This weekend was more exciting than most for a good number of people. The Global Shapers community of Islamabad Hub started their Saturday morning by heading toward PK-7 (Pehli Kiran’s school in H-11) with Eidi packs, fun supplies and several buckets full of sunshine.
This small un-built yet functional school is set perfectly behind some of the bigger educational institutions of the capital city in a kachi abadi (slums). Immediately as we got off the road we were greeted by a dozen kids. We walked with them through the mud trail, along the mud houses exchanging curious glances and smiles with the local dwellers to reach the school. The school is two sheds, a ground, small storage space and around 126 eager and enthusiastic children of ages 3-16. Their energy was contagious to say the least.
The staff had the students already divided into two groups, younger (KG-grade 5) and the older, one in each shed. I was mostly with the younger/crazier kids group. We started off by having kids sit in groups of 5 and gave then sheets and colors to work on posters. I have to say that the kids really owned it! It was everything from alien looking transportation, ducks, ‘bunch of grapes’, trees, houses, clouds, their names (some accurately broken in syllables), Pakistan flag…We later displayed their posters, drawings and coloring on the walls. Concurrently we had face painting going on as well. This one girl drew an amazing scaled-up replica of Dora, my fellow shapers and volunteers agree on how very well done that was.
In second round, we circulated colored paper and encouraged the kids to make toys out of it…paper plane, boat etc. Saad’s paper cap was high in demand! And so were the balloons Nimra had brought in along with art supplies, among other things. Their faces were glowing with happiness.
The students made ques and displayed discipline that was exemplary. We had screaming group photos and ended the day with distribution of Eidi and other gifts. The kids were impressive, they shared colors, responsibly returned supplies and helped clear the space in the end. One of the kids also helped us with the Eidi distribution.
Other than just the planned and the obvious, this event proved to be a very informative exercise. We now know the school and the kids even more which will no doubt be helpful in any future collaborative endeavors that we may have. And I learned a few pushto words too!
I joined the Global Shapers Community this June. Our first meeting other than an introduction was coming up with projects to work on with the shapers. One of the ideas that I pitched in was -a community outreach project for children. That thought with the active participation of fellow shapers and generous donations of funds and time has now become an all-out project owned and honed by the Islamabad GS hub. ‘Eidi for Pehli Kiran’ is just the beginning and there is of course much more to the story!
About the Global Shapers Community
The Global Shapers Community, an initiative by World Economic Forum, is a network of city-based Hubs developed and led by young leaders who are exceptional in their potential, their achievements and their drive to make a contribution to their communities.
The Pehli Kiran School System is unique in that it caters to children from transient communities living on the fringes of our cities, who often fall through the cracks of the mainstream system. The PKSS uses an innovative, community-based approach to take education to children living in ‘katchi abadis’ (slum areas) in and around Islamabad.
More photos from the activity after the break. Follow the Global Shapers on Facebook.
(Photos credit: Mudabbir Majid)