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 Pakistan

■National Disaster Day (2008/12/02)

■National Disaster Day

In the remembrance of Martyrs of the Earthquake of October 8th, 2005, the greatest of Disaster in the history of Pakistan, a grand anniversary function was arranged at one of the NHA center. This time the anniversary function was also arranged at the center Shinkiari on October 8th, 2008, in which kids of center Shinkiari, girls of Education and Skill Training Center Shinkiari and parents and general community members participated with the mixed feelings of grief and enthusiasm. The boys and girls who lost their family members in the disastrous earthquake were very grieved on this occasion in the remembrance of their lost loved one.
 

The objective of this event was to express the solidarity with the families who lost their family members in the disaster and to arouse the spirit of individual and group enrichment in the learners to face the challenges of the world in the post disaster scenario.

The learners of the centers have tried their best to turn the challenge of disaster into opportunity by enhancing their educational skills for their personality development.

The anniversary function started at 10:00 AM. The task of arranging this function was allocated Ms Sherbano of the NHA center Shinkiari and Ms Fatima from the Education and Skill Training center Shinkiari. On this occasion, boys and girls of the two centers presented Natts, speeches and didactic plays highlighting the event of earthquake and people response in the situation of Disaster. Boys and girls participated in these didactic plays, which commemorated the event of Earthquake three years ago.
The parents and the general community members remained very attentive and involved during this event. The parents looked very satisfied, while seeing their children actively involved in different performances during the course of the event.

In the end, a special prayer was conducted for the salvation of he spirits of those who martyred during the Earthquake.


■Study Tour

In the previous few months, the activity of study tour has fascinated all the children of the center Sathangali. Children take a lot of interest in it. The activity of the Study tours has aroused the interest of the kids in such a way that it has even increased the attendance rate of the children whom absentee rate was a bit higher than others.

After the month of November, the severe winter season starts in which no out door activity is possible due to heavy snow fall at Sathangali. In this perspective a last study tour of the year 2008, was arranged on October 16th, 2008, for the area of Beheshti, (The heaven) which is a lush green meadow located at the north western part of Sathangali. Beheshti is a beautiful place where plenty of unique varieties of plants and birds are present. The nomads from the plain areas take their animals to this meadow in summers on account of availability of variety of plants and herbs here.

In this study tour, twenty five kids of higher grades of the center and six staff members participated. All the participants left for the Beheshti in the morning and reached there after four hours of tracking. After taking rest for some time, kids with the guidance of their teachers collected the samples of some unique varieties of plants and took notes about some of their traits. Some of the varieties of plants and animals are also included in the course of kids of center Sathangali. So in this study tour, kids had an opportunity to view these plants and animals and compared it to the plants and animals that they witnessed in their previous outdoor visits.

After this a friendly Cricket Match was played between the two groups of the learners in which teachers also participated with kids. One group of learners in the guidance of teacher Mr. Raza Khan was given the responsibility to prepare lunch for all. Some of the kids collected woods for them. In this way, with the contribution of every one, the lunch was prepared and served.

After spending the complete day at Beheshti, a formal return was announced by the center In charge. Children sang songs while tracking down from the meadows of Beheshti towards Sathangali to enjoy themselves. They reached back to Sathangali by 5:00 PM. The outcome of such events is that, the knowledge of children has increased about different varieties of plants and animals. The sense of responsibilities of children has increased as they take part in different group tasks and above all kids, are now taking great care of each other and are more responsive to each other needs as these events promote friendship and tolerance.


■International Children Day Celebration


Children of any nation make the future of the nation. If the rights of children are protected from all sorts of the threats, this means that the future of the whole nation is protected and secured. Friends Pakistan has been involved in implementing child’s rights and gender sensitivity initiatives in District Mansehra. In this regard, it always tries to initiate steps to raise voice for the rights of those weak sections of society whose rights are being violated in different forms.

Although laws are framed for the protection of children all over the country Pakistan, the extent of child abuse is still high in District Mansehra especially after the Earthquake of October 8th, 2008 in which many children got orphaned.
 

In this perspective a rally was arranged at Dara Shohal Balakot to celebrate the International Children Day on November 20th, 2008. In this rally the children and teachers of GPS Dara Shohal, GMS Dara Shohal and GMS Mohri Shohal participated. Around six hundred, children and teachers of the schools, representatives of humanitarian organizations, social workers, community activists, out of school children, local Government representatives and members of general community participated in this event in which most of the participants were children.

The objective of this event was to sensitize the children about their rights, aware them as how to highlight their issues at different forums, aware the community about the importance of the child protection and to exterminate the abuses against children.

The program formally commenced at 10 o'clock, when the children of GPS and GMS Dara Shohal gathered peacefully at the Assembly ground and then marched towards the educational center Mohri Shohal. All the other participants of community also joined the rally at this point. The children had Banners and placards in their hands on which the slogan in the favor of the children’s rights and rights of education for both boys and girls were written.

 
 

Children of GPS Mohri also joined the rally at the point of Mohri Shohal. At the location of educational center Mohri Shohal, the rally took the form of a public gathering.

At this point a formal function started in which the local community leaders, social workers, head teachers of the schools and children delivered speeches on the theme of child’s rights and evils of child abuses prevalent in their area. Children also presented the didactic plays which were mostly highlighting the deprivations which the children of the area have to face in their daily lives.

The representatives of other organizations commended the conduct of such an event and termed it an unprecedented event in a rural area, having so many girls and boys speaking up publicly for their rights for protection and education.

In the end all the participants vowed to work for child’s rights and to extend efforts to exterminate the child abuses prevalent in the area. They also considered it very encouraging to see children of the area empowered to advocate for their rights.

■Awareness Function

On the occasion of International Children day, second event of an awareness function was arranged at the center Shinkiari on November 20th, 2008. In this awareness function, parents of children, prominent female social workers of the area, members of Center Management Committee (CMC) and female teachers of the Government schools also participated along with children of the center Shinkiari.

The objective of this event was to aware the community about the rights of children, importance of protection of children from all sorts of abuses and to sensitize the children to advocate for their own rights.

The function formally started at 10 am, when all the guests arrived at the center Shinkiari. In this function children delivered speeches on the theme of children’s rights and the role that child can play for bringing greater harmony in the society. In these event children also presented national songs and plays in front of the audiences present there.
 
 
 

On this occasion female social workers of the area also delivered their speeches in which they oriented the participants about the child protection activities being carried out in the area especially for the female children by the non governmental organizations and social workers of the area. They also strongly stressed on the need of children’s education especially the girl’s education as education opens the avenues for greater opportunities and higher education rate in an area may contribute towards the protected environment for children.
 

In the end the center Incharge Shinkiari, Ms Sherbano briefed the audience about the child protection activities being carried out at the center Shinkiari in term of education and Psycho Social support with the support of KnK since November 2005. The audience present on the occasion applauded the role of KnK/ Friends Pakistan for the rights of children of the area.

 

Reported by Javed Iqbal
Managing Director of FWA
 
 
 
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