Message from the Chair
Another year ends in thrall to Covid, but despite the disquieting sense of déjà vu caused by the latest variant, we are better equipped to cope — at least in the countries that have had the benefit of vigorous vaccine campaigns — than we were at this time last year. It is to be hoped that the goal of vaccine equity will be front and centre of global efforts going forward.
Covid continues to have a devastating impact on the communities we support, but the PAWA team is committed to doing all it can to mitigate the effects of disrupted schooling and help the girls remain in the educational system.
Our fundraising campaign in early summer was a resounding success, raising the £20,000 needed for emergency Covid funding. Generous donations have continued through the year, for which we are very grateful.
Our next 2-year funding cycle starts in 2023, and applications to new projects will be sent out in early 2022. If you would like to nominate a project, please do let us know as soon as possible at email@example.com
In the new year, we hope to put into place a reorganisation that will better reflect the non-heirarchical structure of PAWA. Our abiding strength is that we are entirely run by volunteers, and we would like to bring more of their voices to you. Do join us at our Annual Meeting to find out about our plans and hear from our projects.
In the meantime, the PAWA team and I would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Stay safe and thank you for your continued support
Chair, PAWA Management Committee
SAVE THE DATE
PAWA Annual Meeting
10th February, 1pm on Zoom
Details to follow
Ongoing Projects Update
Bal Jeevan, Mumbai, India
Founded in 1994, Bal Jeevan has been making a difference to the lives of street children in Mumbai, India, offering them a holistic programme of emotional and educational support. PAWA and Bal Jeevan began their association in 2014 with a focus on funding the education of 19 girls from ages 13 to 16. PAWA funds have provided girls with tuition in computer skills, English, Math, Science, extra curricular and vocational skills. Through the lockdowns, PAWA funds supported the use of mobile phones for online study and weekly food rations for needy girls and their families. We heard this from Bal Jeevan about some of the girls currently supported by PAWA: “Megha Sakat was felicitated by the Rotary Club of Mumbai Bandra Kurla Complex for securing 80% marks in the 9th standard. She is currently in the 10th standard and wants to continue her studies until her graduation
Pooja Ghangutkar has graduated from college with a degree in Bachelors of Commerce. She is working for a private firm as a storekeeper.
Komal Kharat passed her 10th standard and is presently attending night college in the Commerce stream. She earns a living by working during the day as an Assistant Teacher in a special needs school.
Ankita Dhage graduated from high school and is currently doing her Diploma in Special Education, and also works in a special needs school as an Assistant Teacher.
We thank you and the members of PAWA for all your help and wish you all success in continuing your good work in helping educating young women all across the world”
Due to changes in regulations governing foreign funding, PAWA will no longer be able to support Bal Jeevan but we wish them all the best and we hope the girls we have sponsored thrive beyond their school years.
One Sky Foundation, Sangkhlaburi, Thailand
We got an update on Chan, who was a recipient of PAWA funds
Chan is now living in Kanchanaburi city, about three hours away from Sangkhlaburi. She finished her studies in July and has been working in a coffee shop since then. It is not what she is hoping for but in the midst of the Covid situation it is regular work. She earns 300 baht per day (about £7) and is able to support her parents and also pay back a little of her student loan. She hopes to keep looking for better work as things improve in Thailand. At the moment even this modest income is a vital support that many families in Sangkhlaburi do not have.
Schools in Sangkhlaburi remain closed. The total lockdown has been eased but the spread of the virus is still not under control, mostly due to the very low vaccination rates in Sangkhlaburi. The government seems to be struggling to obtain enough vaccine and at the same time the Chinese vaccine that has been used as the primary vaccine so far has now been assessed as ineffective. Those who have had two doses of this vaccine are now requiring a booster of one of the better vaccines, further adding to the demand. I think it could be some time yet before schools in Sangkhlaburi are able to open.
In Chan’s words: “One Sky helped me to see a bigger view of the world and now I know how to plan and manage my resources. I am clear and confident about my future. Because I could keep studying, I made many friends outside Sangkhlaburi. When I went to study in the province, I had an internship and had many new experiences. I will probably work at a goods factory or supermarket and I will get a regular salary and good working environment which is something my parents never had. My future should be more stable than the life my parents have lived”
Learning for Life, Kishoreganj, Bangladesh
Learning for Life holds classes on a boat to enable girls to access education that would otherwise be denied them during the regular flooding of the area. During the lockdowns, they used part of their PAWA Covid emergency funding to buy 8 tablets to help with online learning in small groups.
The project sent us the following update:The tablets have been provided to disadvantaged girls in the most remote and impoverished areas ofthe country. This region is facing many complications due to the impact of climate change. Religiousprejudices and patriarchy also have a profound effect on the social fabric of the region, which is prone to natural disasters. As a result, women’s emancipation has to face many challenges here. Due to thespread coronavirus, the livelihood of the people in this area has been severely affected. As a result,parents see child marriage as a way to cope with growing economic hardship. During this time, PAWAprovides relief assistance to families of vulnerable girls. At the same time, eight tablets were given to the girls. The ‘digital divide’ is very evident in this region. And for girls, it’s even more frustrating. Theprovision of tablets has created an opportunity for girls to connect to the internet and interact digitallywith their peers.