EmbHashmi, an award winning broadcast journalist, travelled to Pakistan as part of Muslim Charity’s “From UK with Love” initiative which encourages members of the public to visit countries that we work in such as Pakistan on structured visits to oversee the impact of UK donations to needy beneficiaries. During her journey in March 2016, Emb made a small film illustrating the importance of educating a girl in Pakistan.

The film was premiered at three events over the weekend in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

Emb followed a young girl called Sonya on her daily regime of chores around her home as well as the deadly trek to her school. It can take Sonya up to two hours to walk to school through the steep hills of Rawalakot (Pakistan) where she lives, but this young girl does this so she can lift her family out of extreme poverty and provide for them as the only future breadwinner in the family, her father is unable to work due to a near-death accident.

Muslim Charity’s ‘Adopt A School’ project helps to renovate and construct schools by filling the missing facilities such as classrooms, washrooms, safe drinking water, boundary walls, furniture, playgrounds and more. In the past three years, Muslim Charity has renovated 40 schools in Pakistan, which are now benefitting almost 11,000 children like Sonya.

Millions of girls are not in education in Pakistan due to extreme poverty and the lack of schools near their homes or even within a two-hour trek from their homes. Two-thirds of Pakistan’s out of school children are girls, amounting to over 3 million girls out of school. Pakistan is in the top 10 countries around the world where more than half of the poorest girls do not enter school; nine out of ten of the poorest young women have not completed formal schooling.

UNESCO research on the benefit of educating girls shows that if all women had a primary education, there would be 15% fewer child deaths.

– Mothers’ education improves child nutrition
– If all women had a primary education, 1.7 million children would be saved from stunting from malnutrition.

EmbHashmi and Muslim Charity want everyone to start talking about girls like Sonya and reflect on the women in their lives who have had the opportunity to get a good education and how it has made a difference to their lives.