As International Chair of Ipswich Rotary Club, I am pleased to announce the approval by Rotary International of a Matching Grant application to assist the Peace Model School in Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. This Matching Grant is the second partnering of the Ipswich & Rawalpindi Rohtas Rotary Clubs which will come to a total of US$12,075. The Ipswich Club, assisted by Winthrop Elementary EarlyActers, is putting up $3,000 to be matched by Rotary District 7930. This district consists of 47 clubs in the Boston area and northeast Massachusetts communities The Rawalpindi club will put up US$1,050. Added to this total will be the US$5025 from the The Rotary Foundation.
The Peace Model School was started by a group of volunteers lead by journalist Saeed Siddique of Muzaffarabad and built by an NGO from the Czech Republic. The new grant will supply furniture, books and school supplies, uniforms, school bags, a computer lab, a playground as well as a school bus.
Students in the school are made up of various faiths. Many are refugees from the Kashmir border conflict as well as the terrible earthquake 3 years ago. The earthquake caused 99% of the schools to collapse, while school was in session, killing 20,000 children. An entire generation was lost. Of the 9200 schools that collapse, only 400 have been replaced. Thousands of fundamentalist madrassahs have sprung up in their place.