Participating in the September 2021 Little by Little campaign
Donations to this project are eligible for a 50% match!

Art for 3200 schoolgirls in Pakistan

by Zindagi Trust
Art for 3200 schoolgirls in Pakistan
Art for 3200 schoolgirls in Pakistan
Art for 3200 schoolgirls in Pakistan
Art for 3200 schoolgirls in Pakistan
Art for 3200 schoolgirls in Pakistan
Art for 3200 schoolgirls in Pakistan
Art for 3200 schoolgirls in Pakistan
Art for 3200 schoolgirls in Pakistan
Art for 3200 schoolgirls in Pakistan
Art for 3200 schoolgirls in Pakistan
Art for 3200 schoolgirls in Pakistan
Art for 3200 schoolgirls in Pakistan
Art for 3200 schoolgirls in Pakistan
Art for 3200 schoolgirls in Pakistan
Art for 3200 schoolgirls in Pakistan
Art for 3200 schoolgirls in Pakistan
Art for 3200 schoolgirls in Pakistan
Art for 3200 schoolgirls in Pakistan
Art for 3200 schoolgirls in Pakistan
Art for 3200 schoolgirls in Pakistan
Art Competition Winner from KPS, Marine Life theme
Art Competition Winner from KPS, Marine Life theme

Online Art Classes

Our resilient teachers have adapted to the online learning situation brilliantly and ensured that online learning for art classes is possible for our students. It is indicative of the steadfastness and motivation our art teachers have towards ensuring that art remain an integral part of their student’s lives, as well as Zindagi Trust’s commitment towards ensuring growth through artistic methods which have proven to be highly effective in both student self-growth and academic learning.

Since our last update, in June our teachers continued with online learning classes in which they often had to work beyond their usual work hours to accommodate all of the students. Teachers planned interesting art activities for students that they could accomplish with basic resources they could find around their homes. One such activity was creating a color wheel using the colors found in different spices and using them to paint. Other activities included silhouette photography, graffiti art, symmetrical design and experimenting with contrasting warm and cool colors.

Art Competition

Our teachers also facilitated our students in participating in an Art Competition held by NJV (Narayan Jagannath Vaidya School, the first government school established in Sindh). The interschool Art Competition was conducted in June with results announced in August, and was focused on two major themes, ‘Marine Litter’ and ‘Animal and their Habitat’. Students from Grade 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th participated with a total of 51 artworks submitted from our school alone. All of the participants in the competition from our school made their art at home, with resources found around their homes with aid and direction from the art teachers.  Aleena, a student from Grade 8, Khatoon e Pakistan Government Girls School managed to secure the 2nd position from all students and schools that had participated.

Day of Summer

In July our schools were closed for summer break, at this time, the Special Programs department arranged ‘A Day of Summer’, where sessions on environment, photography, music and art were conducted for students. Our Art teachers arranged many interesting activities for the students to celebrate summer and see how art could be a way to have fun while also learning new skills. These activities included quilling, straw crafts, print making and texture art.

As summer break has drawn to a close, our teachers have prepared for the new term by creating distinct learning objectives and goals for the students. With the lead of Anam Shakil, the head of Zindagi Trust’s Art Program, they are planning to introduce interesting new ways to showcase student art work so that it can be displayed and accessed despite the restrictions that the pandemic has presented and are hopeful of providing students a mantle to celebrate their artworks further.

Art Competition Winner artwork, Marine Life theme
Art Competition Winner artwork, Marine Life theme
Day of Summer, Art Workshop
Day of Summer, Art Workshop
Cool and Warm colors art activity from home
Cool and Warm colors art activity from home
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Student submission for Space Art Competition
Student submission for Space Art Competition

Since our last update in January, schools remained opened until April and students continued to arrive in gradual sets of two on alternate days of the week. At this time, the Art Program provided students with many activities and new learning opportunities despite the restrictions faced due to the COVID 19 protocols. In part this was helped by the return of Anam Shakil, who had helped design our art program in 2015, as Head of the Art Program.

Art Submissions

Students from the 7th grade at the schools in Karachi, SMB Fatimah Jinnah Government Girls School and Khatoon e Pakistan Government Girls School as well as at the Shangla Girls School, attended sessions with Yumna Majeed, a space educator who discussed the many wonders of space and the life of an astronaut. She encouraged students to create art for a competition about the different matters found in space which led to selected student submissions being sent to an international competition held by the Space for Art Foundation. The winners of this competition will get a chance to have their art sent to space – a prospect that our students found delightful and fascinating!

Our 9th and 10th grade students also attended a session with Rida Khan, an urban planner from Karachi Public, on a project about the local Clifton Beach. Our students learned about the role of urban planners and after the session submitted their recommendations on what a public beach should look like, as a part of the urban design process.

Art Activities

In art classes, among other fun learning activities, students were introduced to the work of brilliant local artists like Ahmed Parwaz and the calligrapher Anwer Jalal Shemza, also getting a chance to learn and replicate his unique style of gapped calligraphy. Students from Grade 8 at Khatoon e Pakistan Government Girls School also made self-portraits in which they recognized the achievements and problems they faced during the pandemic and represented them in creative ways. Another activity these students were given was to create fashion illustrations using materials that popped out of the page. Students were also told to draw upon their imagination to create animated characters as a part of a character design activity and many of them produced fantastic artworks that can be viewed below.

A Collaborative and Resourceful Approach

Having joined in March, Anam said that she had decided to work with teachers for improving the Art Program by discussing and brainstorming activities and critically thinking about student learning outcomes instead of providing pre-prepared lesson plans. Since the lockdown in April, Anam said, “We adapt activities so no student would need to buy a single resource, asking them to recycle paper, use items found in their kitchens and provide alternative ways of doing their assignments.” Online teaching has been difficult and this resourceful way of creating art has made students excited and kept them engaged. We hope you enjoyed reading and that the creative spirit shown in our students’ art brings you hope in these bleak times.

Student submission for reimagining Clifton Beach
Student submission for reimagining Clifton Beach
Student work inspired by calligrapher Anwer Shemza
Student work inspired by calligrapher Anwer Shemza
Student artwork showing a pandemic self portrait
Student artwork showing a pandemic self portrait
Student's fashion illustration
Student's fashion illustration
Student's character design, an animated character
Student's character design, an animated character
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
A winning submission - competition on Child Rights
A winning submission - competition on Child Rights

Since our last update, the COVID 19 pandemic has continued to make life uncertain for the children in our adopted government girls schools of SMB Fatima Jinnah Government Girls School (SMB) and Khatoon-e-Pakistan (KPS). October saw a reopening of schools with strict safety precautions in place - fifteen students were allowed to attend their art classes at a time with the freedom of using different mediums to create their artworks, to limit sharing implements. November was a tough reminder that we are not out of the woods yet as the lockdown was imposed and children were back at home once again creating their art as best they could with the material available. Despite the uncertainty students adapted to the challenges presented this time and were able to produce amazing work, even competing in multiple art competitions.

Art Competitions

Our students participated in a competition on Child Rights and Child Justice organized by Group Development Pakistan. Prior to this, students attended an online workshop in which they were introduced to the concept of child rights and the intent of the competition. Guided in person by their teachers (as by now schools had reopened), they sent in some very moving submissions, the best of which were selected to be showcased in Child Courts being established in Karachi. A student from KPS won 3rd place for her artwork in another competition on ‘Fighting Corruption for a Better Future’ organized by the Government of Sindh. Two students acquired a winning position in yet another art competition at the Art Council on tackling plastic pollution. Most recently, students are participating in an inter school art competition by the Korangi Academy, creating art on topics like ‘women empowerment’ and ‘your contribution to the development of Karachi.’

Learning Art not just for Art’s sake

The children weren’t the only art students at this time. In the most recent school shutdown starting November, students were away but government teachers frequented the schools to conduct online classes and check students’ homework. A group of government teachers from the SMB Government Girls School took the initiative to approach teachers from the art program to better their own art skills and help them teach different subjects in a holistic manner. The teachers – mostly from Kindergarten classes and the first grade – attend weekly workshops with an art teacher, seeking to learn art activities which would support their teaching of core subjects like Science and the languages better. Additionally, they also learned artistic techniques like shadow drawing to better their own skills.

Other Art Activities

            At home, students used what they could find around the house, and created interesting pieces of craft with the direction of their art teachers. A simple element which was seasonal, inexpensive and widely available was wool. Students used wool to make cute winter chicks, yarn hats and the more advanced grade 8 students made wool clutches/wallets. Paper was considered for many activities apart from sketching and drawing, Grade 7 students used paper to create a model for a room, watches, rings and even a cake. Young students also repurposed buttons as pieces to contribute to their art work about nature.

Whereas at home, art became a way to stay occupied and be expressive and creative indoors, with schools remaining open in October, children were able to come to school and were given many activities which would enhance their learning including lessons in Life Skills based Education.

Workshop by Group Development Pakistan
Workshop by Group Development Pakistan
Another wining piece - Child Rights Competition
Another wining piece - Child Rights Competition
For art competition on tackling plastic pollution
For art competition on tackling plastic pollution
On the theme of women empowerment
On the theme of women empowerment
Government teachers attend art workshop
Government teachers attend art workshop
Students working in Art class in October at KPS
Students working in Art class in October at KPS
Button Activity by Grade 4
Button Activity by Grade 4
Life Skills based Education for Grade 2 students
Life Skills based Education for Grade 2 students
Model room in papercraft - by Grade 7
Model room in papercraft - by Grade 7
Woolen wallet made by Grade 7 student
Woolen wallet made by Grade 7 student
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Artist Talk on Zoom with Shireen
Artist Talk on Zoom with Shireen

Building on from the Learning Packs we sent to our students early on in the lockdown, our art teachers started filming video lessons that were bolstered by Q&A with the students in the Whatsapp classroom. This proved to be a great, practical platform - students could view lessons whenever they got access to a smartphone (usually a relative's and not their own), had time to engage with their teacher's ideas and prompts as well as to explore their own interpretation of the topic. Our teachers designed a host of activities: a haldi (turmeric) tie-dye exercise, arranging fruits and vegetables into portraits as mannerist art, making DIY paints at home with kitchen ingredients, and of course finding a creative outlet to formulate and express their thoughts on being stuck at home, being scared of getting COVID, missing school and suffering from the unprecedented urban flooding due to the recent Karachi rains. 80 of our students also enjoyed a talk with Amsterdam-based artist and museologist Shireen Ikramullah, learning the elements of art through a wonderful curation of some of the most stunning art from all over the world.

 

Being away from school, from their friends and, for many, from the only safe space they can freely enjoy, was a uniquely stressful time for our students, as it has been for children across the world during school closures. On top of this, the fear of catching coronavirus and bearing the economic impact of the shutdowns it necessitated, all added to the mental distress of our schoolchildren. To address this, we decided to begin lay counseling for our students, in order to support their mental wellbeing during this strange and difficult time. Realising that art teachers have always had a special connection with students and that for many students the art room is their safe space where they can truly express themselves, we decided to train our art teachers as lay counselors. After a 10-hour training spread out over 2 days in 2 groups, our teachers began doing phone check ins with students grade by grade. They ask them about their routine, chat about their time at home, give them some self care tips as well as some art activities if they showed an interest in art. Once a week, each group of lay counselors meets me and the School Counselor to discuss and review their calls, get support where they are struggling and refer any serious cases to the school management.

 

We hope you enjoy reading the following accounts of two of our art teachers about teaching art and counseling during school closure, in their own words:

 

"As a new art teacher, distance teaching has been nothing short of an amazing experience. I was connected to the students through online art classes during this difficult time. They showed a lot of interest in the art activities my colleagues and I suggested and were always asking us for the next art activity. This was a way for them to feel that they were not far from us, that they were connected to their teachers, to school. It gave them hope that schools would be back again and they would restart the things they like again. Some students who did not show much interest in art earlier showed a lot of interest now because they were a bit more relaxed, their minds were more free to explore art and so they were able to enjoy it. 

About lay counseling - when you heal others, you heal yourself. I felt I learned something after every check-in call. Children deal with adversity so well, they have "mazay mazay kay" - very interesting and innovative - ideas when we asked how they made use of this time and adapted to the restrictions. I also learned that everyone's life is very different and if there is a difficult situation like this pandemic, everyone has their own unique way of bringing themselves out of it or living through it. Sometimes I would get so upset thinking how a student would survive or manage a particularly difficult situation but the child would find a way, an activity, a hobby, and get through - in fact teaching their teachers how to get through challenges.

After talking to all the students I can confidently say that there is an artist somewhere in every child who shows the creativity of their mind in a new way every day, not necessarily on canvas or through an artwork, but I think managing life well is also creativity, which I learned from my students. The biggest thing I felt was that these children have a lot of hope, they have this solid faith that they will get through this and good times are coming. So, lay counseling was a great lexperience and I learned so much. 

There were some situations where children were going through a really critical time, where the problems they were facing seemed too difficult to overcome through counseling or talking to them. We shared these with our group of lay counselors, with the School Counselor who was guiding us and forwarded them to the School Principal/Project Manager and they tried their best to support the children and their families. Our overall goal was - because this situation was so weird - to keep them involved in activities, to keep them connected to us and to boost their spirits. 

One student, Fareeba, told me she wasn't that interested in art before. She was keeping herself busy in housework during the lockdown until one day she was cleaning a cupboard and found some paints and art supplies which led her to create some art and slowly develop an interest in art. Now whenever she gets some free time, specially given that schools are closed, she makes some art. She's linked to me on Whatsapp and I give her some tips, where I'm usually just gently guiding her to consider a new perspective. Her artwork has really progressed during this time. I really like the art she has been making now. This was one of my favourite stories of change that I saw within a student during the lockdown. One of the most recent pictures of her art that Fareeba shared with me on Whatsapp is of a dark skyline, saying she loves shadows and this image just came to her mind - a sign that art her become a tool for expression for her."

- Fizza, Art teacher at Khatoon-e-Pakistan Government Girls School

 

"Distance learning was quite a learning experience for me. Lots went well but there were also a lot of challenges. I think distance learning has its limitations - it is not easy, specially for younger children who are not able to pick things quickly. When they're in front of us it's a different dynamic, they understand things from our facial and vocal expressions, from our demonstrated examples on the spot. In the classroom - or art studio - it was easy to communicate with them, to introduce a concept both orally and visually by drawing on the board and adding more details as needed. Now we had to deliver perfectly edited videos which would capture our entire lesson and also proactively answer any questions we anticipate they might have. In the (physical) classroom of course we could easily answer any questions that would come up but now that they were not in front of us we would have to craft our video in a way that would ensure there would not be any need for further questions or explanations as children did not have easy phone access for live back and forth). While this helped me get better at making and editing videos, it also made me realise the limitations of distance or online learning. In art your expressions matter so much and this must have been so challenging for our students to understand but we all did our best.

Overall, it went quite well, our students really enjoyed their lessons and stayed engaged and it also gave them a chance to divert their mind from the gloom of the disease and the lockdown. They invested their time in art and shared a lot of their artwork with us. I was so happy to learn that my young students realised that their teachers wanted to work hard with them, that they valued the explanations we had sent and the video lessons we made for them. Since May, they participated in several art competitions - a covid19 awareness art competition, another on the topic of what they miss about their school by Aahung, another by Colgate. It was a time-consuming process to guide the students remotely, select their work, scan and label it but it was so rewarding to see their wonderful work during the lockdown. Their awards felt like our achievements."

- Minhaj, Art Teacher at SMB Fatima Jinnah Government Girls School

 

* Please note that wherever in this report we have used the full names of a participant or facilitator, we have their consent to do so.

COVID19 art
COVID19 art
Turmeric tie dye - a kitchen art activity
Turmeric tie dye - a kitchen art activity
Artist Talk on Zoom with Shireen
Artist Talk on Zoom with Shireen
"Labelling my lockdown emotions"
"Labelling my lockdown emotions"
Student artwork on urban flooding in Karachi
Student artwork on urban flooding in Karachi
Mannerist interpretation of food as portraits
Mannerist interpretation of food as portraits
Lay Counseling training for our art teachers
Lay Counseling training for our art teachers

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Art supplies, art & activity sheets for students
Art supplies, art & activity sheets for students

COVID-19 may limit their movement but not their creativity

It has now been more than two full months since COVID-19 shut down our schools and put the whole world in lockdown. In early to-mid March, we conducted a household survey to gauge the needs of our students, asking their parents about the number of meals they were eating, whether they required food rations to survive the lockdown, and what kind of access to technology they had at home to be able to consume educational content. Based on the findings of the survey, care packs were put together containing food and hygiene essentials as well as learning materials including art and activity worksheets with colour pencils. 

When we decided to send these care packages to the homes of our students, we knew we needed to nourish both their body and soul. To encourage them to turn to art and creativity in this time of isolation and uncertainty, we thought of some ideas for activities that would promote mindfulness, gratitude, reflection and fun and reached out to some incredible local artists and illustrators to design these learning packs. Two of our own brilliant Art teachers contributed to the learning packs. All the art sheets and activity sheets were designed especially for each age group; from pre-primary to primary and secondary level. Even our little kindergarteners were engaged creatively at home 

These generous artists created though-provoking activities such as inviting students to draw what they are most grateful about in their gratitude jar, coloring (in their own style) in a portrait of Zeenat Haroon who was a founding member of the Women’s National Guard and is a symbol of women’s empowerment of Pakistan, and inviting students to customize a drawing of them enjoying with their friends. One of our favorite coloring sheets is the girl in the mask, reinforcing the concept of safety during this pandemic through a fun activity. Another one of our favorite activities is creating an origami butterfly.

These learning packs have been made available to download for free from our website.

Till date, almost 2300 students have continued learning and enjoying through art from home during the lockdown. Our students have really brought their learning packs to life! Our inboxes have been bursting with colour and creativity - the students are enjoying these activities so much that they are already demanding the next set of learning packs. 

In addition to the learning packs, we asked our students to practice their creative muscles and create their own awareness posters about safety measures to follow during the epidemic, and were blown away by their submissions!

Donate!

Research shows that teaching children art at school leads to improvement of students' academic, social, and emotional outcomes. We need you to donate now more than ever to support arts for our students to ensure we can continue to support them creatively while they are in lockdown.

One of the sheets for secondary students
One of the sheets for secondary students
A gratitude exercise with a DIY mask
A gratitude exercise with a DIY mask
Learning about Zeenat Haroon
Learning about Zeenat Haroon
Practicing origami at home
Practicing origami at home
A filled gratitude jar featuring a mango
A filled gratitude jar featuring a mango
Awareness of safety measures drawn by a student
Awareness of safety measures drawn by a student

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Zindagi Trust

Location: Karachi, Sindh - Pakistan
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @zindagitrust
Project Leader:
Sana Kazmi
Karachi, Sindh Pakistan
$387 raised of $25,000 goal
 
7 donations
$24,613 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Zindagi Trust has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.