On October 11, 2017, American Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale commemorated the International Day of the Girl Child at an event organized by USAID Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program (SGAFP) in Islamabad. The event reaffirmed United States Government’s commitment to girls’ education, opportunities, equality, and advancement in Pakistan. The event also highlighted the work of SGAFP’s grantee organizations towards improving the status of girls in their respective area.

In addition to officials of U.S. embassy and USAID, about 200 representatives from grantee organizations, USAID projects, donor agencies, civil society organizations and media attended the event. Mr. Shoaib Sultan Khan, Chairman Rural Support programmes Network; Dr. Rashid Bajwa, CEO, NRSP; and Ms. Shandana Khan, CEO, RSPN also attended the event.

Appreciating the work being done for ensuring fulfillment of girls’ rights, Ambassador Hale emphasized that, “When girls are educated, they can make better futures for themselves, their families, their communities, and their countries”. Mr. Saeed Ashraf Siddiqi, COP, SGAFP, apprised the audience that USAID grants under SGAFP have helped address almost all key factors impeding girls’ empowerment in Pakistan. He highlighted that “SGAFP’s 73 grants have focused exclusively on promoting girls’ education and are benefitting over 100,000 girls across Pakistan.”

The event featured the screening of “Second Chance at Hope”, a documentary on an outstanding achievement in education sector in Baluchistan made possible through US funding. The event also featured an inspiring performance of the Pakistani national anthem in sign language by the students of Anjuman Nawjawanan Charsadda – an initiative supported by USAID.

The girls from CEENA Health and Welfare Services – an orphanage supported by USAID presented a fetching tableau performance on Allama Iqbal’s inspiring poem “Lab Pai Ati Hai Dua” that touched the hearts of the audience.

At the end, the U.S. Ambassador and USAID Mission Director also received a briefing on the construction of Saba School in Rawalpindi and met the orphan girls of Saba Homes orphanage.