Teachers Training Workshop on CLIMATE CHANGE

On Sunday 27th August, National Volunteer Programme collaborated with FUR DIE FREIHEIT, German non-profit organization, for their Teachers Training Workshop on Climate Change at Movenpick, Karachi. Understanding the sensitivity of the Climate Change issue, NVP got onboard with FUR DIE FREIHEIT in order to successfully pull off their training workshop. Our team coordinated with NVP partner institutions including: Zindagi Trust, Street to School, RLCC and Kiran Foundation, in an effort to get teacher working in these institutions trained at the event so that these teachers could decimate their learning onto the students.  To our delight, all 17 teachers referred by NVP attended the training and made the workshop vibrant.

Lead by Ms Afia Salam, Journalist and Climate Expert, and Mr Aamir Amjad, Programme coordinator, FNF, Program Agenda was very well defined. Commencing from the basic concepts of Climate to different aspects of climate change as to how it affects the Human Beings from all walks of life. We learned that the effect of climate change can be observed in both short-run and the long-run. The disturbance created by the Climate change could go beyond the individuals and to entire economies as it can distort employment and migration patterns. In addition, the subject of Climate Change is not constrained to individuals belonging to the field of environment but its scope is much wider and should be studied by marketers, architects, engineers and teachers. For instance: In a reported incident, a certain area was vulnerable to heavy storms not taking this into account, marketers placed heavy billboards on great heights that crushed people beneath them when the storm hit that area. Similarly architects could use materials that are resistant to such disasters. In this century where commercialization is at its height, the significance of environmental studies is quite evident.

Undoubtedly, as NVP representatives at the event, we could say that there exists a dire need for such training workshops as they do not only create awareness but provide a framework that should be implemented in our surroundings in order to minimize risks by taking precautions and having a proactive approach, to have sustainable development, and to thrive as a Nation, well informed of climatic changes.

The workshop ended with refreshment and certificate distribution to the participants. There was much to take away by the attendees. In the conclusion, we would like to Thank FNF for creating such learning opportunities, and we also present our gratitude to NVP partner institutions: Zindagi Trust, Street to School and RLCC for being highly cooperative in this regard.

LEARNING + COMMUNITY SERVICE + FUN = BEST POSSIBLE COMBINATION

Introducing Haseef Sachwani, Mehar Ali, and Mazhar Manasiya, students of Computer Science at Reputable Universities. These young boys got acquainted with National Volunteer Programme a couple of months ago, witnessing their enthusiasm to volunteer, we connected with them to find out in terms of what moves them, identifying their interests and what do they expect from NVP? We found their interests to be similar and aligned with their academics. Fortunately enough, we had an opportunity at Society for Rehabilitation of Special Children waiting for them. SRSC required volunteers to develop a website for them and as per our routine we assigned the group to the institution. What happened next is interesting.

Haseef, Mehar and Mazhar didn’t know each other, they began volunteering on the same day at SRSC, met there for the first time, and volunteered at similar position. It goes without saying that they had a Volunteer Supervisor who was there to oversee things and direct the group, but these volunteers started interacting with each other and before you know it, they became friends. It was a pleasure for the Supervisor to see the volunteers bonding instantly, saving him the hassle of introduction, he assigned all the three volunteers a similar task of developing a website.

They self-organized themselves as a team. They divided the duties and each one of them was responsible for the task delegated to him. For instance: One of them was to take care of designing and the others were responsible for programming and backup. While the duties were assigned the team didn’t leave any of its member high and dry, they kept coordinating and helped each other when required. Moreover, their interest peeked because the objective was in parallel with their academics. “We had been learning in the classrooms, working at SRSC was the moment we applied that learning practically and it was a great experience”, said Haseef. “We have had times when we got stuck but our Volunteer Supervisor was always there to guide us through”, recalled Mehar. A number of their skills were tested as they worked as a team, a practical application of academic knowledge, and finally also opened up networking opportunities as they developed the website for the institution and the organization was all praises.

Their term had ended by the time their project was ready, they  all had the positive things to say about their time spent at SRSC. They expressed that they would want to volunteer again and build a long term affiliation with National Volunteer Programme. Through its platform they were able to help the community, harness their personal development, grow their network and make lifelong friends. The spirit rejoices with the proud feeling that we can make a difference and play our part in  creating a just society.

Success story of Kiran Foundation from its inception towards transforming the lives of people!

Starting with the expression of how she was delighted witnessing the youth of Karachi being so passionate to serve the society, Musarrat Shaheen, Senior Vice Principal DCTO Campus, continued towards telling the history of Kiran Foundation. Kiran Foundation was founded by Ma’am Sabina Khatri with the mission and vision: to bridge the gap and create a compassionate society, which is very much reflected in the work that they do.

 

Inspired by an event that she experienced during her career she took on an initiative to open a pre-school in a remote area such as Liyari. Overcoming the odds of how dangerous the area was and the way she was perceived in that area, due to her appearance, Ma’am Sabina stayed resolute to her mission.

The philosophy behind the pre-school initiative was to harness the early childhood development of the first born of the family so that they could become an example to be followed by the rest of the family. With this idea in mind, Kiran School used to enroll 20 children annually from 2006-2013. About 120 students from Liyari who got their basics right are now studying in Mainstream schools of Karachi and few of them are on Full-Bright Scholarships. It is important to mention at this moment, that Ma’am Sabina attends the parent teacher meetings of the children in order to help their uneducated parents keep up with the pace of those mainstream schools.

There are certain pre-requisites for a child to get admission in the Kiran School.

  • The family must be documented that is they must have their proper National Identity Cards, B-Forms, and Birth Certificates.
  • The parents/guardians must not be addicted to Paan, Chaliya and Gutka and should not be indulged in any illegal activity.
  • The family members must prove that they are responsible enough to earn for the household.

These Pre-requisites brought up a tremendous improvement in the overall progress of Liyari. A noticeable number of households started documenting themselves, quit the detrimental eating habits, and started earning for themselves. All for the sake of getting their child a good education through Kiran Foundation. Because these children, they defy a mainstream perception of residents of Liyari and portray a transformative image of the area to the world.

In 2013 Nazir Tunio, Director Akhuwat Foundation, presented a proposal to Ma’am Sabina to expand the number of children that Kiran Foundation takes annually and suggested to adopt government schools. After a series of discussion, it was decided that Kiran Foundation will adopt DCTO School, a huge campus but very poorly managed back then, however, after it was under the care of Kiran Foundation, the school started functioning in a systematic and structured manner. The first year of school was called the healing year, aiming to attract children back to schools who were traumatized by the conditions of Liyari. The success of the healing year could be summed up in these words that the students were not ready to get back to their homes but insisted on staying in school for the longer durations.

The major challenges faced by Kiran Foundation were Number 1, the perception regarding Ma’am Sabina, the locals used to think that she would brain wash their children and will get them distanced. However after a certain period of time, Kiran Foundation was appreciated even by those who were considered unpopular citizens in that locality, at some instances they offered protection to the institutions. Number 2, As Kiran foundation elevated its scale, funding channels seemed to be scarce but her weapon against it was the faith which she learned from a mother of a student she met once who seemed to have unshakeable faith in God. Fortunately, living up to its generous reputation, our nation funded altruistically to Kiran Foundation.

Kiran Foundation had started working with volunteers in the beginning and upon the completion of two years those volunteers were proven to be the building blocks of the institution. The team of Kiran Foundation looks forward to work again with volunteers because, in their own words, volunteers in their energy are unmatchable, there is a spark in their blood flow to get things done and it is something that provides them with an escape from the routine. They have requested interested individuals to come and volunteer with Kiran Foundation to keep making a positive difference.

It is unimaginable how Kiran Foundation has been playing vital role in improving the lives of the people of Liyari, the institution has cured the traumatized, taken on board the entire families with their children under its care and is set to become the first trauma informed school of Pakistan. NVP pays its sincere gratitude to the people who are working with Kiran Foundation and wish them the best of luck for their future endeavors.

“Robin Hood Army Has Taken Over Karachi by A Storm”

 

National Volunteer Programme’s partner institution, Rabin Hood Army is a social initiative taken by a group of friends which gather the surplus food from well-known institutions and distribute it amongst the less fortunate. Delhi-based Neel Ghose and Anand Sinha took up this great initiative in India in 2014. Neel was inspired by an organization working in ‘Re-Food’ in Portugal; he decided to replicate the model in India. Sarah Afridi, who has been friends with Neel Ghose since their days at the London School of Economics, decided to bring the cause to Pakistan.

Currently, they have partnered with restaurants like Nandos, Ginsoy, Vintage, White Biryani, Dunkin Donuts, Karachi Broast, LALs, Pie in the Sky and lots more. Many restaurants are now approaching them in support of the cause. The idea of borrowing from the rich and giving to the poor might sound fictitious, but Robin Hood Army surely has successfully translated it into reality.

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Sameer Beg, spearheading the Robin Hood Army in Karachi, says: “Robin Hood Army has taken Karachi by a storm and this thunder we hear from it is solely from our passionate volunteers. To take time out, be selfless, and spread smiles is something we give a round of applause to them for. Without a doubt, we wouldn’t function as well as we do without the constant support and determination of these individuals. From picking up food at restaurants or wedding to reheating and serving it on Sundays, requires some serious devotion. We at Robin Hood we just like to say, thank you for helping us get 1% done Robins!”

Corporate Volunteerism in Action

 Corporate Employees Make Time For Volunteering

National Volunteer Programme’s partner institution, The Citizens Foundation, announced their 25th Rahbar Programme in the month of April, for which NVP assigned 8 dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers as Mentors for the programme. Many NVP volunteers that took part in the Rahbar Mentorship Programme were from various corporate organizations such as Caltrols Pakistan Co., Systek Private Limited, Pakistan Engineering Council, and Consulate General Republic of Indonesia in Karachi etc. We are grateful to Hanesh Kumar, Bharat Kumar, Muhammad Kamran, Naveed Ahmed, Abdul Wahid, Muhammad Sumair, Barkha Aslam and Ghulam Murtaza, for taking out the time from their busy office schedules to mentor and transform the lives of the young children at The Citizens Foundation. Their commitment towards serving others has truly been an inspiration and we hope to see many more like-minded and dedicated individuals volunteer for this cause.

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“There is absolutely nothing as great as making a positive change in someone’s life. I was touched by the warm hearts and big dreams of kids at TCF. I’m glad and Thankful to NVP for giving me this chance to give back to the world in a meaningful way” – V#469-3/17 Barkha Aslam (Staff Social & Culture at The Consulate General Republic of Indonesia in Karachi)