Presbyterian Education Board, Pakistan

The Presbyterian Education Board (PEB) operates more than a dozen schools in the Punjab region of Pakistan near the border with India. Veeda Javaid, executive director of PEB Pakistan, visited Second in February 2010.

The Presbyterian Church has had a presence in India/Pakistan providing schools and hospitals since 1850s. The Presbyterian schools have been very well regarded.

In 1972 the Pakistan government took over the Presbyterian schools. Quality and facility maintenance declined, and PCUSA recently regained control of schools. In PEB schools Christians & Muslims learn together so that they learn tolerance as well as the academic curriculum.

In Pakistan, only 13% of women are literate. When the government ran the schools, people were considered "literate" if they could read and write their name. The PEB is dedicated to not just providing education, but providing quality education.

The PEB boarding schools are for "poorest of the poor." Veeda's mother attended one of these boarding schools, and both Veeda and her sister are educators.

In recent years, educators have noticed a cultural shift wherein more Pakistani men are wanting their daughters to attend school. As Veeda says, "When you educate a female, you educate a woman. When you educate a woman, you educate a nation."

Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta organizes an annual teacher-training trip to Pakistan.  Educators from throughout the U.S. go to Pakistan to train PEB teachers.

More information about PEB is available at www.friendsofpeb.org and www.peb.edu.pk

S.H.E.
In a society where "honor killing" is still prevalent, S.H.E. (Struggle, Hope, Empowerment) offers help to women at risk of being victims of violence or abuse. These women learn skills and participate in workshops to make goods, which are sold to support their families. S.H.E. also provides an opportunity to discuss health issues and family planning.
 
S.H.E. started in 2006, already has programs in 20 communities.
 
More information is available at www.peb.edu.pk/SHE_PROJECT/