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Education Kits for 21,000 children in Pakistan

by SABAQ LEARNING FOUNDATION
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Education Kits for 21,000 children in Pakistan
Education Kits for 21,000 children in Pakistan
Education Kits for 21,000 children in Pakistan
Education Kits for 21,000 children in Pakistan
Education Kits for 21,000 children in Pakistan
Education Kits for 21,000 children in Pakistan
Education Kits for 21,000 children in Pakistan
Education Kits for 21,000 children in Pakistan
Education Kits for 21,000 children in Pakistan

One of the challenges we have faced while providing education in communities where previously there was no viable access to schools, is the fact that due to the range in children’s ages, there tends to be varying degrees of receptivity and understanding. Of course, this is true of any classroom, formal or non-formal, but when there is an additional difference in ages, this variation tends to become a lot more exacerbated.

Technology has greatly helped to overcome this challenge. In areas with little to no literacy, tablets are a great way to ensure high quality, relatable and standardized education across the board, with the help of our community educators. However, due to time constraints, while children get to learn through our pre-loaded tablets, they don’t get as much time as they require to practice what they’re learning. Additionally, as the year passes, it becomes clear that some children are faster learners than others and require resources and materials that challenge them at higher or more advanced levels.

Thanks to you, after the disbursement of Education Kits, children have all found themselves to be challenged at levels they are comfortable with. For instance, the Urdu and English readers provided in the Education Kits range from reading level 1 to 5. The math manipulatives and logic puzzles, too, have increasing levels of difficulty. After the lesson of the day, the children in our learning centres now have access to a range of challenging activities, which help make their learning process all that much more positive with higher learning gains.

Thank you for your generous support in making our children’s learning so well-rounded and holistic. If you would like to learn more about our project, read our previous project updates and donate further to this cause, you can click here.

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It is reasonable to feel like you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place when you want to see your children educated, but the closest school is several kilometers away. That was exactly the situation faced by the residents of the community of Abdul Salam Thebo, in Tando Allahyar, Sindh. The closest school was in Dasoru, 5 kilometers away, with the next one in Goth Village, 10 kilometers away, and parents were wary of having their children travel such considerable distances every day.

Fortunately, in early 2017, we opened a SABAQ Centre in the village. The children now had a place to study and parents were quite at ease that their children were spending their days productively, and eventually, forging a better life for themselves.

About 4 kilometers away from Abdul Salam Thebo, in a village called Saleh Mohammad Thebo, Mr. Khem Chand wakes up early and starts preparing for his day. He gets dressed and makes his way towards Village Abdul Salam Thebo to teach the kids at the Centre. He loves children and greatly enjoys teaching, making him the perfect candidate for the facilitator position.

Mr. Chand, however, also suffers from polio and has not been able to walk without pain for as long as he can remember.

Despite the lack of conveyance to the village, Mr. Chand is nothing but pure positivity. With the help of his walking cane, Mr. Chand walks for an hour and a half every day to reach the Centre, teaches children from 8 am to 2 pm, and walks an hour and a half back to his home. He has had the same routine for the last year and a half. He is one of the few people in the surrounding villages who himself has received higher education. As such, he finds himself in a position where he has the opportunity and drive to give back to the society he grew up in. He hopes to see all his students achieving learning outcomes of at least the equivalent of formal grade 5 education.

Mr. Chand and Mr. Ramshu, the other facilitator in this village, oversee the education of 90 students, a majority of whom belong to the same village, with around 10 students from nearby villages. His determination to teach children, at such great personal toll, arises from the fact that he considers it a moral duty. “I won’t deny that it’s not physically taxing, but what else can we do? These children will only be able to succeed and teach their young ones if they are educated themselves,” Mr. Chand tells us, “The rewards are exceptional, especially when I see them learn and understand lessons they had previously been struggling with.”

The disbursement of Education Kits in this Centre has left Mr. Chand overjoyed. Not only are the kids receiving the kind of education he is proud of, but now they are equipped with additional resources to reinforce their learning. “We’re in school for a limited time. These resources make sure all kids are learning simultaneously - that one child doesn’t have to be done practicing his tracing for the second child to begin. It has already improved the management and resource distribution in this Centre.” With his commendable resilience, Mr. Chand is an excellent example of the kind of fortitude displayed by our facilitators. It is due to your generous donation to our cause that Mr. Chand can take an even greater pride in the work and progress of his students.

Mr. Chand outside the Centre
Mr. Chand outside the Centre
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Students of SABAQ Learning Centre
Students of SABAQ Learning Centre

A beautiful village in Sindh, Village Anwar Mari had never seen any of its children receive education. The problem wasn’t the intention of parents. The problem was the distance to the nearest school – 4-5 kilometers. This was the reason that if parents were sending anyone to school, it tended to be mostly their sons.

In late 2017 then, when SABAQ first looked into the possibility of opening a Centre in Anwar Mari, no one was more supportive or enthusiastic than Mrs. Champa. The mother of 3 young daughters, Mrs. Champa wants nothing more than to see her children excel and succeed. She was one of the pioneering members of the community who took on responsibility for this Centre, becoming a member of the Local Support Organization (LSO).

Mrs. Champa and Mr. Shamu, the facilitator, have both seen the progression of this Centre from a bare bones structure with children learning through the SABAQ Tabs, to a concrete established structure with teacher supplies and over 40 students. Now, they have also seen the addition of reading and writing supplies and Math manipulatives from the Education Kit, courtesy of our generous donors here.

According to Mr. Shamu, “Things have changed immensely. They used to just loiter in the streets. Now they learn and have so much fun doing it. I swear they will continue studying till 4 pm, if we let them! They’re very fond of their school here.” He shared one of his favourite moments with us, “A few weeks ago, I got to the Centre and a few of them were huddled together, trying to arrange the puzzle with the birds.”

Both Mr. Shamu and Mrs. Champa claim the biggest challenge is the range in the ages of these children, and their receptivity to certain learning materials. However, thanks to the introduction of the Education Kit in their Centre, children have been able to learn at varying paces. Children who learn to read quicker than others progress to reading advanced level of English and Urdu books, as opposed to those who require more support. It makes us immensely happy that all children – girls and boys alike – are not just learning but progressing faster than before. They all are extremely excited about the addition of fun educational supplies in their daily learning process, thanks to your donations.

If you would like to know more about this project or contribute towards it, you can do so by clicking here.

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Farhan teaching Naveed and Usman
Farhan teaching Naveed and Usman

Every so often we come across children in our Centres who are born learners. They absorb information the way a dry sponge absorbs water: quickly and with unprecedented ease. Our story today is about one such child, Farhan.

Farhan’s parents have lived their entire lives in a district called Tando Allahyar in Sindh. Surrounded by a loving community, they’ve never felt the need to move out. Until Farhan came into the picture. The severe lack of schools in the area, coupled with the distance to the nearest school was always a reason of worry for them. But then, a SABAQ Centre opened up, and it seemed like they didn’t have to worry about their son’s education anymore.

Farhan loves his Centre. He feels at home with his Tablet and class-fellows. Like we’ve mentioned, he has a natural knack for learning. He loves it all, except one aspect: the classes end too soon. He wants more - more classes, more practice time, more books to read, but at the end of the day, more to learn.

This year, with the help of your generous donations, we supplemented our regular SABAQ Tablets in his Centre with reading materials and workbooks. All of Farhan’s time off now goes towards trying to read books without his Facilitator’s help. In his own (translated) words, “I’ve read Jack and the Beanstalk 3 times, now. I’m trying to read Snow White, but that has some big words that I get stuck on.” Farhan may be getting stuck on some words, but he is surely determined to conquer them. “The next time you come, I’ll read you Snow White, I promise.”

What’s more is that Farhan’s Facilitator, Ms. Amber, realises that the surface of Farhan’s potential has barely been scratched. When she’s busy coaching other students, Ms. Amber proudly asks Farhan to help students who might need extra attention, to encourage peer-to-peer learning. “He’s always willing to help his friends at the Centre. I won’t be surprised if he ends up becoming a teacher, himself.” Farhan’s wide smile at his teacher’s praise is a sight to behold.

Every day, our efforts to educate children bring rewards that we could never have predicted. Farhan’s newfound happiness at reading materials is only a part of what makes this project so special to us. Your donation, too, makes us realise that as a community, we truly want the best for each other and everyone. That we, as a community, thrive on building each other up.

Thank you. No donation amount is too small, no support is too little. Thank you, from all of us at SABAQ, and all the kids at our Centres. Your help means the world to us.

Children using flash cards
Children using flash cards
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Samia and Amjad at the Centre
Samia and Amjad at the Centre

Samia, 7, and Amjad, 8, are siblings who live in Abdul Sattar Bachani, a small village in Sindh, Pakistan. With two young children in the house, their parents have high aspirations for their futures, and the lack of schools in their locality had been an area of discontent with the rearing of their children. That is, until SABAQ’s intervention.

We, at SABAQ, have since opened up a non-formal learning centre in the village with the objective of educating all young minds in the vicinity. Over the last year, Samia and Amjad have been studying through our digital content. During this time, they have developed a respectable understanding of new languages and basic math, which is what our cause is all about: disseminating basic literacy and numeracy to children without access to schools.

The Facilitator (community educator) at their Centre, Fahad, believes they have immense potential. “Last week while I was teaching them about grass letters, Amjad knew all the right answers as though almost instinctively. I’m honestly so pleassantly surprised at the amount of knowledge these kids can pick up so easily. I love teaching them all.”

Due to your generous donations to our cause, the SABAQ Centre in Abdul Sattar Bachani was among the first batch of learning centres to receive Education Kits, and children responded to the resources splendidly. The kids were excited to learn through playing by using flash cards, solving puzzles, reading time and matching it with the appropriate clock image, etc. Even the facilitators at learning centres are excited to teach their students in new, innovative ways.

Fahad has been teaching at the Abdul Sattar Bachani Centre since its inception. As part of the same community, he has a deep vested interest in seeing kids there learn and progress well in the society. He has greatly enjoyed teaching with tablets and thinks the Education Kits would not just help kids learn and understand these concepts better, but also apply their cognitive skills in terms of real-world applications. “When I teach them with the tablets, it’s easy for them to learn by tracing out letters and new words, but kids can only really learn by repeatedly practicing what they’re learning. And since they attend classes 2-3 hours a day, there isn’t enough time for them to learn new things and practice them on the tablets in class. That’s why the workbooks are a brilliant addition. This way they can learn through tablets, and afterwards, everybody gets equal time to practice their learning.”

The Education Kit provided to each Centre includes:

  • English reading books
  • Urdu reading books
  • Math workbooks
  • English workbooks
  • Urdu workbooks
  • Flash cards
  • Math puzzles
  • Creative pattern puzzles

These sets have been expressly curated to enhance children’s critical thinking and analytical skills and intend to fulfil our core drive to provide the children of our centres with the best education and early development possible. Which is why we would like to thank all our charitable donors for believing in our cause at this time. Providing a $60 kit to 500 centres is a large undertaking and presently, your efforts have helped us gather the funds to make these resources available to 125 of our learning centres.

Thank you!

Students at Abdul Sattar Bachani Centre
Students at Abdul Sattar Bachani Centre
Placing a flash card in the right pocket
Placing a flash card in the right pocket
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Organization Information

SABAQ LEARNING FOUNDATION

Location: Karachi - Pakistan
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @meraSABAQ/
Project Leader:
Tooba Hatif
Karachi, Pakistan
$8,606 raised of $30,559 goal
 
226 donations
$21,953 to go
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