The Barakat evening school, where BLISS kicked off a couple months ago, is getting requests for enrollments by never-been-schooled Turkmen girls every day. I’m ecstatic! While the teachers believe most of the girls who are already enrolled in BLISS would drop out of school or have highly irregular attendance if BLISS were discontinued, a majority had some level of schooling prior to BLISS. The ones I was really eager to attract were these girls who would never be able to forego their carpet-weaving wages, never choose school over work, if it weren’t for BLISS’ incentives. Here’s to hoping we can get our handbags in the market soon, and generate enough revenue to scale the program and include more girls.
In more good news, Abdul Rehman’s lovely daughter Saleema, whom I spent most of my time in Attock with, got admission to Rawalpindi Medical College—a marvelous accomplishment, given that government quotas for refugees mean that one Afghan from the entire province of Punjab makes it to medical college every year. Now if that isn’t a success story, I don’t know what is. So proud, Saleema!