Little World Community Organization in Pakistan is a fresh and powerful approach to poverty based on education. LWCO is run by volunteers and empowers the poor to help themselves by helping others as teachers.
In LWCO, primarily impoverished women–but also children and some men in separate schools–become teachers and educate their husbands and children and hope to teach others in the future. Teachers are primarily young women who travel in from the cities in a special LWCO van for the joy of helping others and making a difference. Students often learn to read and write in one year. They also learn how to sew and embroider, care for their families, act with dignity and poise, solve problems creatively as a team, and develop new businesses. They pool their money into a system of lending that they are developing called Community Family Bank. Deposits are without interest but pay back richly in community prosperity. Funds are used to help begin businesses. Everyone lifts up one and one lifts up everyone. LWCO students came from a hopeless life where they feared to leave their homes to one now where they feel confident to change the world. Everyone is proud of them in their communities and they are proud of themselves.
Earning the money to support their schools, as students are learning to do, is an honor that they embrace passionately. They are very poor and barely have enough money to buy food. They need help to get started. Some money is needed to buy materials, rent spaces for schools, and pay for transportation and other costs in Pakistan. Now most of this money is coming from the embroidered card sales. Cards are mailed to the USA and sold without profit and all proceeds returned to them them to use to support their schools and open new ones. Students are also developing local businesses. LWCO schools are compatible with local values because the curriculum contributes to local needs and interests. So far all challenges to educating women has turned the challengers into supporters. These women are bringing hope to a nation faltering under despair.
LWCO began in 2008. There is far more demand to start new schools than can be accommodated. LWCO students believe one day they will have thousands of schools across Pakistan and be reaching out to other areas.
LWCO is a unique approach to empowering communities in Pakistan by giving the job and the credit to women.