The Congregation of Religious of Jesus and Mary and the Parentes Foundation work to ensure education and improve the lives of thousands of people, especially Pakistani girls who often face difficulties in receiving education. The Congregation of Religious of Jesus and Mary and the Parentes Foundation continue to join forces to give continuity during this year 2023 to the project “Study aid and support for the sustainability of 6 schools in Pakistan.” The main objective of this action is to provide quality education, provide resources, and improve the infrastructure of six schools located in the Punjab province, in the areas of Shadbagh, Matric Section Lahore, Mariakhel, Sialkot, Murree, and Toba-Tek-Sin.

This project takes on significant importance due to the situation of access to education and poverty in Pakistan. According to Human Rights Watch data, it is estimated that around 22.5 million school-age children do not have access to formal education. In this context, girls are particularly vulnerable, with 32 percent of girls in primary school age not being enrolled in Pakistan, compared to 21 percent of boys. Additionally, according to World Bank data, approximately 24.3% of the population lives below the national poverty threshold. This situation particularly affects rural communities and religious minorities, such as many Christian families in the country.

In this regard, the six schools of the Congregation of Religious of Jesus and Mary play a crucial role in providing quality education to boys and girls, and it is estimated that around 5,500 people will directly benefit from this project, including teachers, students, and former students who will receive financial support to continue their studies. In this way, the action will also indirectly impact the improvement of the conditions of students’ families and the community in general, increasing employment opportunities and breaking the cycle of poverty through education.

Education for inclusion and development

The project, which has been active since 2020 and was expanded earlier this year, pursues several fundamental objectives. First, it aims to continue providing quality education in the six schools of the Congregation of Religious of Jesus and Mary to children from families in poverty, especially those of the Catholic faith. These schools play a crucial role in the social inclusion of students and the education of girls, promoting equality.

Through this action, of Fundación Parentes the goal is also to increase teacher training to improve their teaching methodologies and elevate the quality of education. Likewise, thanks to this support, it is possible to adequately compensate teachers and school staff, improving their working conditions. In addition, scholarships have been granted for training programs, such as the Master of Sciences in Educational Leadership, Management, and Emerging Technologies at the University of Miami, as well as training courses in English and school management.

Within the activities of the current project, specific actions are being implemented in each of the six beneficiary schools. For example, at St. Paul School in Shadabagh, scholarships, center supplies, facility repairs, and the acquisition of computer equipment are being provided. At Mariakhel School, scholarships, teaching materials, furniture, and facility improvements are being granted. Similarly, in the other schools, scholarships, technological equipment, infrastructure improvements, and other necessary educational resources are being provided.