Follow by Email

Monday, June 20, 2011

Say no to drugs project.

Executing Youth Group starts a "say no to drugs" project in Lahore:

Currently, Pakistan is confronting numerous problems. One of the major problems is: addiction/drug abuse. The number of addicts in Pakistan is around seven million; however this number is growing day by day. This is a highly alarming situation for a developing country like ours. A very commonly used drug is “heroin” which is produced from the poppy plant.

The producing region of poppy plant and heroin is our neighboring country Afghanistan and the tribal areas of Pakistan. They have the most lucrative business for drug users. The most convenient and easiest market for the drug producers and smugglers is available and flourishing in Pakistan. These drugs are also smuggled to Europe, America and other countries of the world. However, at present, due to the presence of NATO forces in the region, it’s a bit difficult for the drug dealers to export/smuggle it to other parts of the world. Under such situation Pakistan is the softest target for them.

The money earned by smuggling which the drug dealers earn from smuggling use to fulfill their evil deeds. They also buy weapons to create uproar in our country and to counter any sort of progressive move in the tribal areas in the fields of education, business and tourism etc.

Their main target is youth literacy or illiteracy. The culture of smoking in youth is increasing rapidly. The young people studying in High schools start smoking for fun. We see them in uniforms standing outside the schools’ premises and enjoying smoking individually or in groups. Gradually, they become habitual of smoking which leads them towards drug addiction.

The labor class of children from age 12 and above (sometimes below 12) starts smoking due to various reasons. One of the main reasons for them is the furious attitude of their employers. We see them working and smoking at mechanics workshops, bicycle repair shops, small hotels/restaurants and at other workplaces. In both cases, i.e. students or labor class children, they take advantage of being out of home and out of sight of their parents.

It is not our duty and it is not possible for us to stop drug smuggling business within Pakistan or around the world. But we can educate our youth about the life threatening hazards of drug addiction by carrying out little efforts at right time. Instead of running towards the path of drug addiction they may come back on the right track again to enjoy a healthy life and become progressive citizens of the country.

i) We worked voluntarily for the rehabilitation of flood victims being run jointly by British Council and FACES Pakistan under the title “From Raddi to Rehabilitation”. We collected raddi (old newspapers/other used papers) to generate funds/donation for the flood victims.
ii) We visited Nowshera for a day to distribute different household goods including food items among the flood victims.
iii) We are running awareness programme for young people regarding life-threatening hazards of drug hazards. In this regard we conducted corner meetings with youth.

We also organized a seminar at our residence in Ali Colony Walton Road, Lahore on Nov. 12, 2010 titled “ON THE ROAD AGAIN”. A number of domestic young people attended this seminar and appreciated the objective of our programme.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Raising awareness about blood donations and blood groups in Pind Dadan Khan

The need for safe blood can’t be over-stressed. Every day critical medical emergencies, trauma cases, accidents, require blood transfusions. Women with pregnancy complications, severely anaemic women and children, cancer patients, persons suffering from sickle-cell anaemia, thalassemia and haemophiliac require frequent and constant blood transfusions.

Our aim is to raise awareness about the need for safe blood transfusion and of the critical and voluntary, unpaid blood donations made by donors to various health clinics.

Active Involvement & Motivation (AIM) focuses on voluntary blood donations. A majority of area’s population doesn’t have access to safe blood. Many areas remain dependent on donation by the families or friends of the patients. In some areas, blood donors are still paid, yet evidence demonstrates that voluntary unpaid donors are the foundation of safe blood supply because they are least likely to transmit potentially life-threatening infections. It is to these unsung heroes that World Blood Donor Day is dedicated.

The first stage of the struggle is: making people aware about blood donations. Currently, “Free Blood Grouping Camp” is providing ample of opportunities to create awareness about voluntarily blood donations. This activity also informed people of the duties the state is obliged to fulfil.

The “Free Blood Grouping” has worked with a huge number of women, men and the young people. AIM youth group is also doing campaigns for blood donations, involving the young people in all its activities and celebrations, hoping that the new generation of motivated, non-remunerated donors will create a bank of safe blood which will help save lives whenever necessary.

The campaign believes that young donors will form a long term commitment and help improve area’s safety and requirements of blood supply. Even young people who for some reason cannot donate blood can work as volunteers to advocate blood donations. AIM youth Group initiatives like the ‘AIM Young Club’ does media campaigns focusing on the younger generation and related youth programs.

We intend to work with schools, colleges and universities to form blood donor clubs within the community. It will go door to door to meet people in their respective areas, especially involving youth to encourage them to donate blood, marking an important step in their life.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

We can bring a change!

Fasil Idress, a young boy hailing from Multan has been a part of Active Citizens Learning Journey since 2008. He has done a lot of work in his community. Here's his story of achievements:

Before attending the British Council’s Active Citizens Learning Journey, I had no idea how to engage stakeholders in community work with us, productively. The Active Citizens workshops have helped me explore how to take up and solve the problems developing in my community and how to engage young people into social action projects.

My organisation is called “JAGOO Pakistan Eds” and since its establishment in 2008, it has worked on nine successful projects. We have executed projects on 1) providing free computer literacy, 2) child labor, 3) women empowerment and giving them technical skills, 4) lectures on moral ethics, 5) save our earth, and through stage dramas, we try to change the behavior and attitude of the community people. A unique characteristic of these projects is they are being executed without any financial support.

In the beginning of year 2010, we initiated a project called “BRING A CHANGE” - the purpose which was to reduce gaps between the community people and police, and create friendships between them.

According to a survey conducted by the Vice Chairman JAGOO Pakistan Eds, Rai Zulqarnain, Nadir Shah, are the policemen are faced with long hours of duty time (which is mostly above 18 hours) while they receive a very meager pay for their duties. Besides, the local people don’t pay them any respect either.

Therefore, to bridge gaps, we distributed 3000 appreciation cards and flowers amongst the policemen as a tribute. Apart from this, we also devised a plan to regularly pay tribute to the police personnel who have been injured, died or hurt during any operation.

Also, we decided to distribute a specific cash money and gift hampers to the policemen who were not supported by the government.

Now, the only problem was arranging sponsorships. I choose 60 members from the total 450 youth group members and made six teams who would look for sponsors. But, despite their efforts for two weeks, they failed to obtain even a single sponsor. At times, when our teams approached the potential sponsors, they simply wouldn’t let them in even. For my team and me, searching for interested sponsors was quite an uphill struggle.

There were times, when I was disappointed with the futile struggle and the community members made fun of me. Other times, I was hopeful that something good will turn out and our efforts will pay off. Meanwhile, the data from police stations continued pouring in and we just didn’t know what to do about it.

Finally, after two months of hard work, we were able to secure the first sponsorship from Multan Arts Council in April. This revived our spirits and we informed the police professionals about our first honorary ceremony who got very excited. This reward ceremony was the first-ever held in the history of Pakistan.

We began fixing banners around Multan and formed different teams assigned with multiple duties like, registration team, management team and a team to receive guests etc.

During the tribute ceremony, when JAGOO PAK drama club did their performance, we could see a few tears which proved our hard work has paid of.

Now I know and have proved that nothing is impossible. I am very thankful to my sponsor, Shama Bnaspati, Coca cola, Saeed sop, Khan Enterprise etc. for their inspiration and co-operation.

This JAGOO award ceremony ended at a very high note and we announced the COMMANDANT award for the first time which was won by a civil person for the first time in Pakistan’s history.

The British Council became the first drop of rain, and now many such rain drops are to come in near future.

I would like to thank the open and helpful platform of the British Council and under my father’s and the British Council’s guidance I am further motivated and energized to take up bigger challenges and do more good work for my community.