“A Small Dream”
A powerful, inspirational story of how Humaira Bachal, who turned 21 in March 2009,
transformed the lives of girls and her entire community.
20 year old Humaira Bachal; Moach Goth squatter settlement, Karachi, Pakistan:
“I want the students to excel in life and to proudly claim that they once studied in Moach Goth
Replication School…At times when people would taunt us in the streets saying ‘she thinks she is
the guardian of our community’s well‐being…’ I would pray in my heart: give me no home, but
grant my children a good school; grant me only this that in comparing [my home and this school],
people see my sincerity and years of toil; and recognize that I have not worked for myself, but
only for this small dream…”
The enclosed film, A Small Dream, is a product of Women’s Empowerment in Muslim Contexts:
gender, poverty and democratization from the inside out (WEMC), a research programme consortium
supported by DFID. One of WEMC’s objectives is to document and amplify the voices of women and
their successful stories of empowerment. Towards this objective, Gulnar Tabassum (WEMC Shirkat
Gah) made this film after receiving a 10‐day WEMC‐supported training in documentary film‐making.
Impact of the film:
A Small Dream was launched on 28 March, 2009, in Lahore at the South Asia Free Media Association,
with Humaira, Tahira and Zainab Bibi attending, and has since been a great success. The Gender
Studies Department of the Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) immediately asked for a
showing for its professors and students on 30 March. Immediately afterwards the LCWU ran a short
profile and interview on their FM radio.
Many people have taken copies: A professor at the prestigious Lahore University of Management
Sciences is using the film as teaching material with his students; a professor at the Beacon National
University arts department has promised to run an arts workshop for the schoolchildren; several
individuals have been inspired to work on education.
The film, especially the debate on culture and women’s status, elicited profound resonance in
WEMC‐SG’s most marginalized primary research site in Balochistan, Usta Mohammad. The film,
which will be broadcast on a local cable network, has invigorated the commitment to strive for
women’s rights amongst members of the newly formed women’s rights group, Nissa Women Welfare
and Social Development Organisation, catalysed by WEMC‐SG.