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 Pakistan
■Children in Sathangali village (2007/12/07)


International Children day


In rural areas, there is limited awareness about the rights of children and children’s role in the development of the area Children of such rural areas do not grow up in a happy and caring environment.

In order to raise awareness of the community about children’s rights, to prevent children from being physically or emotionally abused, and to promote cooperation among children for improving their welfare, a rally was held on 20 November 2007, on the occasion of Universal Children’s Day in the rural village of Sathangali.

About 600 students from various schools such as Governmental primary and secondary schools of Sathangali along with the children of NHA (New Hope Academy) center Sathangali participated in this event. In addition, more than 100 out-of-school children, area officers of Government education department, civil society representatives, Local Government representatives, community elders and general community also actively participated in the rally. Moreover, 2500 people indirectly received the awareness message of children’s rights through the event.

The rally started from Sathangali’s center and it marched on the long road to make demanding voices for the eradication of social malpractices i.e. ending of child labor, ending of gender discrimination and promoting effective participation of children in each forum/committee engaged in development concerns of children. The participants carrying placards and banners containing Slogans on the needs for protecting the rights of children.

On this occasion, some children took part in speech competition to create deliberation among the children for the expression of their feelings and thoughts. It was a very healthy mental exercise for the children as they learned on these topics and shared experiences and reflections on child issues.

In the end, the Officers of education department and representatives of civil societies made the resolution to work for the rights of children at all levels.




Case study of Abdul Rasheed


Abdul Rasheed is the student of grade 5 at NHA Sathangali.His age is 11 years and he comes from the settlement of Kandail in Sathangali. He has a small family of one mother, one brother and one younger sister. The life was bundle of pleasure, comfort and tranquility when Abdul Rasheed father was alive and working to earn a respectable earning for the family.

The family never felt anything lacking in their life on account of hard work of their father, who was sacrificing many things to keep the family happy and prosperous.

Unfortunately however in 1997, the health of their father started to decline. He spent most of his time in getting medical treatment from different doctors and spent all the money that family had saved for rainy days.

However, sadly, all his efforts finished in vain, he passed away in the same year of 1997, leaving behind his family at the mercy of circumstances. This misfortune got their family in a very worse situation. Their family lost the source of income. Due to excessive anxiety, the health of their mother also became in a hazardous condition. Her mother was very much worried about the survival and the future of her children as she was expecting her children’s taking high level education, when their father was alive.

That was not the end of sufferings of Abdul Rasheed’s family; there were lot more sufferings for this unfortunate family. In the earthquake, they lost their house as well. With the money of house subsidised by Government, they have constructed a shelter for themselves.

Abdul Rasheed is a courageous boy and instead of all these adverse happenings during this period, he is still optimistic about his future. He studies at grade5 at NHA Sathangali. He says,” I am very satisfied with my studies at the center Sathangali and I will help my mother in earning for the family, when, I will grow up”.

His mother is also very happy with the future prospects of Abdul Rasheed as he is getting good quality education in Sathangali. She says Abdul Rasheed’s good education is the only way of getting the family out of troubles. His education must have out of question without NHA project and his life would have lost direction.




Parents and community Meeting


In the scope of NHA project, along with educational and recreational activities, the surrounding community is also focused to make the positive impacts of the project.

The local community’s strong sense of the ownership and their interests in the project have enhanced the project’s success so far. The Parents and Community Meeting was held on 15 November 2007 at the NHA center Sathangali. Sixty parents of kids and 10 community members actively participated in the meeting. The objective of the meeting was to update parents about the latest situation of the project, and explain to parents about their role in the educational and personality development of their children, and to ensure the maximum ownership of the community in the implementation of the NHA project.

The parents of the children and community members openly expressed their concerns about the progress of the project. The latest issues of cold weather and spreading of the epidemics in the area were also discussed. The parents were oriented about ways to protect themselves from extreme chill of the winters and preventive measures of the diseases.

Parents expressed their expectations from the project about the educational development of the project. But at the same time, they also did show their willingness to participate and cooperate in the project activities. At this time, they reviewed the performance of the Parents Teachers Association for strengthening the NHA center Sathangali and projecting its positive image in the community.

For tackling the issues of the children at local level, creating awareness in the community about children’s rights and to cooperate with the PTA and staff of the project, a community committee of 20 members was established to implement the work of children’s welfare in the area. The participation of parents and general community members is indicative of the positive impact of the project and community’s willingness and enthusiasm for the activities of the children welfare.

Reported by Javed Iqbal
Managing Director of FWA
 
 
 
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