth Newman, President, Project Five-O

Feb. 2014