Exciting Beginnings for San Antonio Sister-Schools — and St. Anthony, Lahore, Pakistan
(Editor’s Note: This article is an update to the initial article in the December 2018 issue of Interchange. It gives us a view of the great progress the sister-schools in San Antonio, Texas, and Lahore, Pakistan, have achieved.)
There are many possible ways to connect sister-schools between St. Anthony School, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan, and Rolling Hills Catholic School/Antonian Middle School, San Antonio, Texas. Exploration has begun to learn what can happen between our schools.
Exciting new beginnings in San Antonio include two book clubs; one for students and one for parents. We have three fourth-grade girls reading I Am Malala and are soliciting parents interested in reading Let Her Fly by Malala’s father, Ziauddin Yousafzai. This book is short but provides a broad picture of what life is like in a small village in Pakistan, the state of education for females there and some parenting insights from her father.
After Malala’s near-death from a Taliban bullet in 2012, she and her father founded a non-profit entity, the Malala Fund, to sustain female education globally. On her 16th birthday in 2013 Malala addressed the U.N. Assembly. Annually now, Malala Day is recognized worldwide on July 12. Sharing with Kailash Satyarthia of India, Malala is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
A scholarship is born
Shortly after Nasreen Daniel’s visit to San Antonio, I read the book Razia’s Ray of Hope to the students in the extended day program. It is a book about a Pakistani Muslim girl’s desire to attend school but she must receive permission of all the males in her family; grandfathers, uncles, father and brothers, for her to be allowed this privilege. It shocked our students from the youngest attendee to the oldest middle school student.
A family in the community stepped up and asked both the Parent Teacher Council and Principal Jonathan Kiesler if a scholarship could be begun to provide 10 years of education for a girl in Lahore to attend St. Anthony’s School. It is being added to the monetary acquisition of the school for this purpose.
Several other families have heard about this scholarship and are considering making this donation as a part of their gift, too. This sister-school desires to fund female education to St. Anthony’s, Greentown, a suburban area outside of Lahore, Pakistan.
Principal Kiesler, who has resigned, strongly supports this mission. Michelle Mendez, a graduate of Loretto Academy in El Paso, will be the new principal of the schools. We have high hopes that she will want to continue this sister-school relationship.