During her time at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Marshall Direct Fund founder, Silbi Kelly Stainton studied international security focusing on terrorism and asymmetric threats in the Middle East and SW Asia. She quickly became disillusioned by what she saw as a failure to fully deploy all of our country’s diplomatic and economic power and strategy to help eliminate the fertile ground Islamic extremists had in recruiting young people in the region. Poverty and disenfranchisement among Pakistani youth are and continue to be powerful influencers in the recruitment progress. Furthermore, the exclusion of Pakistani girls and women from education and economic opportunities was not only unjust, it was a major contributing factor to perpetuating poverty and conflict. So, Ms. Stainton decided to do something.
In 2007, Marshall Direct Fund was founded and established two primary schools in Lahore and Islamabad, both poverty-stricken areas where children had no access to education.
To break down cultural barriers marginalizing girls, Marshall Direct Fund has implemented the “Girl’s First Rule” in ours schools. If a qualifying family wants to enroll their boys, they have to enroll their girls first.