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Madonna Backs Girls’ Education in Pakistan

by Newsweek Pakistan
Jason Merritt—AFP

Jason Merritt—AFP

Queen of Pop urges fans to help construct Dream Model Street School in Karachi’s Mawach Goth area.

Pop superstar Madonna announced on Saturday plans to support girls’ education in Pakistan and Afghanistan through her Ray of Light Foundation.

Speaking to fans at The Sound of Change Live concert in England’s Twickenham Stadium, the Queen of Pop urged viewers to join the “Revolution of Love” and work to “end violence, promote peace, demand justice, and help ensure education for girls everywhere.” The concert was presented by Chime for Change, a campaign for improved education, health, and justice for women worldwide.

Madonna also asked her fans to help contribute toward the construction of a bigger school for 25-year-old activist Humaira Bachal’s students, and personally committed to funding the completion of the building if fans funded the first floor. Bachal currently runs a school in a slum area of Karachi, which provides education to 1,200 students, and hopes to expand operations in a new building.

Featured in a documentary by Oscar-winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Bachal is crowd-funding the Dream Model Street School in Karachi’s Mawach Goth slum. With $10,115 raised out of a $57,648 goal, the school hopes to be fully funded by the end of the year.

This isn’t the first time Madonna has supported girls’ education in Pakistan. In May, she sold a painting by French artist Fernand Leger for $7.16 million to raise funds for girls’ education projects. In a statement, she said: “I cannot accept a world where women or girls are wounded, shot or killed for either going to school or teaching in girls’ schools. We don’t have time to be complacent. I want to trade something valuable for something invaluable—Educating Girls!” Last year, the singer also performed a controversial onstage striptease that she dedicated to teenage activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by Taliban for advocating girls’ education in Pakistan’s northern areas.

The Ray of Light Foundation was established in 1998 and supports “projects that promote peace, equal rights, and education for all,” according to its website. In addition to supporting girls’ education in Pakistan and Afghanistan, it worked with the nonprofit organization buildOn in 2012 to construct schools in Malawi.

To donate to the Dream Model Street School, click here.

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1 comment

Saima Arif June 3, 2013 - 8:52 pm

They are planning to build up a school and Madonna sold a painting for $7.16 million which is sufficient to buildup and run a purpose built school for girls in Pakistan. I am wondering why is this organization is asking for more funds? one should insist to see the land where this school is being constructed.


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