Getting schools in Pakistan the funding they need with Kashf

Working in Pakistan’s fractured school systems, Kashf Foundation -- one of our innovative new field partners -- is working with Kiva to reform and repair the country's dilapidated schools. Recognizing education's pivotal role in poverty alleviation, Kashf -- which means 'self disovery' -- has set out to improve schools, decrease illiteracy, and improve the lives of students and communities.

Through Kashf, Kiva lenders can make loans directly to schools and support initiatives to reform administrations, curricula and infrastructure. Overall, these loans will help improve the quality of education for young Pakistanis, and expand access to those who have not been able to go to school at all.

Kiva loans will target low-income communities in particular, funding infrastructure improvements and expansion of resources. Kashf has been offering loans like these for a while, allowing more students to apply and attend schools. And impressively, these institutions have repaid their loans within 12 to 18 months.

For the time being, the Pakistani government is unable to maintain a high-quality public education system. Private institutions across its four provinces serve many communities, but tuition to these shools is often prohibitively expensive. On top of that, these private institutions are constrained both financially and administratively. This is one reason tuition rates are so high. There is also limited training for teachers and other personnel. The result is varying and often low quality instruction.

Needless to say, the general population has very restricted access to education. A recent report by Pakistan's Federal Education Ministry shows that illiteracy rates have remained at a critical 37% (according to a 2011 survey). Shockingly, only 26% of women have the ability to read. These statistics reflect the lack of educational opportunity for children, a damaging gender bias, and the impact of the country's socioeconomic disparity.

Pakistan's incapacitated school systems have yielded a desperate situation: a workforce of illiterate adults struggling to find work or support their families with low-wage jobs in harsh conditions.

Since kicking off its school finance initiatives, Kashf has helped schools accept a greater number of students, and has set national standards for teacher training and curriculum quality.

With loans funded by Kiva lenders, the organization can grow its efforts. These loans will be used to train teachers, improve curricula, expand services for both young women and men, and provide the supplies necesary for learning. With Kiva and Kashf joining forces, schools that were once unable to serve Pakistani youth will be able to grow and thrive.


Have questions about Kiva's work with Kashf? About school loans? Send them our way at

About the author

Christina Cawthorne-Jad

After being given the chance to study abroad, Tina’s experience founded a love for diplomacy which was later developed through her studies. Originally from San Diego, Tina, moved to the Bay Area in order to attend San Francisco State University where she majored in International Relations with an emphasis in Middle Eastern Studies.Originally set to focus in environmental studies, Tina stumbled across foreign affairs which combines her areas of expertise - political science, activism and philosophy- with  her interests such as culture, tradition, language and art.  Looking to one day build a NGO dedicated to empowerment and sustainability, Tina sees Kiva as an excellent opportunity for both professional and personal growth. Outside of her internship, Tina enjoys running, cooking, hiking and lazy weekends.