Educate a girl and you educate a community

The High Commission join UNICEF in congratulating the winning artists. Photo credit: UNICEF Pakistan/Asad Zaidi.

The High Commission and UNICEF co-produced calendars with the winning art submissions and distributed them across Pakistan.
Former High Commissioner Cruden presents an award to one of the winning students from Peshawar. Photo credit: UNICEF Pakistan/Asad Zaidi
Canadian Senator Salma Ataullahjan returns to her roots and becomes a female role model for students at one of the schools in Peshawar. Photo credit: UNICEF Pakistan/Asad Zaidi

“Let me conclude with a hope to see Pakistan as a country where no child is out of school and both girls and boys have an equal access to education.”
Heather Cruden, Canada’s former High Commissioner to Pakistan

Canada and UNICEF collaborate to promote girls’ education

The High Commission of Canada in Pakistan collaborated with UNICEF to host an art contest among students representing grades 1 to 12 in Peshawar. The theme was “Investing in Girls’ Education for a Brighter Future”. Canada strongly believes that the right to education should be realised in all countries, for all girls and boys.

Creativity was at the forefront as girls and boys created beautiful artwork that represented their thoughts on the value of girls receiving an education.  It also provided teachers at participating schools the opportunity to talk to girls and boys about the role of girls and women in Pakistani society.

Each school selected thirty students to participate in the contest and gave them two days to create their artwork. The High Commission and UNICEF supplied the students all the materials they needed to create their masterpieces. For some children, this was the first time they had used coloured pencils or markers.

The artwork submitted showed that children imagined themselves as educated mothers and working professionals such as doctors and lawyers, and conveyed strong and inspiring messages on the importance of girls’ education. One girl even shared her dream of being an astronaut! The chosen artworks were combined to make desktop calendars and were distributed across Pakistan.  

Prize ceremony encourages girls to pursue education

The High Commission and UNICEF organized a Prize Distribution Ceremony at one of the participating schools and handed out books as prizes, such as dictionaries, science books, and copies of Canadian classic Anne of Green Gables. Winning students and schools also received the desktop calendars that featured their works of art.

The High Commission was delighted that Canada’s Senator Salma Ataullahjan, who happened to be in Pakistan at the time, was able to join in the event and congratulate the children.

At the Ceremony, former High Commissioner Cruden highlighted that education is very necessary for all children to get ahead in life and be successful, and encouraged children to understand that education is an essential tool to move towards a brighter future.