ISLAMABAD: American Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale on Wednesday commemorated the International Day of the Girl Child at an event celebrating the U.S. government’s commitment to girls’ education and women’s opportunities, equality, and advancement.
The event highlighted local organizations throughout Pakistan that receive the Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program (SGAFP) and work to improve the lives of girls in Pakistan.
At the event, Ambassador Hale said, “When girls are educated, they can make better futures for themselves, their families, their communities, and their countries. The United States government invests heavily in educating and enabling girls; and through the Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program, the American people have worked with Pakistani NGOs to improve the lives of over a million Pakistani women.”
The event featured a screening of “Second Chance at Hope,” a documentary about the inspiring achievements of young girls in Baluchistan. There was also a sign language performance of the Pakistani national anthem by students of the USAID supported Anjuman Nawjawanan Charsadda. The girls from CEENA Health and Welfare Services – a USAID supported orphanage – presented an inspiring tableau performance of Allama Iqbal’s poem “Lab Pai Ati Hai Dua.”
USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program (SGAFP) funds local organizations throughout Pakistan. Implemented by the National Rural Support Program and funded by the United States government, the SGAFP supports innovative community activities to enable vulnerable populations, encourage social entrepreneurship, develop small-scale energy solutions, promote culture and the arts, and improve disaster preparedness.
Since 2010, SGAFP has awarded 335 diverse and innovative projects worth US $36 million throughout the country. More than two million people – 55% of whom are female – have benefitted. The project recently provided a grant to the Saba Aslam Education and Welfare Trust – known as the “Saba Homes School and Orphanage” to build a three-story school in Rawalpindi. The school will educate vulnerable and marginalized girls.