Success Stories, Wayland, MA – 15th December 2012:
An Evening Dedicated to Global Support of Girls Education
Project GEM (Girls’ Education Matters), a volunteer group working with Oxfam America to promote girls’ education in developing countries, held its second
annual fundraising dinner on Saturday, December 15 at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center.The sold-out event drew more than 160 participants and raised over $60,000 to build a new school in Badhan, Somalia that will provide primary education for 140 girls and vocational training for 80 adult women.
The evening’s keynote speaker was Ann Fudge, named by Fortune Magazine among the Top 50 most powerful women in American business. She spoke movingly about the role education played in her own success and about the importance of offering young girls around the world a chance to dream of and pursue a better future.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick thanked the audience for supporting such a worthwhile cause and shared his thoughts on the role women played in his own upbringing.
Project GEM founder Mohamad Ali updated the audience on the group’s accomplishments to date, including raising $197,000 to support rehabilitation of seven girls’ schools in Pakistan with a student population of more than 1,400. Other distinguished guests included Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, Oxfam America’s David Kelley, and entrepreneur Zia Chishti, last year’s keynote speaker.
A highlight of the evening was the speech by Deka Abdurahman, a high school junior from Somalia. She is currently attending Worcester Academy on a one year scholarship and hopes to attend college in the US. She described hardships so severe that for most Somali girls, formal education remains a distant dream.Yet hers was also a message of hope and inspiration, further emphasized by Aliya Moreira, a high school senior and member of the Islamic Center of Boston in Wayland, who raised money to purchase playground equipment for schools supported by Project GEM in Pakistan.
All donations to Project GEM are processed by Oxfam America and are tax deductible.