We first became activists when we were eight years old and visited the girls' government school in our village in Pakistan, that our grandmother had donated the land to build. The girls there were our age, but they told us that they were going to quit school when they reached grade 5 so they could work to support their families. This was something that shocked us, and we knew we had to do something about it. From then on, we spoke to the girls and their parents, and tried to encourage them to go to school.
We did workshops with the girls and used our pocket money to buy them school supplies from Canada which we would give to them whenever we visited Pakistan on a family trip. We also donated our books to them from when we were younger, to get them excited about their education. For the next five years, we continued to do this.
When we visited Pakistan in 2015, we were so happy to learn that some of the girls were actually going on to high school. This would begin the process of breaking the cycle of poverty that exists in our village, because girls would be going to school. The girls' determination and dedication to their education was what made them finally make the decision to go to school. We were so honoured to be a part of that, and encourage them in the process.
We hope to continue our work in our village, and make improvements so that the educational opportunities for the girls do increase. Visit this page for content related to what we have done so far and more updates!
Maryam and Nivaal
On the way to school
with our girls
Short film: If the world was a school
In Light of International Women's Day 2018, we created a short film about our journey working with the girls in our village, and our ideas for creating change worldwide through girls' education.