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Monday, February 15, 2010

Books are now available in Braille. Find out how?

Young Karachiites are very thoughtful, indeed. Seeing, realizing and analyzing that blind people need a lot of support in reading and learning, they’ve set out to converting syllabus books into Braille.

Yes- A young group headed by Rashid Mehmood and his friends have embarked on this mission.

“We’ve started converting books into Braille so the blind can read easily without depending on any body. There aren’t any resources available for their assistance. Hence, we thought if books could be converted into Braille, it would be good for them,” Says Rashid Mehmood, whose vision is turning into a reality now.

Rashid started working a year back and has a team of 5 members; all of them are Braille transcribers, who have managed to transcribe the syllabi of Grade I and II. They have achieved a huge change in such a short period. Blind kids of I and II grade now have themselves Braille books and can read easily. They are now preparing themselves to undertake a huge task of transcribing up to 100 books!!! Now, that’s the voluntary spirit!

These are the young people who are passionate about working for their community people and are diligently working to provide them as many facilities as possible.

Let us know if you have helped your community in any way and we’ll put your story right here.

Good luck.

"Responsible Citizens becoming Responsible"

Garbage isn’t an uncommon sight around us. We see it every day - in our towns, shopping malls, parks - it’s every where. We don’t stop to ponder why is it lying there? Because, it isn’t ours! And even if it is, who cares?

As if we’d be put behind bars for “just” littering…

Well, a few young Pakistani’s do care. They do have a problem with trash lying at the last turning of the street. They do think it’s decent enough to use trash cans and not feel disgusted in cleaning up a dirtyville.

These young people are Murtaza K. Khwaja, Pawail A. Qaisar, Saif Hameed, Shoaib Ahmed and Umar Rashid- the founders of an organization led by young people called “Responsible Citizens”.

Responsible Citizens, who are based in Lahore, have made up their minds to clean the litter that’s scattered on the streets. They’re the pioneers to a project called “Take out the trash” which has been running since March 2009.

“The jams caused due to traffic rules violation, trash in the streets, majority of citizens living below the poverty line made us realize that it’s high time to take a stand,” says Murtaza K. Khwaja.

“How we work is very simple. We choose an area, bring our brooms and gloves and get started. We clean the litter and place bins in the place so people can make effective use of them. So far, we’ve worked in Main Market, Ghalib Market and Barkat Market. The local government and media supports us in cleaning the city, in fact encourage others to join in too,” said Saif Hameed, a young citizen, who has recently completed his LLB from University College London.

Why the Responsible Citizens are showing this responsibility - because they have a sense of ownership for their towns and neighborhood. They only wish that other local residents wake from their deep slumber too. They’re endeavoring to arouse the long lost feelings of love for one’s own city, streets and country.

They’re motto is to let the youth know that Pakistan’s success depends on them.

Note: The work that Responsible Citizens are doing is purely voluntary.

The competition begins....!!!

Yes, there’s a competition between the SAPs that you’ve prepared during the workshop.
We’re holding this competition between all the participants of Learning Journey to find top ten dynamic projects and project teams across the country who have made a difference by valuing the difference!

You can compete for this prestigious award if you’re implementing or planning to implement to a SAP that’s committed to help your community people and improve their lives.

The winning teams will be bestowed with “Active Citizens of the Year 2009/10” award. This will be their chance to get recognition for all the diligent work that they have done for their society and inspire many young Pakistanis.

Well, then here's what you need to do:

Fill in the Project Template available at here and email it to us at: .

Accomplished panelists including young leaders and youth workers will review your projects and select the ten best ones.

Don't forget to email the following as the panelists will select your projects on these criteria:

The pictures, videos, reports of your project (any of these)
The details of your stakeholders and their total number (all those involved in the project)
Details of the institutions/partners who are supporting you
Details of your project activities and timelines
Impact of your project so far…success you have achieved!

So hurry up!!!!

The deadline is: March, 01, 2010.

Your project must have been running for at least 15 days before the deadline.

Projects you prepared in the workshop!!

Remember, you prepared projects during Learning Journey’s first stage?

There are over 900 young people- Just like you, in 13 districts (and increasing everyday!) across Pakistan who have come up with simple and innovative ideas for community projects during 34 workshops so far. Your projects are powerful enough to change people's lives forever. They will put authority in your hands and make you take charge of your future!!

We, at the British Council don’t just call them “projects”. We call them the “Social Action Projects (SAPs)”, because….

You are conceiving projects to improve your neighbourhood, towns and living styles by taking simple yet empowered actions to bring a Social Change!

Your friends across Pakistan have prepared some very interesting SAPs during the Learning Journey Workshops that revolve around the following themes:

Education awareness project for working child- A project from Lahore
Clean & Green Muzaffarabad - A project from Muzaffarabad
Mother and child health care centre - A project from Narrowal
Awareness on blood donation - A project from Abbottabad
Think green - A project from Multan
Transcribing syllabus books in Braille language - A project from Karachi
Counselling Sessions for Career Decisions – A project from Lahore
Smiling Angels in hospitals – A project from Islamabad
The Awakening – A project on environmental protection and HIV – AIDS prevention awareness rising in Islamabad
Silvering Lining: Infotainment for Orphanages – A project in Mirpur

You can prepare your SAPs around four very intriguing ideas that came up during the workshops. You can either join the young groups who are already running projects on these themes or form your own group and run a project around your chosen theme!

The themes are:

1) Take out the trash – a project by Zimidar Sheri
2) Think Green – A project by Jagoo Pakistan
3) Operation Education- A project by Zimidar Sheri
4) Simply, spread Learning Journey’s knowledge and turn people around into Active Citizens too!!