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Newsletter June 2017

Chak Jalal Din, Pakistan

Chak Jalal Din, on the outskirts of Rawalpindi, is home to more than 4000 families who are impoverished and marginalized because of their religion and occupations. Many residents of this community work in sanitation, cleaning sewers and collecting refuse. Some provide domestic help for Islamabad’s affluent and some are scrap collectors.  These families live in dilapidated houses constructed over open sewers. Open Hands Global serves Chak Jalal Din because it is a large community of poor and marginalized people with no foreign presence of any support.

Pakistan Chapter – Local Leadership

Open Hands Global, Pakistan, is now a reality and is a registered Trust in Pakistan.  Please meet our local team: Haroon George, our Program Manager, Rizwan Nasir, van driver, Huma Sabir, Afterschool Program teacher and Sumbal Javed, assistant teacher.  We are so excited to work with a group of people who share our vision and are committed to making a difference in improving the lives of children and youth of this community.

Right to Quality Education

Quality education is the only road that children can follow to develop and reach their full potential as individuals. Open Hands Global Relief and Health Programs is now supporting English medium education in school and afterschool for 15 children.  The children are aged 3 to 10 years and come from families whose income is less than C$3 per day. Of the selected children, there are three who are orphans and live with extremely poor grandparents.

Admission to Station School 2, Rawalpindi

Admission day was exciting and parents/grandparents of most children went along as children participated in admission tests. The children were coached for these admission tests by the Program Manager and local volunteers and it was a sigh of relief all around when all children were accepted.  Three children in pre-school nursery, two in Grade 2, four in Grade 3, five in Grade 4 and one in Grade 5.  It was interesting to note that most parents who have lived all their lives in Rawalpindi had never been inside an actual school building and were so excited to see their children being given the opportunity of a lifetime.

School Uniforms

Haroon, the Program Manager, coordinated a shopping day for school uniforms and all 15 children received 2 uniforms each – the children were absolutely thrilled to receive the clothes that were new and were their size. Through local leadership, parents have been engaged as partners in this program and have made written commitments to ensure that children are always in clean uniform, hair combed and ready for school on time.

We are so proud of Mishel  , who was awarded a prize for best dressed. Her picture made it to the school notice board as an example of what the school uniform should look like.

Also, meet Daud: lost his father when he was one month old, grandfather is handicapped and grandmother supports the family on a very minimum wage.  Daud’s mom testifies that Daud was dull, shy and a loner until he started going to pre-school.  Now the family already sees a change – he is confident, excited and there is a naughty shine in his eyes.  

 

 

Books and Stationary

Books and school supplies were purchased for all 15 students and distributed.   Volunteers from the community helped in binding the books and making  packages for each student. Fun stationary was included for each child.

Transport

Our fundraising evening last October was made a huge success by your participation.  We are happy to report that we were able to raise sufficient funds to purchase a brand new Suzuki mini-van and provide transport for 12 children.  The school commute is 20-25 km. Three children have a family member drop them at school.   Unexpectedly, several children experienced motion sickness and threw up during their initial weeks of commute to school. Thanks to the patience and kindness of Rizwan, the children are now settled. The van has been upgraded for better ventilation and comfortable seating. The children are now enjoying their ride to and from school while singing along to the music in the car.

After-School Program

An afterschool program, 5 days a week, 3 hours a day, has been initiated to overcome the gap where parents are unable to assist the children with their homework.  A beneficiary family has volunteered a small room in their home and are so enthusiastic to contribute and participate in the success of the program.  Right now the children are crowded and are sitting on mats.  With your support, we hope to rent a larger space and provide chairs and desks for the children.  Open Hands Global is supporting the salary of a professional teacher, Huma Sabir (M. Ed) and an assistant teacher to run the program.  We are closely monitoring the progress of these children, especially in reading and writing English and Urdu, and math.  For a future program, we want to give a cup of milk and a healthy snack for these children to maintain their excitement for learning and attendance. 

Thank you

Thank you to all of you who are supporting us generously and faithfully.  This would not be possible without you. The need is more.  The next 15 students are waiting for their opportunity!

Your support and commitment of $50 per month will provide tuition, 2 sets of uniforms, books and transport for a deserving student.

A commitment of any amount helps us put gas in the van, rent a bigger space for our after-school program, chairs for children to sit on, provide a healthy snack for the children and support staff salaries.

One hundred percent of all donations are used to provide access to quality education for deserving students.

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