PESHAWAR: The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Peace Education and Development (PEAD) Foundation invited 300 talented young women to celebrate their achievements through the USAID-supported ‘Pathways to Success’ project. In addition to the vocational training that the 300 women received, the project also provided work readiness and life skills training to 1,400 girls in Peshawar.
Speaking at the ceremony, Sameena Imtiaz, the Executive Director of the PEAD Foundation said, “Women must be economically empowered for any society to be truly equal. The training these girls received is just the beginning of a prosperous future for both the girls and their families.”
Dr. Kaneez Fatima, Principal of the College of Home Economics in Peshawar, emphasized the importance of boosting the confidence of young women. “By creating pathways to success, this project helped women to realize their own potential,” she said.
The women showcased their artwork, fabric work, dresses and paintings, and received their course completion certificates during the event.
Fozia Iqbal, a project trainee said, “As a girl impacted by polio, I saw no future for myself. I joined the Pathways to Success training program with the support of my brother and mother. The training not only gave me skills, but also hope and confidence. I was determined to prove to my family that I can do the same as men can do. Now I am running my own business.”
Urooj Sattar, a trainee who underwent professional photography training through the project, recounted how she had been underestimating herself all her life. “Now I am more confident and I can go out for photo shoots and talk with customers. Thanks to Pathways to Success, I am not only financially independent, but I am also able to support my family.”
In addition to providing training for young women, the Pathways to Success project helped economically disadvantaged girls gain access to education through scholarships and workplace experience through internships with potential employers.