Mona Parkash

After completing her bachelor’s degree at Zubaida College in Hyderabad, Mona Parkash recognized the inequalities in educational opportunities available for Pakistani children and was compelled to take action.

Inspired by the lack existence of a school in the remote village of Taluka Jhando Mari in the Tando Allahyar province, she attempted to open a school. Initially there was opposition, largely because in this agrarian community parents were dependent on their children’s labor, but ultimately, she was successful. Today her school has 75 pupils enrolled. This school offers its students an egalitarian education, rather than the typical gender segregated schools offered throughout much of Pakistan. Under Mona’s instruction the curriculum has been geared to promote the values of peace, harmony and diversity.

As the school has continued to grow Mona has returned to school herself and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in international relations from the Sindh University in Jamshoro. In addition to her other activities, Mona has participated in a range of leadership development programs and internships with institutions like, the United States State Department, Concern Worldwide, Centre for Peace and Civil Society, Freedom Gate Pakistan and the Fredrich Naumann Stiftung, focusing on women’s rights, leadership and education initiatives.

With her very limited free time, Mona is the vice president of the Future Youth Group Hyderabad chapter which works to promote peace and tolerance in Pakistani society, plays tournament winning games of squash and paints.

In recognition of her work both the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Habib University awarded her the Meritorious Award for Outstanding Achievement, for her leadership and success in building and running a school before she was 22. Given her achievements thus far we imagine these achievements are only the beginning of a fantastic career in public service encouraging peace, tolerance and education in Pakistan.