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Charity bazaar: At Mashal school, self-help is part of the curriculum


Shoppers at the bazaar looking through the many interesting pieces. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID/EXPRESS

Shoppers at the bazaar looking through the many interesting pieces. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID/EXPRESSShoppers at the bazaar looking through the many interesting pieces. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID/EXPRESSShoppers at the bazaar looking through the many interesting pieces. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID/EXPRESS

Shahbano stood by a stall of hand-made accessories that she and her friends had prepared during small breaks at school. “We’ve been making these during recess, free periods or after school. When a teacher wouldn’t show up for class, we’d sit together and work on these instead of going out to play,” she said, her hazel-brown eyes sparkling in the sunlight pouring into the courtyard.

The Mashal Model School for underprivileged children organised their annual charity art bazaar to help raise funds for the students on Saturday. Located in the suburban Bari Imam, the school also offers free-of-cost education to children of internally displaced families from Kashmir, Mardan and Buner among other parts of the region as well as refugees from Afghanistan.

Buzzing with activity, the place had students, volunteers and visitors browsing through the stalls. The open space and an adjoining room housed a collection of items prepared from recycled materials.

Bottle-ends were revamped as candle stands, stickers and paper cut-outs adorned with cartoons made colourful fridge magnets and bottles with beats and chunky buntings rang wind chimes. Cannisters and plastic bottles were fashioned into stationery and magazine holders, bottles stuffed with candy as toys to keep little children engaged and painted bottles stuffed with woolen stoles made for fancy gifts at nominal prices.

Zeba Husain, the principal and founding director, said, “We are trying to raise funds for our children,” she said, adding that the schoolchildren had taken final examinations and the money would help them buy books and stationery for the new academic session.

They have to raise an amount of Rs350,000 for 550 schoolchildren. “Once we have raised enough money to purchase books, we will invest the rest in skills training and creative workshops for our students. Currently, they are learning some basic computer skills at the school,” Husain added.

European Union Ambassador Lars-Gunner Wigemark, who inaugurated the exhibition, commended the students’ teamwork and the volunteers’ spirit in working for the cause. He said that other organisations should also work on similar initiatives to promote education in the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 16th, 2014.

DAWN.COM: Decorative items put on sale at charity bazaar

ISLAMABAD: An educational institution (Mashal Model School) on Saturday arranged a charity bazaar at a local hotel where several home-made decorative items were put on sale.

A large number of people including foreigners visited the bazaar and purchased different items.

An organiser of the bazaar said that the amount collected from the sale of these items would be spent on the welfare of the poor.

Munir Ahmed, a visitor to the bazaar said that it was a great step and people should come forward for the welfare of the people.

“Drought in Tharparkar has created a famine like situation there, killing a large number of children and displacing thousands of people,” he said, adding well-to-do should come forward and arrange funds to help the starving people there,” he said.

Every child has a right to an education!

Mashal Model School is a non-profit charity school which provides education to the street children of Bari Imam, Islamabad, Pakistan. Mashal, a registered charity,   follows the National Scheme of studies and Oxford university press curriculum for children who are under privileged. Our mission is to work toward changing the lives of children who otherwise would not have the opportunity. We aspire to drive and inspire street children, educate them, give hope and respect, and promote meaningful life choices. The first rule that we work on as teachers is that physical abuse, in any sense, is non-acceptable, as these children come from a background of constant mistreatment and lack of emotional and directional support. Admissions start from four years onwards and multi-aged children are admitted according to their levels of basic understanding and learning skills. Educating on issues in health and hygiene and particularly protection against abuse is one of the core aims of our modules. At present we have 20 teachers from the same community trained by the Teacher Trainer, keeping in mind the background of these children.

Children from nursery to class - 10 are admitted who have never had the opportunity to go to school before. They have been selling shopping bags, flowers,and sweets at the Darbar since a very young age. Devoid of comfort, security, love and care and have always had to fend for themselves. They are now in Mashal School. Local teachers from the community have been trained in active learning methods of teaching by a professional teacher training workshops conducted at the school special emphasis given to cater for the children's social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs. At present we have 448 students. Special emphasis is given to early childhood education and we have 200 children in our nursery classes. These classes have two teachers each.

Evening Program

Started the Sewing Centre for the women whose children are at the school so that they are able to stitch for there families . At the moment we have enrolled 40 mothers and sisters in these classes.


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