Seema Ali | Pakistan | BA | Asian University for Women, Bangladesh

 Seema is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the Asian University for Women (AUW) in Bangladesh. She comes from a lower middle class family from a community in Northern Pakistan. Before attending AUW, Seema completed her secondary education in Pakistan, so she has a strong understanding of the issues many families face in the area.

The mountainous geography and harsh climate of the area makes it difficult for people to pursue education or secure employment.  A lack of educational facilities has led to a high school dropout rate, high unemployment, and increased illegal activity and suicide rates. She developed a keen interest in the education and development of marginalized and financially disadvantaged people. Her goal is to complete her education and apply her new knowledge and skills to improve the wellbeing of the people in her country by starting a school system in Northern Pakistan to make quality education accessible and affordable. Creating competition among the educational institutions of the area will improve the quality of education and increase job opportunities.

A scholarship from The Spark of Hope allows Seema to pursue a modern education by removing financial barriers and enabling her to concentrate on her career and future plans. She has already had the opportunity to complete an internship with Aga Khan Planning & Building Service Pakistan (AKPBSP) and work as a teacher at for the Aga Khan Education Service in Pakistan (AKESP).

During her time at AKESP, Seema worked with local and regional community organizations on issues surrounding women empowerment, quality education, early childhood development, mentorship and career counseling, and environment and conservation. Her role in the community was to act as a mentor for young girls and provide motivation and inspiration for girls in the community to succeed in their studies and pursue higher education.

Seema wants nothing more than to be able to concentrate on her education and work to enhance her leadership skills so that she can go back to her home village and contribute to the wellbeing and development of her community.

by Marissa Pura