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.