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.

The aspiration to share knowledge

From the very beginning, National Volunteer Programme has laid down concrete principles of focusing on the right cause to volunteer for. This preamble has held NVP on the right track of striving for significant impact through volunteerism. Every volunteer activity is undertaken in the account of genuine social cause and a batch of dedicated volunteers is delegated to lend their time & knowledge and bring about a productive output.

Zindagi Trust – SMB Fatima Jinnah Govt. Girls Campus has liaised with NVP since 2.5 years. The premier adheres to a mission of educating nation’s women and aims to leave no compromise over quality education.

To sustain this, NVP helps with the provision of visionary volunteers like Sheliza Ismail and Iqra Tariq.

Sheliza has travelled all the way from Canada on a project basis at Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi. She approached NVP to seek a social service opportunity where she could best serve her capabilities. Whereas Iqra, who has been a beneficiary of SMB Fatima Jinnah, has earned her matriculation degree from there and received a chance to give back to her own childhood campus.

They have worked in collaboration and pulled out various sessions over career development, English literacy and Arts.

Sheliza Ismail and Iqra Tariq have been working jointly at SMB Fatimah Jinnah School. They planned a curriculum of English language Training together for primary classes so that students can get benefit of both of them.

Sheliza in discussion with primary girls during English activity class
Sheliza discussing issues faced by students of Primary
Iqra and Sheliza during career guidance session

SMB team was of the view that NVP volunteers while imparting incredible knowledge, also worked as mentors for the students. This comes when they share their personal experience. Imagine if you could get a chance to express your own experience for the benefit of students from an under privileged community, it gives you a sense of completeness.

The incredible journey of Sheliza and Iqra goes on. Sheliza used to develop presentations and training components for primary school students as well as nursery teachers, while Iqra used to support her in compiling information and coordinating during training.

What makes your ties stronger with NVP?

Iqra Tariq: I completed my Matric and Intermediate from SMB and when offered to work with SMB, it was an amazing feeling. You can imagine how you feel getting a chance to return to your childhood school. The wall of every corner at SMB makes me feel proud to give back today.

Sheliza Ismail: I am a resident of Canada and stayed in Pakistan to do a project. I had a passion to help the community with counseling and training. Working with SMB School as a trainer was a meaningful experience.

With the passage of time, Sheliza has integrated herself so deeply with SMB that even after completing her volunteer term she showed desire to pursue voluntary service once back from Kenya, Africa.

Glimpse of Montessori Teachers Training

Iqra & Sheliza together with Montessori teachers while demonstrating on a topic.

Sheliza taking a training session of Montessori teachers.
The training designed by Sheliza contained a lot about enhancing learning school of pre-primary students.
Montessori Teachers Training Programme
Sheliza and Iqra in a group photo with the team of Zindagi Trust SMB Fatimah Jinnah School

We rise by lifting others

KNOW ABOUT WASTA?
Glow of voluntary services before she departs for higher studies in U.S.

Wasta Fatimah is one of our outshined volunteers who worked on two assignments simultaneously. She worked at Street To School (STS) and Robin Hood Army (RHA).

Earlier, Wasta completed her A level studies from PAF chapter in 2016-17 to apply for higher studies in engineering at the United States. She felt her career was critically important to contribute to her society and looked for an opportunity that suited her interest and availability. Wasta joined our team in November last year and decided to contribute most of her available time for NVP campaign. She has been very passionate about community service.

Being a reason of someone’s smile

She picked two portfolios:
EDUCATION & LITERACY – This supported her keen interest to working with children.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT – This supported her desire to give back to society in the convenient way that NVP offers.

On her departure in January to Dallas, U.S.A. to study mechanical engineering at the University of Texas, she talked about her volunteering experience and how it helped her build a strong network of friends from various institutions.

“Liaising with institutions of my interest and volunteering simultaneously at both community organizations was not possible without NVP. It gives immense pleasure when you find yourself being a reason of someone’s smile and it feels that I have gained what I needed.”

Work Life Balance

Want to know about how a corporate professional can balance between time allocated for work and time for other aspects of life?  Meet Wajahat and Bilal, NVP volunteers who created a great example of Work-Life balance for all job-oriented persons.

Bilal and Wajahat are corporate professionals and due to official commitment they could not afford to come on Saturdays to attend orientation session. As Petroleum Engineers, Bilal works at ENI as a Project Trainee while Mohammad Wajahat works at InterMark as Sales Engineer. Looking at their commitment level we discussed different options to ensure they could get a chance to sign off forms and submit credentials, as the process is essential for any individual who wants to work as a volunteer.

 

Both friends drove to NVP office after workhours one evening, and sought a discussion with NVP team to reach a volunteer opportunity of their choice. We signed them up for Robin Hood Army campaign and currently they are serving graciously!

A best example of COMPASSION IN ACTION

is volunteering your time!