ISLAMABAD: The Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and World Learning (WL) signed an agreement on Tuesday to improve the future of adolescent girls in the country.

The objective of the partnership is to provide skill development and employment opportunities to BISP beneficiaries under the umbrella of the USAID-funded Advancing Girls Education and Skills (AGES) Programme — a four-year initiative with a mission to provide access to education and skills training to girls to empower them economically which is implemented by WL.

The move is part of BISP’s Complimentary Initiatives Programme which focuses on partnerships with the civil society and private sector for women’s economic empowerment.
As part of its partnership with BISP, the WL will identify and enrol up to 6,000 out-of-school BISP beneficiaries between 10 to 19 years of age in either formal schools or AGES-supported Accelerated Learning Programme (ALP) schools and centres.

BISP Secretary Omar Hamid Khan termed the new partnership as a great initiative and hoped that it would help the beneficiaries develop market-based skills and create more employment opportunities. He said that BISP’s focus is on women and this partnership encompasses enrollment in schools, skill building and employment opportunities for girls.

“It is important for all stakeholders to assist the most vulnerable segment of society to graduate out of poverty and become part of the economic growth of this nation,” he said.

Apart from educating girls, the collaboration will also provide mentorship for beneficiaries and will be implemented in eight districts of the country including Swat, Buner, Peshawar, Muzaffargarh, Ghotki, Jacobabad, Karachi and Lasbela.

Communities will be provided access to models of successful women in various fields in life.

“This partnership has identified several areas for sustainable and collaborative activities that will benefit the education and vocational training of girls and young women aged 10-25,” said WL Country Director Nadya Karim-Shaw.

She added that AGES is focused on the power of gender which is aligned with BISP’s vision.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th, 2018.

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