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Friday, May 6, 2011

Meet "Shoukria Raza" as she shares her experiences of Active Citizens Learning Journey.

This is Shoukria Raza from Quetta and I’m pleased to share my learning journey as an Active Global Citizen. I hope it will be a source of inspiration for other young people who are not engaged in the streamlining process of Active Citizens Learning Journey.

As an intermediate student at BISE, Quettta, there are many memories that I cherish in life but the days spent at the Active Citizenship training will stay with me forever.

I approached my life and the world in a typical state of apathy and indifference. The Active Citizenship Training gave me clarity on my role as a citizen of this country and the world. I developed a new sense of thinking and a sense of responsibility toward the development of the country. The contents related to identity and culture helped me challenge my stereotypes and prejduices.

“Our identities are about our own sense of who we are and how we approach the world.” I now not only understand the words in the above line but also their importance. Identity helps build community and a sense of belonging within a more globalised diverse world. It is a fundamental for building trust, mutual understanding, networking and cooperation.

It was an eye opener for me to understand the nexus of individual, cultural, society and citizenship. As a layman, I did not give it a though but when the facilitator at the Active Citizenship training shared its importance, I realized that my contribution can be a source of change in the world.

We all know this was learning journey program for the youth; that is why CYAAD and its partners provided us the incredible opportunity of sharing our views, ideas, and experiences with the youth of other regions. This gave us a chance to remove our fixed views about the people of other cultures, religions and ethnicities.

ACP is a platform where the youth have been provided chances to help those affected by any kind of injustice, violence and networking through social media. It was great for all of us; we regularly updated and shared our views on blog, facebook, twitter etc on the six global issues.
Besides that, I got the chance to strengthen my confidence and my managerial skills when I launched social action projects in my community with support of community members. Through fund raising and utilising the local resources, the SAPs also polished my leadership skills and gave me a way to be engaged within the community.

My fellows and I identified the lack of the computer literacy center within the community. We also saw the need for an internet café exclusively for the women. All CYAAD members gave continuous mentoring and facilitation, technical and financial support for making it happen and at last we did it. We had succeeded in establishing a computer literacy center and internet café in a secure environment for the women of Quetta.

We with the help of CYAAD and community members, we were able to ensure five computers, a printer, scanner and wireless network. Amozgha [a local CBO] working for the development of women provided the internet connection, furniture, curriculums and premises for free.

I personally, on behalf of my group and the women of the district, am thankful to my community, CYAAD and its partner organisation for introducing such a wonderful programme for enabling the youth and utilising their energies to make a better world.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ragged School in Gulberg II, Lahore

Narrated by Aneel Munir Khokhar:

Our youth group is called “Quaid’s Warriors”. It consists of five members, who are very cooperative and hard working. We all believe in sincerely serving our nation and helping the under privileged citizens. We want to bring a change in Pakistan, we know this is a big challenge but we’re ready to accept this challenge.

Our social action project is to provide educational facilities to the children who are haven’t been to school ever because of financial crisis or due to disability.

We suggested opening a school in one of our member’s house so the students can be comfortable and the parents wouldn’t have any objections sending their children to a teacher’s house.

We are running this school since November last year. We teach children two days in a week for one and half hour. So far, we’ve had 13 students in our home-based school who are polishing their reading and writing skills and are enhancing their global awareness, knowledge about other cultures and traditions.

The students belong to very poor families and some of their parents are even drug addict. Students are very talented and are interested to gain education. We teach the following content to our students:

Education and Global Awareness:

Education has become the basic necessity of life. Through education we can create global awareness which can help us in making this world better place to live.

Basic Education:

It is now very important for every person in the world to get education. Basic education includes the skills of reading and writing. A person should be enough educated to read the basic and normal things in a daily life. And also be able to write at least his name.

Creative Ability:

Every normal person in this world is blessed with a brain which enables to think and understand. The creative abilities are already present in a person. Education will enhance the creative ability of the students by forcing them to think.

Knowledge and Etiquettes:

There’s a saying “Education is the key to success”. Education gives knowledge regarding anything in and outside the world - Universe. Education teaches etiquettes which are very important to groom one’s personality.

Monday, May 2, 2011

From Raddi to Rehabilitation

Narrated by Zunairia Earl West:

We, the members of G-Ranger group, are working with FACES Pakistan” & “British Council” on a project called “From Raddi to Rehabilitation” in Gulberg, Lahore.

In this project, we gather raddi (waste news papers etc) from different sources and hand it over to FACES Pakistan. They then sell the collected raddi to shopkeepers who recycle it. They money earned by selling raddi is donated to help the flood victims and needy people. FACES is accountable for the money by selling raddi and using it for education, food, shelter of those who are under privileged and are in need of assistance besides flood victims.

We have been working on this project since last year and so far our group has collected 347kg of raddi from various sources. We faced a lot of difficulties in collecting this amount of raddi as people don’t easily part from the redundant materials (don't know why!!).

But once people saw our sincere and hard work, they are now readily giving away/parting with their old and used materials so we can sell them and help the poor. People say, “Charity begins at home” but G-Rangers believe that “Charity begins at home but it does not end here” which is why our target is to collect amount of Raddi with which we can help the poor & the flood affects as much as we can.