In 2000 the millennium development goals set global targets of prosperity for all. The 2015 MDG status report shows unsatisfactory performance by Pakistan for achieving Universal Primary Education. Pakistan was able to meet approximately 50 percent of its target for net primary enrollment and 68 percent of its target for the literacy rate. This gap could be attributed to a paucity of educational facilities in the country. In light of this scenario, Fatima Memorial Hospital is striving immensely to provide education to underprivileged children to achieve the new targets set for the sustainable development goals through its NUR outreach program.
The NUR community outreach program believes that education attainment and success cannot be justified by merely measuring a childs’ attendance at school, instead it’s a nurturing process measured by learning. Quality education provision at NUR envisages a system that helps in not only developing a quality learning atmosphere, buy also develops awareness. As of today, children from under-privileged backgrounds have completed their primary and secondary education from NUR schools. Starting initially with 3 schools and 1435 students in 1985, the program has successfully scaled to 12 schools and 18000 students. In addition, 256 teachers have been trained through the program. Along with striving for childrens’ education, the NUR community outreach program is also working towards improving community health and providing microfinance opportunities and vocational training to under privileged communities.
In the past quarter, NUR schools have held numerous activities that aim to not only to provide education but also targets to encourage numerous activities that will contribute to childrens’ personal growth. An Earth day was held in the Nain Sukh Community School to develop awareness amongst students regarding environment protection. In addition, students have been distributed books and been provided with nutrition counselling through NURs’ Food distribution program
Most students at the NUR schools belong from families having a poor socio-economic background and standard of living. These communities have limited resources to fulfill the basic necessities of living. One such story is that of Akhtar Ali, who was unable to afford education for his three daughter. The family has a small house with Ali being the sole breadwinner for the family. The girls despite having a passion for going to school the girls could not do so and would help their father in maintaining a stable financial status by working in in houses. When the team at FMH heard of their story, they agreed to fulfill their dream of going to school. The purpose of NUR foundation is to target such communities and build a healthy and stable environment which will inspire and encourage them to succeed in life. Access to a quality education will pave pathways to success for children which in return will flourish a stable home environment for themselves and their families.
Sabeen, eldest daughter of Akhtar Ali, is a student of grade 5 now. She always wanted to go to school.
‘I used to watch my friends walk to school with their backpacks while doing household chores. I was always curious about what they studied at school and loved listening to their stories. Thanks to the NUR outreach Program I am one of them now.’
Sabeen goes to school every day with her friends and her friends are help her out with Maths and English.