“For three years now, California Southern University has been a proud sponsor of CalPak Schools. As the University President, owner, and life long philanthropist, it brings me great joy to sponsor and inaugurate our fourth school, here in this remote area of Tharparkar, which direly needs these services.”
This was stated by Dr Gwen Finestone, President of California Southern University, while speaking at the inauguration ceremony of 4th school under Calsouthern-CalPak collaboration, at Ghoth Kohjo Jamal Soomro, UC Gadro Katho Soomro, Chachro, District South Tharparkar.
While appreciating the hospitality and warm welcome accorded to her by the people of the area she said: “We have been welcomed with nothing but generosity and gratitude. It is clear this community cares about educating and empowering their children. It is our hope that our mentorship, sponsorship, and educational model develops these young children into the future college graduates of our university.”
Dr Finestone further said: “together with CalPak Education Services, California Southern University looks forward to furthering our efforts in quality education, clean water and energy, and reducing gender and economic inequalities.”
Earlier the collaboration had adopted two, one boys’ and one girls’ school, in Katho Usman Soomro, which is a small Goth comprising around 35 household. After the two schools were opened, children from adjoining areas also started coming to school. The two schools have a combined enrollment of 152 children. The new school at Kohjo Jamal Soomro, has so far listed 30 students, and more admission are expected from the nearby village, which doesn’t have any school at the moment.
Situated far from the urban centres of Mithi and Umerkot, these villages are devoid of many basic facilities of life like potable water, electricity, road infrastructure and modern means of communication.
“Only through education the fate of the area can be changed,” maintained Anila Ali, Board member of Calsouthern-CalPak collaboration. “Beside improving infrastructure of the schools, the Collaboration has also provided furniture, books, uniforms and shoes to children to make learning easy for them.”
Formed in 2017, the CalSouthern-CALPAK Collaboration is dedicated to providing the people of Pakistan affordable and accessible opportunities to earn a U.S. accredited undergraduate or graduate degree from their home country.
For the past three years, the collaboration has united with higher education institutions and top educators in Pakistan to strengthen the quality of pedagogy, reduce brain-drain, advance employment opportunities, and enhance U.S-Pakistan relations, through sponsorships and academic collaborations.
A CalSouthern-Calpak 2020 Impact Report was also presented in the inaugural event, in which key findings of the three-year collaboration were shared with the media.
In her second visit to Pakistan, Dr Finestone has attended a series of meetings with universities, U.S. and Pakistan government officials, and multinational corporations. The purpose of the meetings is to ensure her University’s commitment and cooperation in the development of remote areas of the Sindh province.
Thus far, the Collaboration’s efforts and achievements have contributed positively to sustainable development goals in Pakistan, such as enhancing quality education, reducing gender and economic inequalities, providing clean energy and water, and establishing partnerships dedicated to shared goals.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by the dignitaries of the area, teachers, children of the schools and representatives from major print and electronic media outlets. The inauguration was followed by the visit of the two earlier schools, working under the Calsouthern-Calpak collaboration, where media was briefed about the projects and the future plans.
In the end, the local people of Tharparkar presented home made food, as a show of their hospitality to the honorable guests.