Fatima's Heart

Listen to the Rhythm of my Heart!

A Mission Abroad

on April 17, 2015

It’s been a while since I’ve been active on this blog, my apologies, but I was out of country visiting my parents. It was a long, fun and tiring trip (it’s funny how vacation trips are always more tiring than the mundane life), but at the end of the day…it was to see my mother and that’s a mission accomplished!

Much has happened with Cyber Kiwanis while I was away. A mid-year Cal-Nev-H North Convention in Monterey, a bowl-a-thon for Special Olympics, a St. Paddy’s Dinner and Dance by Visalia Pride Lions, donation of over 400 books to the First Lady’s Project and not forgetting, upcoming next week, our Kiwanis One Day project, cleaning up the Civic Center, park area in Hanford. Now that’s going to be fun. Members and Key clubbers will also be collecting (and counting) cigarette butts from that non-smoking ground as part of a study being conducted by the health department.

And while I was away, I had the chance of attending a meeting of Karachi Club of Kiwanis (www.kiwanis.org.pk) and meet it’s pioneer Mr. Javed Jabbar and the President, Past President, Vice President and Secretary of the club. It was a very pleasant meeting. A guest speaker, Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Afridi, a psychologist and behavioral specialist, talked about behavioral patterns in children and adolescents. It was a very informative session.

We were also invited to the Karachi Down Syndrome Program (KDSP) Carnival, that was held on 22nd March, 2015, to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day. It was a very happening carnival with a huge turn over and many fun activities arranged for children with and without disabilities.

I had also managed to take with me 72 dictionaries to donate, considering baggage weight limits when you’re traveling Internationally, but thankfully I was able to have them delivered to the right people.

Zindagi Trust Foundation (www.zindagitrust.org) strives to reform already existing public schools and also has a ‘Paid to Learn’ program for children who work.

The foundation took over the management of a government girl’s school in November 2007 and documented the process with the objective of creating a blueprint for government school reform. Throughout the project, the foundation worked closely with the Education Department, lobbying the government to institutionalize the policies they introduced, so that schools across the province could benefit from them. It’s important to note here that most of the good schooling in Pakistan, at Primary and Secondary level, is being provided by private schools. The government or public schools are mostly neither well maintained nor well equipped. Hence the low rate of enrollment and high rate of primary school drop out.

Their ‘Paid to Learn’ program recruits children who work in the urban slums of Pakistan and enrolls them in an accelerated non-formal curriculum of primary education. The children get paid for attending school. This helps the children, toiling in car-repair shops & other general stores, see a window out of child labour; empowers them as responsible and more complete future citizens of a young Pakistan, all the while making a dent in the country’s literacy rate.

I feel happy that I was able to contribute in this mission of alleviating illiteracy in Pakistan. As they say, drop by drop becomes a river. Each and every drop has its own weight. Each drop makes a difference. And that is what we should all do, continue putting in our drops any time and every time. Then only will we see its impact on the society as a whole.

KARACHI CLUB OF KIWANIS MEETING PICTURES

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