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    Taking advantage of wide open spaces in Ispalal

    Day 204

    A Little Chicken Goes a Long Way…

    Welcome to Ispalal, a community not very far from Islamabad. But although it’s so close to the capital, it can feel very rural – plenty of open spaces and room to grow.

    Ispalal is where one of our non-formal schools (schools that help kids who have dropped out of school get learning again) is located. It’s a low-income community, and many of the families struggle with ways to support their kids.

    When I visited Ispalal with my team, we realized that what many of the families really wanted was something that would take advantage of all that open space…

    …what about some chickens?

    I’ve visited so many communities, but I can tell you that Ispalal is one of the most marginalized. There are not a lot of opportunities. There are even less opportunities for young girls. So I knew that a few chickens – that could provide income, nutrition from the eggs, and new skills – would go a long way.

    I have to tell you, the women who are now tending to these chickens are so proud! They are eager to show them off to me whenever I stop by. And if I don’t have time to see them, they chide me later for missing their chickens…People even send me messages saying to come see their chickens!

    One woman named Shana, a mother of five kids, has really taken to them. Even though they’re still a bit too young to lay eggs, she cares for them so carefully. “I take care of this chicken like I take care of my five kids!” she joked. Although, I think there was definitely more than a little truth to it!


    Meet Fatima!

    Fatima works for Alight in Pakistan as a community mobilizer. A big part of her job involves finding new communities to work with, developing strong relationships with that community, and working jointly to ensure that no child is out of school. Her greatest hope is to bring big, positive changes to the people she meets every day, and especially for young girls who haven’t yet been to school. What inspires her most when she works with communities is how welcoming everyone is. She feels like family – she sees these girls like her own daughters, and hopes that they see her as family, too.

    When she’s not out and about, she loves decorating her home, cooking, and hosting people – her next new hobby is to learn how to paint landscapes!


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    Changemakers 365

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