Breaking the Cycle of Oppression Through Education

Please welcome Shining Light International.

There are 62 million girls around the world that are not in school.

Pakistan has the world’s second highest population of girls not attending school. Parents often can’t afford school or if they could, they send a son, and the tradition of early child marriages remained a frightening reality. Imagine attending a school where half the room is empty and there are virtually no females present to add their voices or participate in class discussions.  This is the scene in most schools in rural villages of Northern Pakistan.  

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Oppression and religious extremism create incredible hurdles for girls and entire communities to thrive spiritually, physically, and economically.  Not only are families struggling to provide food and protection from the violence that is prevalent in their nation, the lack of education severely stunts their economic opportunities.  When most Pakistanis are asked what they dream of most:  It’s education.  A hope for their future.  

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At Shining Light International we decided to join with our friends in Pakistan and say YES, there is a hope for the future. Through strong partnerships with local leaders, our goal is to empower and equip them to improve their own economic situation and create opportunities for their sons and daughters. Village committees are established to identify community needs and work with SLI to access urgently needed resources, materials, training and support.   

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Working hand in hand with the Pakistani people, Shining Light is aspiring to meet practical needs and resource sustainable programs. We do this through:

Education: 
Together we have established a private academy in which we provide high quality and affordable education to 375 children from troubled regions of Northern Pakistan.

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In addition, we have established schools in 4 rural Gujjar villages and provide school in tents with traveling teachers to allow nomadic families to keep their children in school as they travel to the high pastures. While the Gujjars have previously been 98% illiterate, there are now over 500 children, 150 of them are girls, in school for the first time in the history of their people.

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Women’s Vocational Training:
Women from all religious backgrounds; Sunni, Shia, and Christian are coming together under one roof for our year long Women’s Vocational Training Program in which they learn how to learn how to sew, knit, and embroider. Upon graduation, women receive a sewing machine to start their own business, provide a valuable skill to their families, or obtain employment.  In the mornings, the Center is transformed into a manufacturing space where graduates from the training program are employed in a safe, secure and supportive environment to design and manufacture products for sale to local and international merchants and organizations. We have been blessed to be a part of seeing nearly 300 women graduate from the program and gain an elevated status in their growing communities.  

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We believe that the only way to break the cycles of extremism and oppression in this region of the world is to equip men AND women to stand against them, and that when ALL children are educated, including the girls, entire communities are transformed.  We envision a world where light dispels darkness, hope overcomes despair, help empowers the helpless and prosperity replaces poverty making a much brighter future for many.

Join Us…We’ll be at Allume!

We could not be more excited to be joining such a powerful group of women who are using their voices and platforms as bloggers to change the world.  We recognize that to make a significant and sustainable impact in places like Pakistan, we need to gather an army.  An army of people who will stand with us and say:

YES…your little girls deserve an education.

Women are worth training and are crucial to a thriving society.

There is a hope and a future for the hurting communities of Northern Pakistan.

And we believe in you, so we will invest in you. 

We can’t wait to chat with you, hear your stories, and partner together to conquer the great justice issues of our day.  We’ll have scarves created by the women at our Life Stitch Manufacturing Center, Home Party kits to help you get started on raising awareness about girl’s education, and opportunities for you to use your blog get more girls in school in Northern Pakistan.  

Get to know us before Allume:
Hear more of our story: http://shininglight-intl.com

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Christin

Christin has a heart to encourage and equip women in aspects of discipleship, marriage, mothering, writing, blogging, and community. She sees the body of Christ as an important community of encouragement and discipleship and works to foster that around the web. She has been married 13 years and has 7 children ranging in age from 11 down to 3. You can find her encouraging moms at her blog Joyful Mothering, writing some deeper thoughts on life and writing at ChristinSlade.com, and learning more about Google+.

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  • http://www.amylearns.com/ AMY TILSON

    Oh how I love this mission! It’s been shown so many times that to truly change the economic outlook of a community you have to empower and engage the women in it. How much more effective is this when it starts with girls going to school!! Beautiful work!