People from the Allai Valley in northern Pakistan live in isolated family compounds perched along ridges of the Karakoram Mountains. With no schools nearby, most children had no access to formal education.
Teerath Mal spent the first five years of his education in anything but a traditional classroom. He went to school in Thana Bola Khan village in Sindh province, southeastern Pakistan, where classes were held outside under a tree.
Bakhtawar, a grandmother who lives with her extended family in Murtad Kilan village in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, recently planted her very first vegetable garden next to her home. She planted tomatoes, eggplants, gourds, and okra — summer vegetables used in daily cooking but usually available only at markets.
Sughra Hanif, a woman from a neighborhood called Lyari in Karachi, Pakistan, used to bring along one of her 10 children whenever she went out so they could read her bus schedules and numbers. “Otherwise I couldn’t leave the house,” she said. Hanif, who had never gone to school, moved to Karachi from a village in 1988.
When the wheat began to grow, Abdul Khaliq wasn’t sure he had made the right decision by switching to this new variety of wheat. The young wheat crop looked shorter, and Khaliq worried it would not produce as much grain. He soon saw his fears were unfounded.
Last updated: March 10, 2014