On Oct 21, Interfaith Youth in Action (World Faith Pakistan) held the first meeting of the Program of Women Education and Reform (POWER), supported by United State Education Foundation in Pakistan and US-Pak State Alumni Network. The inauguration was attended by 70 female domestic workers, 37 of which registered for classes in Joseph Colony Lahore.
The program aims to empower underprivileged domestic worker women in post-conflict communities by teaching them basic writing, reading, and arithmetic skills. They will be taught by youth volunteers from diverse faiths and members of IYA as a sign of community service, equality, love and tolerance. In addition, the curriculum includes capacity-building workshops: one on women’s rights and the other on small business skills. “With this program,” explained Shahid, the WF National Director of Pakistan, “IYA not only builds women’s capacities and improves their families’ living conditions, but also provides a platform for women of diverse faiths and volunteer teachers from their communities to develop relationships for partnership and future collaboration.”
20 diverse volunteer teachers from the local community will work with 70 underprivileged women in two post-conflict communities: Badami Bagh, Joseph Colony Lahore and Gojra, Faisalabad.
As a follow-up plan, all the women who complete the course successfully will be supported as they develop connections with micro-credit organizations like the Kashf foundation and Akhuwat, getting small loans to start their own businesses at their community level. These all women will become part of the IYA alumni network and will be invited to all follow-up activities in their community and beyond; these women will also become IYA focal persons in their particular communities.