Vocational Education

Providing skills & business opportunities to mothers and young women  Testimonials

Vocational training  provides tools necessary to start successful businesses, generate income, send their children to school and lift their families and communities out of poverty. The program pilot was conducted with over 200 women in Kashmir in fall 2012. The progress was captured on the Peace of the Action blog. Since then we are happy to report that we have worked with over five local partners, had over 1,000 women graduate, and are well on our way to achieving business solutions that help sustain MDF activities. The training itself is based on a 10 week curriculum which can be condensed and modified to fit different schedules and shorter time frames. The Economic Life (eLife) curriculum was provided by Foundation for Social Change, which included input from some of the world's most highly regarded International Development experts, and contributions from New York University's Stern Business School for Social Innovation. The curriculum has been modified to meet the cultural realities of women in under served areas of Pakistan. Marshall Direct Fund has had it translated into Urdu and it is being delivered by our outstanding local trainer, Rubina (Ruby) Dewan. During the pilot project we had women traveling sometimes up to 2 hours each way to attend the sessions.  We were the recipient of Teach a Man To Fish School Enterprise Challenge winner in October, 2012. Since then MDF has graduated over a 1,000 women in 2013 throughout Pakistan. Marshall Direct Fund also provides market demand information to inform their entrepreneurial activities and necessary value chain information and resources so the female entrepreneurs can get their products to higher end markets. Most women are supported in their current business ideas, connected with other women interested in working together, and some participate in creating products for partner organization, Peace of the Action. A portion of the proceeds will be re-directed into MDF activities. The first product line will be distributed world wide in early 2014. We will also be identifying women interested in becoming trainers of the curriculum to expand the reach of the vocational training program at least 1,000 interested women annually. Daily Times recognized the outstanding success the eLife Training Program by Ms. Rubina Dewan has made on women's lives who have participated in the program, "...after participating in eLife training program our conceptual and theoretical understanding on Business and Entrepreneurship has been developed." said Ms. Zubaida. Click here to watch interview by Ruby. MDF has a center in Multan, but the plan is to also maximize existing space already being used to educate youth in MDF primary schools located in the Punjab. In this way, mothers and older sisters of students can utilize the classrooms and the accompanying space of the buildings to come together in a safe and secure space. In the conservative Muslim culture women are not permitted the same freedoms to work where she would please. By designating space where women can congregate in a socially accepted manner these women can then improve upon existing skills and participate in activities that contribute to her family income. A portion of the proceeds of the successful enterprises will be re-invested to assist in the long-term sustainability of both the vocational activities and primary school activities of MDF. http://vimeo.com/92196919#t=0s Click here to learn more about the limitations women face. And click here to learn why it is so valuable to provide economic opportunities and education to girls and young women! Click here to read our Concept Note on the Vocational Training and Entrepreneurial Skills Program. HalWilliams2014-997176Check out our launch of Peace of the Action's first product run here! To order, please call O2 Aspen at (970) 925-3161 with the style name and size (sizes 6-10 available) you would like to purchase. Flip flops will be available for purchase at O2 in Aspen and boutiques worldwide. $45/pair. Every flip flop sold re-invests 15% of proceeds back into Marshall Direct Fund. This means for every pair sold, a day of school or vocational training is provided! Peace of the Action projects aim to re-invest nearly $50,000 in the first year, and if in five years we meet our goals, Marshall Direct Fund will receive closer to $1million a year. This would allow us to substantially increase our scope of services and expand the good work we do!

Sheikhupura School

Primary school and vocational training center in Sheikhupura

Barakahu School

Primary school in Barakahu, an urban slum of Islamabad

Vocational Education

Providing skills to mothers and women in the communities we work

Global Kids Connect

An exchange between youth in Colorado and youth in Pakistan