Turning environmental problem into a business prospectus; an opportunity for young entrepreneurs

Pakistan generates about 48.5 million tons of solid waste a year, which has been increasing more than 2 percent annually. Like other developing countries, Pakistan lacks waste management infrastructure, creating serious environmental problems. Most municipal waste is either burned, dumped or buried on vacant lots, threatening the health and welfare of the general population. The Government of Pakistan (GOP) estimates that 87,000 tons of solid waste is generated per day, mostly from major metropolitan areas. All major cities face enormous challenges on how to manage urban waste. Bureaucratic hurdles, lack of urban planning, inadequate waste management equipment, and low public awareness contribute to the problem.


Bushra Rizva is a social activist; founder of Citizens for a Clean Karachi – CCK had attended NVP’s orientation session held on 7th September. She expressed her journey of initiating CCK campaign, when asked:

“After observing other parts of the world, I realized that the issue related to garbage that we see every day on TV, Radio and social media is very critical, especially the single-use plastic like polyethylene shopping bags. When anyone throws that garbage, it flows in the air, stuck in sewage, hence creates pollution. And you can watch the current situation of Karachi that has become worst to manage because it has gone on large scale. It is due to lack of responsibility shown by concerned authorities and similarly citizens do not take any action, never think about it.

 “My next milestone is to work with university students, especially, chemical engineers, mechanical engineers that can help in generating environmental friendly packaging so that we can get rid of plastic waste”

Due to this alarming condition, a recent ban has been imposed in Islamabad on single-use plastic. We have worked with Sindh environment protection agency on this subject. For the last one year, I have been working on this.

To create public awareness on mass level, I have launched my Facebook page named as Citizens for a Clean Karachi – CCK, it is on Instagram also. The aim of CCK campaign is to create awareness among the public. We have been going to different schools like Kiran foundation to talk on this subject. My next milestone is to work with university students, especially, chemical engineers, mechanical engineers that can help in generating environmental friendly packaging so that we can get rid of plastic waste. I would like to educate students about this, inspire them to join this league.

Example of single-use plastic

People often ask what we can do in our capacity. I suggest them to just abundant the use of single-use plastic and it will adversely effect to the manufacturers. The talks on plastic are all over the world, and many countries have overcome this by pledging to not to use plastic containers. World is realizing that it will be a humongous problem in near future because 50 years down the line, earth will be containing major portion of plastic garbage than fossils, minerals etc. Our next generation will get surprised by saying that what kind of people used to live before, they only gathered trash under the land. These days cancer is developing due to garbage. If now, we take our blood test then possibly it contains micro parts of plastic due to the intake of contaminated food.

Bushra, how we can solve this problem?

We have done research, and based on that we have come up with tentative alternatives:

  1. Inspire students to think over this problem. This environmental problem can be treated as an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to generate an idea to launch a business.
  2. Don’t expect anything from government. Take a stand by yourself.
  3. Although, we are surrounded by plastic products like mobile phone, eyewear etc. but we must switch to anything that can be replaced with plastic material.
  4. You can use baskets made of date trees that we can keep in cars, on motorbikes and also cloth bag that is quite handy to carry anywhere for shopping.
  5. Avoid plastic bags when you go for grocery shopping.
  6. Citizens just need to create a pressure over authorities and plastic mafia to abandon it.”

 

Read more about CCK:

CCK is focusing on reduction of plastic bags – in the long run it may well turn out to be an impetus for formulation of a sustainable recycling system

https://www.facebook.com/citizensforacleankhi/

 

How Internship experience helps in writing thesis?

Misbah-Ur-Rahman is a BBA qualified from Sindh Madressa-tul-Islam University (SMIU) with his majors in Finance. He plans to go for Masters in Finance & Investment from Karachi University Business School (KUBS).

Misbah joined us at Street To School as Internee. In a discussion with Misbah, he mentioned about how he got motivated to work for a community institution?

“At the final semester of my course, I got guidance from my mentor, that I should spend time to learn and relearn more about my subject – Accounting and Finance, and I should engage myself to a kind of community service as it gives more freedom of doing work and leading projects. Further my mentor said that since I was going through an age where I need to strengthen my knowledge base so I need to work as a volunteer, this would help me tremendously to develop my own portfolio, before I go to apply for a job!

Misbah expressed his pleasure while working as a Finance Associate at Street to School. He not only did the compilation of financial data but got opportunity to reconcile records and develop financial reports.

Internship at STS gave him hands-on experience to learn about financial model applied in Education sector. Misbah learnt and applied this learning into thesis of his study programme.

As mentioned by Misbah about the topic of thesis he was given: ‘Impact of Compensation/Financial performance on non-profit organizations’ donation’. This internship project let him study a financial model of not-for-profit sector. The work is directly related to his thesis requirements. The research work is all he did by gathering and compiling financial information of Street To School.

“Now I am ready to produce a project-report based on the rich experience I gained during Internship at STS.”

 

In conversation with Zeeshan and Ashraf – Myths and facts about Intellectual disability

Syed Muhammad Ashraf is a student at International School of Choueifat- Abu Dhabi. During his short trip to Pakistan, owing to summer vacations, he wanted to make his presence count in Pakistan. In pursuit of helping the deprived, and to find the right channel, Ashraf knocked NVP!

It was a Wednesday morning, when he walked in at NVP office to have one-to-one meeting. Ashraf was of the view to volunteer his time and make his skills productive. Keeping in view his choice of work NVP team offered him an assignment at Dewa Academy for the role of Academic Coordinator.

Ashraf met the CEO and team at Dewa Academy. He was assigned to conduct a class ‘Sunshine’ designed for adults of up to 22 years. These kids are active in doing their routine work like taking food, running cycle, playing games etc. However, they are a bit slow learner when it comes to reading and studying.

Ashraf was appointed to assist his instructor during physical therapy exercise or checking their work in class. Zeeshan Soomro, incharge of autism unit at Dewa, guides Ashraf about mentality of these children, as they accept love and generosity instead of coercive way of teaching. It helps in increasing their ability to learn and improve reading habits.

In a conversation with Ashraf:

Kindly brief us how you adjusted yourself within Dewa academy?

In the beginning, students treated me as a stranger and they tend to get frightened, every time I tried to mingle with them. However, with a consistent effort, I brought them all in a comfort zone with the help of engaging activities and making them enjoy their time.

I had meaningful time with these kids. They taught me how to cope up with challenges and face the real world. No doubt, I found NVP a professional platform where a volunteer can offer services.

Ashraf’s volunteer supervisor, Zeeshan Soomro, who started to work at Dewa Academy 12 years back as an Art Instructor, says:

In order to train students, we need to go to the level of that student. If a student is of age 3.5 years then I have to picture myself the same to deal with him/her. I look after their hygiene problem, sex awareness, communication, socialization, cognitive development, self-help, and ADL (activity of daily living skills). We also need to focus on child’s sensory integration. In short, all efforts are to develop the civic sense in a student to behave consciously in the society.

How NVP can be of your help?

We do not necessarily need professionals. Rather, we need people who have desire to work with special children. Offering these kids food, guiding them to drink water or playing with them is also a skill. These kids are basically visual learners.

We need volunteers who have intention to serve the community, should be of creative mind and artistic. We highly recommend volunteers who join us, should not have favoritism or strong friendship with these kids, as they get disturb when a volunteer signs off his/her assignment.

A Youngest volunteer who left behind a great sense of inspiration

A volunteer by any means is praiseworthy and have the right to get acknowledged. But a few out of many volunteers are true gems; they go one step forward aiming to bring about significant difference in the society.

NVP deploys volunteers round the year. Some of them give a deep touch and turn out to be more actively involved. Few among them are helpful in bringing differential impact while others stay longer to pledge their time in multiple activities. Volunteers like Tooba Shams are considered to be among those star volunteers.

Tooba is an A-level student at ALCOTT College. She found NVP through Facebook. In a quest to contribute for community work, she registered herself as volunteer. We matched her profile to connect her at Street To School (STS).

NVP liaised with STS to facilitate the volunteers during their term examination. STS believes in providing quality education with zero tolerance on cheating. In order to revive the legacy of STS, NVP volunteers were assigned for the activity to serve as invigilator examination.

The drill was to conduct exams; from supervising till preparing results, a week-long activity that required volunteers to show their spirits and remain vigilant throughout the activity.

What drives this youngest girl a desire to serve community?

In the image, Tooba can be seen on very left accompanied by her mother, Farhat Horera. Farhat has been supportive for her daughter’s passion of serving the underprivileged. While in conversation with Tooba, she mentioned that her own exams were near to date, despite the fact she was still ready to take part in this short-term activity.

Community needs help. It’s you and me who can support them with whatever we have, no matter very little!

Being the youngest volunteer among all, Tooba remained punctual and showed her sincerity towards the assignment throughout the spell of exams. She was so into it that she couldn’t miss the result day which was, nonetheless, not mandatory for volunteers to attend. She exchanged words with parents and cherished her accomplishing moments with students of school.

National Volunteer Programme is overwhelmed to have contribution from these young and devoted individuals who is exemplary for our youth, specifically girls who engage themselves to mankind service despite of commitment towards their own study programs.

Run Together – Win Together

About Special Olympics Pakistan (SOP)

For over 23 years, Special Olympics Pakistan has used sports as a way to fight for the rights of people with an intellectual disability. Through the common and simple vehicle of sports, Special Olympics has helped bring about attitudinal change in the way people with intellectual disabilities view themselves and are viewed by others, replacing exclusion and fear with respect, acceptance, and inclusion.

4th Annual Unified Marathon

Special Olympics Pakistan organized its 4th Annual Unified Marathon this year on February 17, 2019, after receiving an overwhelming response in the last three years. This marathon is launched each year to celebrate inclusion and cherish the spirit of togetherness fighting stigma and discrimination for the differently-abled people.

How National Volunteer Programme came in the story?

National Volunteer Programme was contacted by SOP team to deliver a group of sincere volunteers performing duties as Event Management Associate. The responsibilities included registration of participants, keeping a check on the timeline of activities, crowd management, and media management.

Volunteers were given tasks parallel to their expertise and interest. Let’s hear expressions from volunteers about how did they feel while assigned at SOP’s Unified Marathon!

  • It gave me hands-on experience of event management at large scale. I would highly encourage people to volunteer.
  • I was accountable for the safety of the crowd, looking after all the safety measures to maintain a smooth flow of the event. I really look forward to working with NVP on such projects. My duty was to make sure the entry of registered participants. The activity inspired me much in building up relationships with community people and expand professional network. A proud NVPian!
  • The volunteer opportunity helped me to groom my communication and planning skills. Overall it was a wonderful experience!
  • It developed a team-work spirit and learning about how the not-for-profit industry works. A wholesome experience.

TAHA TAHIR
Project Manager
Special Olympics Pakistan

“NVP played an important role in supporting our Annual Unified Marathon 2019 and we are proud of having them on board for the Special Olympics Movements.”

FNF – Climate Change Teachers Training Program 2019

16-17 March 2019 – Movenpick Hotel, Karachi

National Volunteer Programme (NVP) partnered with Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) in organizing a two-day Capacity building training for Teachers on Climate Change. Training was held on 16th – 17th March, 2019 at Movenpick Hotel, Karachi.

About Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom:

The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) is a foundation in the Federal Republic of Germany devoted to the promotion of liberal principles and to political education. The goal of the foundation is to advance the principles of freedom and dignity for all people in all areas of society, both in Germany and abroad.

NVP liaised with FNF in Pakistan to nominate school teachers for the climate change training. The training was aimed at building a conceptual understanding of teachers on climate change and improving their knowledge on the changing dynamics of climate, so that they can teach and communicate effectively to young students about this changing phenomenon. The purpose was to amplify teachers’ learning that could transform knowledge to the students – who are the future of our nation.

The training was led by a climate-change trainer and communication specialist Afia Salam. NVP engaged teachers from school of their partner not-for-profit institutions. At the completion of training session, teachers were awarded with certificate of participation. Following is a list of schools participated in climate change programme:

Karachi Vocational Training Centre
Rana Liaquat Craftsmen’s Colony
Street to School
The Garage School
Zindagi Trust, SMB Fatimah Jinnah School
Here is a summary of feedback NVP received from 16 participant teachers

Q. What was your learning from this two days’ workshop on climate change?

Attending the workshop, we realized how our environment is depleting and how negligible we are towards it. Moreover, learned sustainable values like reverse, reduce and recycle the vital resources, promoting plantation with different techniques, reducing environmental pollution, abolishing single use of plastic, conserve energy and save nonrenewable resources by using alternative methods that were taught. Most of all, add more emphasis on sustainable development so that our future generations should not pay for our current doings.

  • This learning will help us a lot in future for conducting sessions and workshops for the youth of our nation.
  • We will try to implement new ideas to improve the climate situation; like advanced methods for the treatment of waste water, placing bins on right places, plantation activities and much more to save the climate.
  • It was really impressive to get the opportunity of Ma’am Afia Salam and her team for delivering this needful training.

Q. With the help of workshop and interactive discussion, how will you help transform the subject to students at your school?

It was not just a session based on lecture series, but instead it was a complete workshop well-coordinated with other group-based activities comprising of diverse ideas from all participants.

  • Teachers can play a vital role in transforming the mindset of new generation by imparting the knowledge through various interactive ways, for e.g.: Audio / visuals, assembly presentations, outdoor drill e.g. beach cleaning activities to develop the sense of recycling.
  • It is helpful to educate parents and spread the awareness in society for reinforcing the theory of saving environment from malpractices.
  • The learning enables us to change our community and reduce its carbon footprints by implementing all techniques which we learned in the workshop.