Educating 2300 child workers in Pakistan

 
$50,441
$49,559
Raised
Remaining
Feb 11, 2013

Term Highlights

Top students receive awards on Results Day
Top students receive awards on Results Day

Here’s a quick snapshot of what’s been going on at our schools for children forced into labour:

GRADUATION   A total of 234 students graduated from our primary schools for working children in Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi. Our academic team is striving hard to get the successful graduates admitted into mainstream secondary schools. It is expected that around 200 of these graduates will be placed in a private or public secondary school by the April term.

 PARTNERSHIPS   We are proud to announce a partnership with SPARC, a non-profit working in the Pirwadahi area of Rawalpindi, where one of our schools (School #8) for working children is located. The good folks at SPARC will help us with an education awareness campaign for the parents of street children forced into labour, in which the parents will be educated about the benefits of sending their children to school. We are hopeful that the new SPARC-Zindagi Trust team will result in a greater number of children being enrolled in our schools for working children in Rawalpindi.

CULTURAL DAYS   The schools across the country organized celebrations for Iqbal Day and for Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s birthday, with student performances of poetry, music and speeches to pay homage to Poet of the East as well as to the Father of the Nation.

ART COMPETITION   Five of our students from the schools in Rawalpindi participated in an Art Competition featuring students from NGO-run schools from all over the city and did quite well to be recognized. Two of them won top prizes – Javeria and Hisbullah winning the 1st and the 4th prize respectively.  

END OF TERM   The term ended with a Results and Awards Ceremony in all our schools across Pakistan where academic reports of the students were announced and the top students, teachers and schools recognized. Overall, 97.5% of the students at each level passed their assessments, a result that qualified for the top internal rating of “Very Good,” which was an improvement over the previous term’s assessment of “Good.” 

Students deliver speeches and poetry performances
Students deliver speeches and poetry performances
Star students are awarded stars on Results Day!
Star students are awarded stars on Results Day!

Links:

Nov 13, 2012

Graduation, Quiz Competitions and Picnics

Top position holders & graduates with their awards
Top position holders & graduates with their awards

Here’s a quick snapshot of what’s been going on at our schools for children forced into labour: End of Term, Graduation and Award Ceremonies, Independence Day Celebrations, Field Trips to the Museum and Picnics at the Park.

 

The results for the April-August academic term were announced on Results Day, with students being promoted to their next classes and final-term students graduating from the programme. A total of 240 students graduated from the primary education programme and 370 new students were admitted to schools across the country.

 

The students did well with an overall internal rating of GOOD and an impressive 49% of students scoring an A or A+ overall.  45 of the top graduates were placed in a variety of private and government secondary schools where they will continue their education with our sponsorship. Parents were specially invited to the Results Day and given information on this programme to sponsor the secondary education of the top graduates. Not only were prizes and stipends awarded to the position holders and the successful graduates, but the children got a chance to express and enjoy themselves by putting on various performances in acting, recital and singing.

 

Our schools marked Independence Day with flag hoisting ceremonies, decorations, and the singing of the anthem and other local songs. This year, a Quiz Competition was also added to the celebrations to get the children excited about reinforcing their knowledge of national history.

 

Finally, this past quarter ended with a trip to the museum and a picnic at the park. The children enjoyed the change of scenery and a day full of outdoor games, park rides, hearty snacks as well as free-spirited learning by seeing. These purely recreational activity days provide an essential outlet for the development that comes from social relaxation which a child labourer’s schedule does not allow.

 

Thank you for reading and for your continued support. Please consider donating to Zindagi Trust to support our programs for these wonderful, bright children living and working in the slums of urban Pakistan. Have a happy day!

I-Day Quiz Contest - the little girl in blue won!
I-Day Quiz Contest - the little girl in blue won!
Children play an outdoor game at the school picnic
Children play an outdoor game at the school picnic
Children pose by a jet at the museum
Children pose by a jet at the museum

Links:

Aug 14, 2012

Financial Literacy, Clean Water & Other Workshops

Last term
Last term's best students show off their awards

We’ve been up to lots at our schools for children forced to pick work over school to support their families: Workshops on financial literacy, Mother's Day, a clean drinking water drive, mini summer camp and Father's Day.

Last time we sent you an update we had just heard of the student peformance results at the end of the term. Since that report, we held a ceremony where the best students were given awards and a successful term celebrated with student performances of plays and songs.

Our schools observed Environment Day in June, with teachers guiding the students to make and share posters promoting environmental awareness. The themes highlighted were: the importance of a clean environment, using renewable fuel sources, steps preventing contamination of drinking water, etc. This followed up a Clean Drinking Water Drive in May which began with a student-run survey of drinking water access and purification habits of their own households.

A Financial Literacy Workshop on Basic Banking and the Importance of Saving was conducted at our Manzoor Colony School for working children of age 12 and above. The business school students who led the workshop highlighted the importance of saving regularly, suggested ways of saving, explained how a bank account works and shared inspirational stories of success, leaving the students motivated and equipped with the knowledge of how to start changing their lives to be more financially secure.

Students also paid to tribute to their parents on Mother's Day and Father's Day through poems, cards, posters and skits.

Finally, a Mini Summer Camp was organized in July to give the over-worked students a chance to indulge in some Art, Drama and Sports. It was a fun opportunity for these working children to explore and discover their talents in areas which they don't get exposed to unlike students at regular schools.

Thank you for reading and for your continued support. Do check us out on Facebook or twitter for more frequent updates and discussion about our work. Also, please consider Donating to Zindagi Trust to support our programs for these wonderful, bright children in Pakistan. Have a happy day!

Primary School Graduates!
Primary School Graduates!
Art Class at the Mini Summer Camp
Art Class at the Mini Summer Camp
Innovative indoor sports at Mini Summer Camp
Innovative indoor sports at Mini Summer Camp
A student at the Financial Literacy Workshop
A student at the Financial Literacy Workshop
Students present a skit for Father
Students present a skit for Father's Day

Links:

May 14, 2012

Spring Festival, Picnics at the Park & a New Term

students show off their plants with pride
students show off their plants with pride

Spring Festival, Green Classes, Picnics at the Park & a New Term

 

We’ve been up to lots of exciting activities at our schools for children forced to pick work over school to support their families: Spring Festivals and urban gardening classes, a day at the cricket, trips to the air force museum, tableaus for Pakistan Day and school picnics at the park!

 

SPRING FESTIVAL AND GREEN CLASSES

Our students celebrated the arrival of spring by sowing seeds and planting herbs. Teachers walked them through the hands-on activity, providing them with small pots, soil, seeds and spray bottles. They explained the lifecycle of a plant to the children through colourful charts to encourage an interest in gardening. The activity was integrated into the Science and Urdu classes which helped make everyday classroom learning more interactive and relevant.

Do check out the attached pictures for the resulting healthy, plants being shown off by the proud students who were thrilled to have successfully grown sunflowers, onions, garlic, mint and coriander. They responded well to the responsibility of "owning" a plant and would get excited just taking turns to water their plants. 

 

PICNIC AT THE PARK

We took our students from all the schools for working children in Rawalpindi to the Lake View Park in Islamabad on the banks of Rawal Dam for a picnic. They felt like they had been let free to have a ball! They spent most of their time in the big play area with rucksacks, slides, a Ferris Wheel and swings.

 

Most of them had never been to the park before and were delighted just to be surrounded by the natural green beauty, remarkable pottery and famous sculptures. They also got to see electric powered buses, bicycles and cars, while enjoying live music and playing impromptu games of football and cricket. Between the frolic in the play area and lunchtime, the children sat on the sun-soaked grass and relaxed by telling jokes, play-acting, and impromptu speeches, songs and dance.

 

As most of these students work and live in the slums of a crowded city, getting away for a day and being surrounded by greenery, fresh, unpolluted air and a stunning view of the Rawal Lake proved to be an outing they could not get enough of. We hope to organize more picnics by the park in the future.

 

ALSO:

 

The students at our Lahore schools enjoyed a day at the cricket, watching the final of the Pentangular Cup and getting a chance to meet some Test stars.

 

The students from our Karachi schools saw the latest models of planes and learned about other interesting aeronautical displays on a trip to the air force museum.

 

Children at our schools across the country celebrated Pakistan Day with tableaus and skits, delivered speeches & quiz competitions to highlight the importance of the movement for independence.

 

And finally, the NEW TERM begins!

 

The new academic term for our schools started last month. The academic staff in each school welcomed the returning students as well as the new admissions, all of whom were enthusiastic about the start of the term, especially about getting new books and stationery.

The academic teams from across Pakistan reviewed student performance in the previous term. The results from the last term are encouraging, with 97% of the students having passed their classes – falling in the “Very Good” category according to our internal academic assessment. A total of 242 students who graduated successfully and more than 50 of the top graduating students were placed in the 6th grade at various schools though our continuing education support initiative.

 

Thank you for reading and for your continued support. Do check us out on Facebook or twitter for more frequent updates and discussion about our work. Also, please consider Donating to Zindagi Trust to support our programs for these wonderful, bright children in Pakistan. Have a happy day!

a student uses a spray bottle to nurture her plant
a student uses a spray bottle to nurture her plant
students, cricket bat in hand, pose by the lake
students, cricket bat in hand, pose by the lake
students enjoy the play area at the park
students enjoy the play area at the park
students singing to celebrate Pakistan day
students singing to celebrate Pakistan day
checking out the planes at the air force museum
checking out the planes at the air force museum
students enjoy a day at the cricket
students enjoy a day at the cricket

Links:

Feb 14, 2012

Street children design and write for change, learn to love their environment & get health insurance

A big thank you to our supporters for making our work with hundreds of fascinating children possible! We've been busy with some fun activities since our last update in November: letter-writing competitions, environmental awareness week, the Design for Change Pakistan competition (which most of this update is about), national days commemorating the nation's forefathers, Iqbal and Jinnah. We also introduced health insurance for our students and ended the year with a results and awards day for the students and the teachers. We hope you enjoy the latest highlights from our schools:

Design for Change Pakistan

In November, we told you about our students entering the Design for Change Pakistan contest - a competition of social change imagined and effected by children across the country. The results are out and the stars from the street have dazzled again. 

Students from 16 of our schools for child workers brainstormed and submitted their ideas to transform their communities. 35 winners were selected from thousands of entries from across Pakistan and students from 3 of our schools in Karachi's urban slums won in multiple categories for these projects:

Kam Umri Mai Shaadi Ki Rok Tham (Stop Child Marriages)
Disturbed by early marriages in their community, where children are forced into early marriages, students at Zindagi Trust Drigh Road, Karachi decided to approach and talk to parents yielding to this practice. By highlighting the damaging effects of early marriages not only to these parents but also to the local village council, the students convinced them to end the practice child marriages and encourage everyone in their community to wait till a more mature age to get married. This project won in the Boldest Idea category.

Taleem ki Ehmiat (The Importance of Education)

Students from Zindagi Trust’s school in Manzoor Colony, Karachi were upset with poor families like their own forcing children to work instead of sending them to school. They took on the challenging of convincing the parents of one child from their neighbourhood to send him or her to school.

These children themselves work for most of the day, so they understood the context of families who chose work over school for their children. They scoped the streets for children like themselves, convinced them to attend school and then encouraged them to bring their parents to the school to meet the teachers. A detailed discussion with the parents concluded with a major breakthrough, and the team was successful in enrolling their first friend from the street, Ali, into school on the first day. This project was selected as one of the top 5 in the Quickest Impact category.

Saaf Paani-Sehatmand Zindagi (Clean Water - Healthy Life)

Having recently learned that water-borne diseases were the major reason behind the high absenteeism rate at their school, students from Zindagi Trust Zia Colony School, Karachi came together to tackle the problem of unclean and unsafe drinking water in their neighbourhood. A door-to-door campaign followed to awaken the neighbourhood to the health hazards of consuming the unclean water currently being supplied to them. The students educated each household about the basics of boiling water and readying it for consumption. This project won in the Maximum Potential for Lasting Change category.
 

More than 5000 schools participated in the competition, which aspires to foster a new generation of hopeful Pakistanis who can be change-makers and future leaders of our country. The top projects were also featured in a traveling exhibition in January chronicling 2011’s winning stories of change. Our students were excited to present their work alongside students from 35 different schools whose winning stories of change were selected from 7000 entries from all over Pakistan. We hope our children continue to dream big! Thanks to Syed Iqbal Ahmed, Education Coordinator and Jahanara Shiraz, Head of Academics for their input on this effort.

Other goings on at our schools:

  • Health Insurance was provided to the students and teachers of our schools in partnership with a social enterprise called Naya Jeevan, and an interactive workshop for both parents and teachers was held to educate them on how to use their insurance cards, etc.
  • An Environmental Awareness Week was held across all our schools to inculcate environmental awareness in our young students who spend most of their days on the street. Colour Day was one of the events of this week where children were brought close to nature by exploring the colours in their environment
  • Iqbal Day was celebrated by the children by reciting his poetry, performing tableus on his work and remembering his contributions to the founding of Pakistan.
  • Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of the nation, was celebrated on his birthday on the 25th of December.
  • Results and Awards day was held to mark the end of the term where top-performing students, teachers and schools were rewarded and the academic calendar for the next term was planned.
  • Our students from the Karachi region won a special prize in a nationwide letter-writing competition on dreams and aspirations. We were psyched for them because they were the youngest contestants in the contest which was open to all ages.

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Get in Touch!

Please let us know what you thought of our programmes. We would love to hear your feedback about more events and activities that we can organize at our school, so if you have an idea about something our children would enjoy, please write to us - leave a comment here, shoot us an email, or catch us on Facebook or twitter! Thank you for reading and have a lovely day.

Links:

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Organization

Project Leader

Abdul Haque

CEO
Karachi, Pakistan

Where is this project located?

Map of Educating 2300 child workers in Pakistan