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Communications Office

On Day 4, participants were involved in at the refresher training.

Under the “Women economic empowerment through disaster resilience approach, Sindh Province Project, a four days refresher training on “Sexual Reproductive Health(SRH) and Gender Based Violence (GBV)” of a theatre group was conducted in mid-March of this year. The first training of its kind was conducted in the start of the year when project was initiated. The objective of the refresher training was to enhance the group’s performance skills, dramatisation techniques and develop a thorough understanding on the topics of SRH and GBV to better represent them on stage. Exercises to improve confidence levels and adaption of more audience interactive methods were also practiced in the training to increase audience attention and performance impact.  It also aimed at prioritizing and highlighting the topic related issues to further build awareness among rural communities to change rigid mindsets.

Yousuf Dominic, a specialist consultant at Community World Service Asia, facilitated and lead this refresher workshop. Yousuf has an extensive experience of 22 years as a consultant trainer on various capacity building programs including gender equality, social mobilization and sexual reproductive health.

Before the start of this four day workshop, Yousaf had scheduled one whole day visiting the project field sites to observe the existing social and cultural gaps and to take note of field level operational issues. Ways to address the points noted during the field visit were carefully incorporated in the session plans of the workshop.

The training commenced with a brainstorming session in participation with all the theatre performers. At this session, Yousuf shared his findings and gave his feedback on the observations brought back from field. “I was glad to see the hard work and dedication the performers put in their work. However, more work needs to be done on early childhood marriages, health issues and women protection policies through more informative dialogues.” Yousaf emphasized on the importance of conducting social mapping in order to develop a clear understanding on common issues existing in the communities.

Thus, a social mapping exercise was carried out where participants were divided into groups. Each group identified various issues in their respective communities and the reasons behind their being. Each group then developed solutions for the issues identified and shared their proposed strategies with the others. This effective group activity allowed the participants to jointly identify five key issues, which were common among all communities:



  • Women harassment

     

  • Early child Marriage

  • Women ignored in decision-making

  • Girls Education

  • Restrictions on women

Through this training, performers were enabled to write stories and performance scripts on the issues of sexual reproductive health and gender based violence through group exercises and thorough discussions. After evaluating the stories shared by the participants, Yousuf expressed the importance of authenticity in writing stories and representing real life examples. He further elaborated that performers may work on stories through social mapping and prioritize their issues and develop more needs based stories which would have more impact and relativity for audiences.  In addition, Yousaf clarified, “Stories must have a clear introduction to the audience on the basic parameters and a very tangible reason, so that a positive and effective message is conveyed to the crowd.”

A story/show script was fully developed in the four day training through social mapping exercises. The participants wrote their dialogues keeping in mind the sensitivity of the issues. A final theater show was performed on the last day of the refresher training. Participants developed a comprehensive understanding on characterization and role plays during theatre shows.  Their story and script skills were enhanced and specific capacity was built on plot construction and characterization. All participants were then awarded certificates for their contribution, commitment and participation.

The Diocese Development Secretariat of Multan (MDTA), an independent organization, developed their first ever strategic plan for the years 2017-2020 after attending a four-day capacity building training on Organization Development (OD) in September 2016. The training organized by Community World Service Asia aimed at enabling participating organizations to better respond and adapt to changes and developments in the sector to achieve organizational efficiency and increase productivity.

Kashif Kamran Khan, working as Head of Development and Emergency Programs since the last four years at MDTA, speaks to us about the changes and growth him and his organization experienced since learning OD concepts at the training. Kashif joined MDTA as it re-established itselfand adopted a newer and more “modern” approach to its programming. In these last four years, he has worked in various departments of the organization, from Finance, to HR, to M&E and on field project implementation. MDTA did not have a separate OD department, but as a head of development Kashif applied many OD concepts in various departments to enhance the efficiency of his team.

Without a proper OD unit, MDTA also did not have any HR, Fund raising or any other program policies developed. This led to them facing many challenges, specially when building partnerships and networking externally with partners and donors. Due to the absence of a structured OD system, there was no organogram developed either which meant there was no hierarchy to follow, leading to countless confusions for staff and other stakeholders on a daily basis.

Kashif felt that the organization development unit plays one of the most important roles in an organization. Having acquired a MPhil degree in Business Administration with a specialization in HR, Kashif had been waiting and looking for an opportunity to be trained on OD as he felt it was vital for him to do so in order to fulfill his responsibilities as Head of Development for a newly “reestablished” organization. This training was a perfect opportunity for him.

“I really looked forward to this training and for all the right reasons,” recounted Kashif. “All the knowledge and learning received in this training was very educational for me. I learnt concepts, policies and methodologies which I never got to learnt in my MPhil classes either. The facilitator for the training did a great job.”

“I learnt about different Hierarchy models which I have now applied to develop an OD model for MDTA,” acknowledged Kashif. “The facilitator’s teaching style was very interactive and participatory. He taught us theories that we did not even know existed before.”

“Taking my learnings from the training and putting them into practice, we at MDTA have recently developed our Strategic plan, introduced new program policies and have applied many new concepts into our programming and management. Now most of our employees are familiar from the OD concepts.”

According to the American Camp Association (ACA), youth development experts agree that children need a variety of experiences in their lives to help them grow into healthy adolescents and adults. Summer camps for children, under our Girls Education project supported by Act for Peace, are exclusively planned to facilitate developmental needs of school-going children through physical exercises, activities on self-definition, meaningful participation and creative self-expression.

“The mock elections at the summer camp were a great learning opportunity for all of us. I had to work really hard to win the elections. I prepared a strong, impactful speech which promised to develop an advanced and clean society. I felt very proud on winning the elections as it is the most important achievement for me up until now,”

said Kainat, a Grade 3 student at the Government Primary Sindhi Chandio School.

Kainat belongs to a village in Sujawal District and lives there with her parents and eight siblings. Attending the summer camp and interacting with other students from different schools was just the kind of opportunity Kainat had always waited for and looked forward to.

“My father has always encouraged me to go for my dreams and doesn’t want any of his children to clean cars like he does for an earning. He wants us to study and grow up to be intellectual professionals. I come to school to learn new things from my teachers and want to grow up to be a commando one day,”

voiced Kainat excitedly

“I did not know that as a citizen of Pakistan, I had certain duties to fulfill to be a good citizen. We got to know the difference between a good and a bad citizen at the camp. I specifically shared this learning with my class fellows. I also went to other classes of my school and told them about good citizenship. We have to make our country a better place and for that we have to play our role actively.”

Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) trainings were also conducted as part of the summer campts at Kainat’s school. According to her teachers, Kainat has been a proactive student in conducting drill activities.

“The DRR trainings have increased our knowledge in relation to emergency situations. Our school has trained all students to take measures for various disasters which come unannounced. I have shared my learnings with my family and friends in my community. My community appreciates my knowledge and commends the school on giving such diverse opportunities aiming to equip intellectual students  with all lots of skills.”

 “People from my village are mostly uneducated. I am educating myself so that I can set an example for others, highlighting the importance of education for a progressive society. My eldest sister supports me a lot in education. She helps me in my homework and studies as well.”

Kainat is determined to bring a positive change in the unbending and recessive community that she belongs to. She aims to  free the  future generations of her village from poverty and illiteracy.

 

“My father drank alcohol daily and used to beat my mother,” quietly recounted a 15 years old daughter of Mohan from Haji Chanesar Mari village.

Mohan, father to five sons and two daughter, was a hopeless alcoholic, living with his family in the small but close-knit village of Haji Chanesar Mari in Umerkot. He was a selfish man who only thought of himself and never considered the impacts of his drunkenness on his wife and children. Many evenings, Mohan’s children witnessed their mother, Devi, being beaten by their drunk father. Some evenings, one of the children would become victims of his physical and verbal abuse as well.

As a small, independent farmer, Mohan earned well. Despite his sufficient earnings, Devi, was unable to save any money for the dowry of their daughters or for the purchase of cattle for the family’s nutritional support. All of Mohan’s extra earnings were consumed on alcohol. “He was consuming alcohol of at least PKR 200 regularly,” shared Devi. “At times, when he would be out of money, he would lend money from others to fulfill his alcohol craving.”

“Despite having such a beautiful family, I have mostly thought of myself only throughout my adult life,” shared Mohan himself one day. “I never dream about a better life, education, health or of other facilities for my children.”

Sajan, a gender activist in their village, took a lead to work with families affected by severe alcoholism. He had selected at least five households with whom to start work with. People advised him to consider working on other social issues, realizing the challenges he may face working with alcohol addicts. However, Sajan remained firm in his disposition as he considered alcoholism as one of the root causes of many gender based discriminatory practices and mind sets in their community. “Local alcohol is produced and is easily available from nearby villages,” Sajan pointed the severity of this issue.

Sajan and his colleague decided to train local children to play the role of drug addicts and their family members and demonstrate how one alcoholic would easily ruin a whole family. This drama was performed in Mohan’s house in his very presence. Mohan’s own son performed the role of an alcoholic who drank daily and beat his wife. At the end of the interactive play, a communal issue (alcoholism) was laid in front of the acting village leader in the play to find a resolution, seeking support from other men of the community as well. The alcoholic, played by Mohan’s son, was not even considered in the village decision making as the community saw him as a senseless man who was incapable of supporting himself or his family. “It was a very shameful moment for me that the character played by my son was hated by everyone and was failing everywhere in the community,” Mohan said disappointedly, “I realized that that could become the future of my children if I continue to drink this way.”

The story and performances touched Mohan’s slumbering soul and made him realize the impact of his disgraceful attitude on his family. He promised to quit drinking alcohol. Mohan kept his promise and quit soon after he saw the theater performance. Relinquishing a severe addiction as such as suddenly left Mohan unwell and ill. At this time, Sajan supported Mohan in acquiring medical support in Umerkot city where the doctor strictly advised him not to consume alcohol at all during this time. If he followed his advice, Mohan’s health would be better soon.

It has been month and half since Mohan has consumed a single drop of alcohol. Mohan and his family are very grateful to Sajan for not only helping Mohan leave his addiction but also in re-strengthening the family’s long lost bond. “I have stopped hanging out with friends who drank with me. I wish to become a proud father for my children and a responsible husband to my wife.”

Small efforts can sometimes bring a big change. We should never gauge or underestimate any effort that is made with complete sincerity and dedication; the results may not be seen at once but gradually it may change lives positively.

A group photo of Community World Service Asia Jhuddo staff with the delegation of Sindh Agricultural University.

A group of 37 students of the Rural Sociology Department, Sindh Univeristy, accompanied by senior professors and chairman of the Rural Sociology Department (RSD), visited Community World Service Asia’s Jhuddo Office this April. The purpose of the study tour was to orient students on the working methodologies and policies of humanitarian organizations and NGOs’ and the role and structure of Community Based Organizations (CBO). Something different from the usual theoretical classroom learnings at the RSD, this exposure tour was designed to familiarize students with the different cultures and living patterns of rural communities and provide them with a practical learning experience.

Ashar Nasir, Project Manager at Community World Service Asia, along with other staff, welcomed the group of students and faculty members at the local office. An introductory session, on the organization and its various projects and thematic areas, kick-started the exposure visit for the eager guests.

The group first visited Fazal Wadho village; one of the targeted villages of Community World Service Asia’s Promoting Sustainable Agriculture project in Badin. Participants were welcomed by members of the Community Based Organization (CBO). Mohammad Hassan, community representative of Fazal Wadho village, gave a detailed presentation on the village profile and its’ previous and existing initiatives with different organizations. He also briefed the participants on the history of the CBO’s  formation, its objectives  and their role in local development. This was followed by a question and answer sessions in which a student asked about the importance of CBOs at a community level. To his response, it was shared that CBOs bridge communication and networking gaps between feudal lords and higher officials and the local community people. The CBOs also amplify the voices of the  village people on local issues and together with concerned departments develop resolutions to those issues.

Community World Service Asia’s role, through their various Food Security and Livelihoods projects in the area, in forming the CBOs and VOs and equipping them with necessary resources and knowledge, was highlighted. The students and their faculty were told about the role the women of the community are playing in being trained on Nutrition and Kitchen Gardening to develop balanced nutritious diets for their families and themselves through the Sustainable Farming project in Badin. Many other field experiences were shared with the group, including the exposure visit to Sindh Agricultural University where the women project participants actively observed the workings of different departments. They also shared their experience of participating in the Farmers Festival which displayed their home grown vegetables on sale stalls and connected them with local retailers.

Dr. Ghulam Mujtaba Khushk, chairman of RSD, appreciated the efforts of the CBO in local development. He appreciated the informative and effective opportunity given to the students and the faculty members; increasing their knowledge and learning in relation to the different practicalities of rural life and how people of various local communities are being involved to build a sustainable livelihood together. The students and faculty members learnt about project implementation, project planning and social mobilization. Concluding the visit, Dr. Ghulam Mujtaba presented an appreciation letter and a shield to Community World Service Asia Team for their commitment and contribution to the communities.

Improving the capacities of education officials on monitoring and evaluation (M&E) skills contributes directly to the quality and accountability in reporting on education. It also impacts the expectations of schools and teachers that are held accountable for sub-professional behaviors, such as absenteeism.  Improved M&E systems would also support better reporting and would lead to improvement in information available to relevant decision-makers. To refine the existing system, a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Training was conducted in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan end of March this year for Provincial and District level education directorates. A total of 20 participants (men) attended the informative training at the Community World Service Asia office in Jalalabad.

Education officials in Afghanistan undertook joint monitoring visits to schools that are part of Community World Service Asia’s Girls Education Project to observe teacher trainings, classroom instructions and school-based civil education camps. In addition, they received coaching on appropriately utilizing M&E tools and on developing a comparative study of M&E systems run by other professionals in different fields.

The participants were trained on the difference between Monitoring and Evaluation processes and how to conduct an effective monitoring visit to thoroughly observe the teaching process of school teachers and the management system of school principals. During the training, the participants were engaged in various group activities where they developed monitoring and supervision plans and ways of using existing forms and formats of the Education Directorate for monitoring purposes, providing feedback and recommendations. Sessions on conflict resolution further modified the participants’ role in conflict management, if any existed in the schools.

Schools and teaching environments will benefit greatly through the commitment of effective M&E staff provided they are well equipped with knowledge and necessary skills in the said field. The monitors efficiently conduct visits and provide teachers and school management with good and constructive feedbacks and recommendations in order to improve. Furthermore, the regular visits of M & E officers will ensure systematic school management processes. The teachers’ teaching methods are observed to assure that new methods learnt from trainings are implemented rationally; existing gaps are identified and further improved accordingly. These trainings are vital as it enhances monitoring systems in the Ministry of Education and fulfils the aim of ensuring quality education within the targeted schools.

A stall showcasing antiques and cultural shawls which attracted many people at the festivals.

The Sindh Culture and Tourism Department organized a two-day “Thar and Parker Festival” at the historical Umerkot Fort from the 24th – 25th of March. The various arts and crafts of the culturally rich Thar were put on display on a number of stalls at the vibrant festival. Apparel, rillies, handbags, fancy clutches, jewelry and other handmade crafts were on display and for sale. The entertaining event featured cultural activities such as camel and horse races, folk musical concerts and standing stalls of delicious local food.

The festival was inaugurated by Syed Sardar Ali Shah, Minister of Culture and Tourism in Sindh. “This festival will show the more beautiful facets of our rich desert which has formerly remained hidden as the region has predominantly been known for its natural disasters and subsequent deaths of children,” announced Mr. Shah. He added that such events will bring back harmony and a cultural spirit to the region which has suffered consistently in the past. Dost Mohammad Rahimoon, MPA Sindh, also present at the inauguration ceremony added, “The festival will provide a forum to people to showcase their rich culture and traditions for the entire world to see.”

Local artisans of Umerkot, along with Community World Service Asia staff, participated at the event, showcasing and promoting their handicrafts from Umerkot and Thatta. A range of products including casual apparel, jewelry and other home accessories produced under the brand “Taanka” were exhibited for sale at the festival. A large number of people visited the stall and watched the artisans hand make some of the products “live”. Syed Sardar Shah, also paid visited the Taanka stall and appreciated the quality work of the artisans that stood out among the many stalls at the festival.

Women from near and far villages, attended the event and were very happy to see a large variety of cultural apparels and antiques at the stalls. Families enjoyed tableau and the many music and theatre shows being performed by local communities and theater groups. Folk musician sang and entertained audiences at the festival for hours and received much applause and cheers. The festival ended with sparkling, large fireworks on the second day, lightening the lives of the people of Thar with color, happiness and celebration.

A walk was commenced to observe Health Day at Rural Health Center, Hyderfarm.

Community World Service Asia is provides medical care with a focus on maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) through supporting three Rural Health Centers (RHC) in Umerkot since 2015. These health centres provide healthcare to the most vulnerable communities affected by recurrent natural disasters, disease and poverty. The primary aim is to provide medical care through curative and preventive services while adopting a community-based approach by ensuring participation of village health committees and government health department.

The MNCH team organized World Health Day on 7th April at the RHCs in Umerkot in participation of a large number of community members from catchment area, government health staff of each RHC and professionals from NGOs and Civil Society Organizations. The main focus of the day was the topic of “Depression” which was the universal theme of this international day globally. Attention was also given to other more common health issues in the area such as heatstroke, diarrhea and anemia.

Depression is one of the many results of poor health, poverty, economic and social injustices and power imbalance prevalent in the rural society. The main purpose of celebrating this day was to raise common public awareness on various health issues and to sensitize the community and paramedic staff on mitigating the health problems common in the community through self-care and knowledge building.

Topics discussed on World Health Day in Umerkot:


  • To increase public awareness regarding various causes and preventive measures of depression

     


  • To provide detail knowledge of getting prevented from various diseases including diarrhea and missiles.

  • To encourage most vulnerable groups of people to frequently and regularly checkup the women during pregnancy in MNCH Centers.

  • To promote self-care among people of rural area.

  • To motivate the paramedic staff to make their efforts in providing health facility to vulnerable community of the catchment area of all three RHCs.

Medical Superintendents (MSs) of each health facility, health committee representatives, community activists and project staff gave orientations to the community members including men, women and children, on the major causes, prevention and mitigation of depression, heatstrokes and diarrhea. They imparted key messages on good health that aimed to enable men, women and children to lead healthy and productive lives and continue being of valuable existence in lives of their families and communities.

Rural healthcare lags in quality, affordability, and accessibility for several reasons. The main problem faced by health authorities in this regard is lack of awareness. One of the major reasons for such a deplorable state of health in these areas is the lack of health facilities. The establishment of health centers is ensuring better health and is supporting an improved standard of living for the people of rural Sindh.

Photo credit: Dawn News

At least five hundred mud houses were destroyed when a fire broke out on the afternoon of May 10th, in village Vakrio near Islamkot town in Tharparkar district. The reported fire broke out due to a short circuit and immediately engulfed a thatched house in the village Vakrio. Due to strong winds, the fire spread to more than 500 thatched and cemented houses, reducing them all to ashes and rubble within minutes.

Luckily, at that time that the fire erupted, village residents were out working in the fields, saving them from the ravenous fire. Seven people from the village have however been reported injured. Most of the village livestock was also grazing in the fields at that time of the day, yet around 100 cattle have reported been killed in the fire.

Vakrio residents ran out their houses to save their lives, but did not have ample time to save their livestock or their belongings. All their ornaments, clothes, crockery, seeds stocks for next cultivation, stocks of fodder, food, were all burnt to ashes in front of their eyes.

The village residents all tried their best to extinguish the fire together by throwing barrels of water and sand on the blazing fire, but despite their efforts, they were not able to save the hundreds of homes. Only two hundred houses in the entire village were unharmed from the fire.

This is  the tenth such incident this year, on an average around three houses have been burned in each incident, but there has been no immediate solution to this recurring tragedy.

The people of Vakrio spent the night in the open land and appealed to relevant authorities and welfare departments to help them rebuild their houses and rehabilitate back to their usual life.

Emergency shelter kits, food package and nonfood items such as cooking utensils to cook their food are immediate requirements of the affected communities.

Community World Service Asia Response: Community World Service is in contact with local partners in the area on the updated information of the tragic event. It is closely monitoring and will devise its response plan accordingly.

Contacts:
Felix Dennis Joseph
Associate Director
Disaster Management Program
Email: dennis.joseph@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 300 8557414

Palwashay Arbab
Head of Communications
Email: palwashay.arbab@communityworldservice.asia
Ph: +92 42 3586 5338

Sources: www.dawn.com

“Daughters have always been preferred in our family, unlike other families in the village. My husband and I have never given priority to our two sons over our two daughters. We love all of them equally,”

said Hurmi, a resident of Haji Chanesar village in Umerkot. Hurmi is the Vice President of the Steering Committee of the village and a gender activist in the area.

“My first child was a daughter. Normally in our community, daughters are considered as burdens and families are not so happy when a girl is born. But the case was different at our home. I am lucky to have a husband who loves daughters more.”

When the skills development center was set up at Haji Chanesar Village, Hurmi helped identify artisans who were most in need of a sustainable livelihood. Later in the project stage, a steering committee was formed for which Hurmi was nominated as Vice President by the unanimous vote of the artisans themselves.

“After the Community Management Skill Training, the Steering Committee was well equipped with knowledge on how to manage communities and resolve their issues and conflicts. As the Vice President, my role was more influential as many expected me to bring change in the rigid traditions we have been following for years.”

“The center brought countless benefits to women and girls in residual and nearby villages. They used to work in the fields in the season of cotton picking. Parents of young girls felt insecure sending their daughters to the fields, as they worked under the scorching sun and the bushes and thorns would tear their clothes or injure them. The center serves as a shadow in their lives. We encouraged the men of our families to send their wives, sisters and daughters to the center without a worry as the environment is safe and secure. Women in our area now work without worrying about traveling long distances while carrying heavy crops on their heads.”

As a dedicated member of the Steering Committee, Hurmi worked actively for the well-being of her fellow villagers. Recognizing her consistent efforts and dedication, Hurmi was selected as a participant of a ToT for Gender Activists.

“When I joined the Gender Group as an activist, my in-laws and neighbors discouraged me saying such activities for women were not part of our culture and it was not right to let women and girls talk so boldly on sensitive issues. My husband on the other hand, supported me strongly. He motivated me to work as a gender activist and change the mind-sets of the people who did not allow their daughters to grow socially and economically,”

reiterated Hurmi with a confident smile.

“When I started working as a gender activist, I realized that the people in these rural communities are still living in a backward world, where caste difference was a firm way of life. One of the reasons for some families to not send their daughters to the skills center was the issue of caste difference. They could not allow their daughters to sit with women belonging to a lower caste than them. They also believed that sending their daughters to the skill building center will bring dishonor to their traditions and cultural values,”

narrated Hurmi disappointedly,

“We conducted gender awareness sessions. We also led sessions to individual households to have a direct impact. Girls in our village started to go to school and early childhood marriages started to decrease.”

“Recently, a 16-year-old girl was getting married in our village. Our gender activist group visited the household and briefed the family about the problems young girls face in early marriages. When the girl’s in-laws (to be) came to schedule the wedding for February 23rd, the father of the 16-year-old refused instantly. The in-laws were furious to see his reaction. The daughter’s family called us to talk to the in-laws and explain the disadvantages of early childhood marriages to them as well. When the in-laws were also enlightened on the subject, they too understood and postponed the marriage to three years later. It is not just about one change in one house. People have started to think over many rigid traditions followed by us for ages as a result of these awareness sessions.”

“There was another instance of a man named Mohan. His wife, Dhai, was very disturbed as Mohan use to drink a lot. He used to waste his earnings on buying alcohol. He did not even spare Dhai’s minimum wage which she earned through stitching and agricultural work. He even hit Dhai when he was drunk. He once hit her with a small axe while he was drunk. He also used to beat his children. We tried to talk to him but he did not listen. So, we went to a doctor to talk about Mohan’s condition. We requested the doctor to scare Mohan by lying to him, stating that his health is weakening. When Mohan fell ill, the doctor came to Mohan and stated that he has cancer. Mohan got so scarred that he stopped consuming alcohol himself. Mohan has not been drinking since three months now. His wife is very relieved as he does not hit her or her children as his mental state has now improved. He does not waste money on drinking now and is more calm and caring towards his family. Yesterday, our steering committee held a meeting with the villagers. At the meeting, Mohan informed us that he has quit smoking as well. His wife is very happy now. Everybody in the village is curious to know how Mohan has changed so much.”

It is important for women to participate proactively for work on gender equality as only women can understand the problems of other women well enough. They will work towards resolving issues in a more realistic and practical manner.

“Women easily communicate their issues to us. I am happy when I help others to live a better life, especially when daughters are treated well. Now that we have been given a chance to live a better life, we must walk forward together to build a progressive society instead of letting each other down. I wish to see an all girls’ educated and equality based society”