MGYW Overview & Accomplishments
"Empowerment through Education"
Pakistani American Forum/Merit Grants for Young Women (MGYW) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization founded in 2000 to promote higher education (beyond basic literacy) among under-privileged young women of Pakistan - regardless of ethnicity, race, province, sect, or religion. It works with MGYW Pakistan to achieve its goals.
Families of most selected girls make $2 to $3 per day and they reside in urban slums as well as remote rural areas with literacy rates as low as 30% to 40%. Usually candidates are accepted at primary school level and provided support in tuition, uniform, and books - until they reach their full potential.
Over 5,000 individual grants since inception benefitted girls from low-income families; hundreds of girls graduated from high school and colleges.
All MGYW Board members are volunteers and some regularly travel to Pakistan at their own expense to monitor the program.
MGYW reaches out to remote areas of all four provinces of Pakistan [Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Balochistan, Sindh, and Punjab] by establishing MOUs with renowned NGOs and respected local community leaders. These reputable NGOs have a network of schools with over 23,000 students.
MGYW has successfully interacted with local community leaders to head start projects such as the Haripur Transportation Program (financially assisting high school girls to travel from their villages to city high school), Karachi Gift Pack Project (distributing generous annual school supplies among needy girls), and High School Library & Science Laboratory Project at Hamida Shaukat Ali Foundation School, Kotshera, Punjab, among others.
In 2014, MGYW entered into an MOU with the Pakistan Foreign Office Women’s Association (PFOWA) to sponsor education of over 20 meritorious young daughters of their low-income employees.
Recognition Certificates were granted twice to MGYW by Consul Generals of Pakistan for “ its exemplary work in the field of female education and social uplifting in Pakistan”.
In 2015, PAF/MGYW was selected by the U.S. based World Peace Project (www.projectpeace.world) as one of the partner global organizations.
For more information, please visit MGYW on Facebook:
Karachi Student reading her book.
MGYW HOPE Student working on computer.
Side Benefits to the Community
1. Cash gifts to low-income school staff in Rawalpindi & Sagri Government Girls Schools
2. Generous monthly salary being paid to four drivers for transporting girls in Suzuki vans from Ratta Banna and Karwala Villages to Haripur Government Girls High School located at a distance of about 8 km from villages.
3. MGYW has hired two female Coordinators selected from local community.
4. All purchases for Karachi Gift Pack project and holding of other events is done through local vendors, MGYW also purchases clothing and shawls from local vendors and sells it in the U.S. at reasonable cost as an alternative source to raising funds.
5. During MGYW’s annual fundraisers, provided booths to small non-profits or for small women-owned boutiques with MGYW receiving 10% proceeds from total sales.
MGYW has been successfully providing educational opportunities to young Pakistani women belonging to families making $2 to $3 per day and residing in urban slums or remote rural areas. In Pakistan, only 75% (81% of boys and 67% of girls) are enrolled in primary schools; whereas, the global average is 90%.
Overall, gender literacy gap is as high as 30% and MGYW is striving to fill this gap. Thousands of girls have benefited from MGYW’s focused approach with several girls graduating from school and college and are now gainfully employed. MGYW does not build new schools but reaches all four provinces of Pakistan by collaborating with renowned NGOs and respected local community residents. These reputable organizations have a network of over 23,000 students - with a majority of female enrollment.
MGYW operates in Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan, and KPK regions of Pakistan and also has an educational project in Azad Kashmir.