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Monday, March 26, 2012

Old papers, new votes, and a ragged school

The Gulberg Rangers (G-Rangers) has six active members and is headed by Zunaria Earl West. The British Council’s Active Citizens training enabled them to initiate three Social Action Projects (SAPs) which focus on the poverty stricken areas of Lahore. They started three SAPs: Ragged School, Voting Awareness and Raddi (paper) Collection and Rehabilitation.

The Ragged School focuses on primary education teaching; beginner’s English, Urdu and Mathematics are taught to children who cannot afford to go to school. The children are also taught ethical and moral behaviour as well as civic lessons such as how to cross the road safely, not to litter, etc.

Voting Awareness aims is to educate individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds about the importance of exercising one’s right to vote for the candidate of their choice. Volunteers and members visit neighbourhoods and contact 200 – 300 homes a month. They encourage citizens to use their votes wisely and not to “sell” them for money.

The Raddi Collection and Rehabilitation project was conceived with the help of Formation Awareness and Community Empowerment Society (FACES) to increase the sustainability of their SAPs. The G- Rangers go door-to-door collecting cardboard and newspapers to sell. In this way they help the community dispose of unneeded material in an appropriate way and generate funding for their other Social Action Projects.