DIL Fundraiser on April 30

Developments in Literacy (DIL), a non-profit organization whose focus is to promote literacy in the rural, under-developed regions of Pakistan, will be holding a benefit dinner on Sunday, April 30, 2006 at the Doubletree Hotel in San Jose, CA. Money raised from the fundraiser, which will also include a fashion show by one of Pakistan's premier designers, Hassan Shehryar, will go towards building new schools in earthquake-ravaged areas of Pakistan as well as funding and supporting existing projects.
In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck northern Pakistan, India and Afghanistan on October 8, 2005 (which left over 83,000 dead, over 3 million homeless and destroyed 8,000 schools in Pakistan alone), DIL will also focus on addressing the needs of the thousands of displaced children who are living in tent cities and waiting for their lives to return to normal. DIL is targeting the opening of six schools in 2006 in Mansehra, in the North West Frontier Province, in addition to its ongoing work in other areas of Pakistan.
The earthquake took the lives of more than 20,000 children, and those who survived endure tremendous mental and physical distress. Many are showing signs of trauma and others will eventually suffer from it. DIL, in conjunction with local NGOs, plans to design a program that will also include psychological support for the students. DIL is committed to bringing some normalcy to the children's fractured lives by returning them to the familiar environment of a school. “ … a warm, welcoming school environment is playing an important role in helping the students recover from the extreme trauma and deep loss they have suffered, ” says Fiza Shah of DIL.
About DIL: Developments in Literacy was launched in February 1997 in Southern California. Its main purpose is to work for the eradication of illiteracy in the remote and neglected areas of Pakistan by establishing non-formal schools for underprivileged children. So far DIL has established over 200 primary and secondary girls schools in Pakistan's four provinces. DIL works by partnering with Pakistan based non-profits to create a system of effective education, credible monitoring and complete financial transparency in some of the most disadvantaged rural areas.
One year of basic education for one child costs just $50, and it takes at least five years, in monetary terms $250, to make one child literate. A school can be sponsored for $1250 a year; however the cost for sponsoring a school in earthquake-affected areas will be considerably higher as a larger constituency will be served and there will be nine classrooms per school versus one or two as is the norm. Additional information on DIL, including current projects and financials, can be found on the website at www.dil.org.
For further inquiries please contact Sara Abbasi -- 650-323-6080.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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