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 among under-privileged young women of Pakistan. It works with MGYW Pakistan to achieve its goals.
Families of most selected girls make $2 to $5 per day and they reside in urban as well as remote rural areas with literacy rates as low as 30%. Usually candidates are accepted at primary school level and provided support in tuition, uniform, and books - until they reach their full potential.
Since its inception, MGYW has provided incentive grants and benefits to almost 10,000 girls from low-income families; most of these girls have graduated from high school, colleges, and vocational programs; they are usually among the first in the family and have chosen diverse career paths.
MGYW reaches out to all four provinces of Pakistan: KPK (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Balochistan, Sindh, Punjab, & parts of Azad Jammu & Kashmir.
It has established several MOUs with renowned NGOs and respected local community leaders to provide merit grants as well as coordinates spearheading innovative projects for benefitting girls’ education (See MGYW Key Projects). These reputable NGOs have a network of schools throughout Pakistan.
All MGYW Board members are volunteers and some regularly travel to Pakistan at their own expense to monitor the program.
Recognition Certificates were awarded to MGYW by Congressman Ed Royce (CA-39th District-Retired) and Mayor Pro Tem Sajjad Ali Taj , City of Artesia, California, and several Consul Generals of Pakistan for “ its exemplary work in the field of female education and social uplifting in Pakistan”.
MGYW was also commended by Dean of Resource & Institutional Development at East Los Angeles College, California for promoting education among the underprivileged girls of Pakistan.
For more information, please visit MGYW on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pafmgyw
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.