For development and humanitarian interventions to be effective, they must meet the needs of affected populations, and must be implemented in ways that ensure the accountability of humanitarian actors towards communities they aim to serve. To do so, Community World Service Asia believes in strengthening the Quality and Accountability (Q&A) mechanisms at an organizational level by effectively investing in building and enhancing the capacities of staff and partners.

To address the capacity needs and equip staff with the most updated information and relevant skill required for effective implementation of projects and engagement with stakeholders, CWSA organized a series of internal trainings for staff members in the last quarter of 2019.

Trainings on ‘Do No Harm’, ‘Gender Inclusion in Emergencies’, Effective Communication through Transactional Analysis(TA)’, and ‘Leadership and Teambuilding’ were participated by forty-eight staff members in Umerkot, Sindh province.  These trainings were facilitated by Moazzam Ali and  Sohail Muhammad who are both consultants with CWSA and carry decades of experience on organizational management, development programs and leadership.

In October the training on Gender Inclusion took place which focused on teaching participants the minimum standards required for gender inclusion and protection in different emergencies; its forms; and strategies for prevention of gender inequality during emergencies. In the same month, a daylong session on Do No Harm was conducted. Participants were introduced to the concept and background of Do No Harm and learnt about the sources of tension; “dividers” and local capacities for peace “connectors”, in the communities. Staff members were sensitized on how to respond to negative feedback and complaints from the affected communities they work with. The Do No Harm framework and its application in projects’ activities and events was also thoroughly explained to participants during this session.

Interactive and activity-based trainings on ‘Staff Professional Development’, ‘Effective Communication through Transactional Analysis (TA)’ and Leadership Skills and Team Building Strategies were conducted in November for the same project teams in Umerkot.

Participants’ Experience:

“The participatory approach carried out during the sessions encouraged us to participate actively throughout. We took grave interest in group exercises and shared our learnings and experiences with new staff.”

Mir Hassan, Agriculture Officer
Disaster Risk Reduction/Food Security Project

“The training on “Gender Inclusion in Emergencies” was very informative and I learned a lot of new things in relation to Disaster Management in emergencies. The session provided information on gender equality and equity, gender sensitivity approaches in disaster management. The methodology applied during the session made it easy for us to understand and implement the learnings in our working environment.”

Shama Shano, Community Mobilizer
Disaster Risk Reduction/Food Security Project

Nazar Mohammad, a grade three teacher, used to be very strict with his students. He was new to the field of academics but he really enjoyed teaching and loved his students. One day at school, his students were being particularly rowdy. Frustrated with the students being unmanageable, he started yelling at his students. That scared them a little and after five long minutes of silence, Nazar stood at the front of the class saying,

The only child interested in learning in this class is this young boy here. He is the only one who says ‘Wow, that’s interesting’.

Nazar was pointing at his student named Sanjay.

Being made an example for the entire class, Sanjay felt very motivated. This was the power of validation. Sanjay did love studying and his teacher acknowledged that.

After a few months though, Nazar noticed that Sanjay had stopped coming to school. After inquiring, he learned that Sanjay had started working at a cobbler’s shop to support his family with their household expenses. Sanjay’s father was also a good acquaintance of Nazar, so he asked him why he would make his son to work at a cobbler’s shop when he would have the capacity to earn a much better livelihood if he would complete his education.

Such simple words were all that was needed to make Sanjay’s father reconsider his decision of making Sanjay work at such a young age. He remembered Nazar’s words,

Trust your child.

Mr. Nazar continued to question and speculate Sanjay’s father about the reasons behind making his son work at this age. He also feared that his questioning may offend the father but it did not stop him from pressing him to change his mind. After a long silence, Sanjay’s father,

I can only send Sanjay to study in the evening if you are willing to teach him at that time.

Nazar replied with a sure ‘yes’.

I will teach him in the evening.

After many years of evening schooling with Nazar, Sanjay completed his primary and secondary education. HE also continued to complete his college and attained a bachelor’s degree from a university too. Both Sanjay and Nazar struggled along the way, but Mr. Nazar did not give up on Sanjay. He consistently motivated and mentored Sanjay until he became a doctor one day.

Sanjay is now a certified practicing doctor in Karachi. Nazar happily shares,

I am proud of Sanjay. It is all just because of his hard work and commitment that he has achieved all of this. Us teachers have to light up the way for our students even at times of difficulties, it is our duty to ensure they do not give up.

However Nazar was not the part of this project at that time but due to his disability he possesses empathy to provide equal opportunity to those children who are away from education Mr. Nazar is associated with Community World Service Asia for one year in Education project which mainly aims on Early childhood Care and Education its focus, hence, is on catering to overall child development rather than academic readiness or cognitive development alone. However, ensuring quality benchmark parameters in preschools undoubtedly aims at upscaling standards through standardization. Unfortunately, when it comes to local customization and administering a curriculum tailored to suit the specific learning needs of a child, standardization of curriculum might come as a challenge. It, however, does not mean focusing on academics alone but paying equal attention to developing life-skills, offering fun-based exploratory learning activities to the child during his formative years. It defends and promotes the rights of children to education, care and supports activities improving accessibility to high-quality education and care. Nazar was assigned in another class but after receiving training on Early Childhood Care and Education he decided to conduct ECCE class due to its arising challenges and finding it most crowded among other classes with the enrollment of 70-80 students.

I was hesitant to attend any training because of the expected behavior of dealing with disabled people. But the way, the team treated me with respect and gave me equal opportunity to participate in each activity with others. To be seen not as a disable individual to do something, but as a normal person to participate, learn and grow. It motivated me to attend more training and take ECCE class in school because managing a room full of young children can be delightful, but it can also be hard and can drain a lot of your energy. The day-to-day challenges you will face can range from dealing with difficult behaviors to crying and cranky children. Throughout the day, you must balance all of their unique needs to keep your classroom functioning smoothly.

said Nazar.

Good leaders are made, not born. If you have the desire and willpower, you can become an effective leader. Good leaders develop through a never-ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience.

Jago, 1982

With over fifteen years of experience in the development sector, Muhammad Bux Kumbhar’s passion is to advocate for the rights of disadvantaged communities. As an Executive Director of a local organization named, Sukaar Welfare, Muhammad Bux works to achieve women and youth empowerment through community development and advocacy initiatives. For years Muhammad Bux has been engaged in global networking and voluntary activism initiatives with different partners on issues such as child marriages, sexual and reproductive health, nutrition, youth empowerment and gender mainstreaming. He regularly participates in social and digital awareness-building campaigns and writes proposals to implement relevant local projects.

As an active member of the District Engagement Group[1], we engage with different government departments such as Social Welfare, Women Development, Health, Education and the Police to build relationships and influence public authorities and provincial stakeholders on structures of law and policies related to women empowerment,

shared Muhammad Bux.

Finding the topic relevant to his responsibilities, Muhammad Bux registered himself for a four-day training titled, Influencing for Social Change, organized by Community World Service Asia. Impressed with the trainer’s twenty-five year national and global experience, Muhammad Bux could not contain his excitement to participate in the training.

Muhammad Bux shared that the training offered participants practical \ tools that were easily applicable in their daily work.

The training helped us understand the influence processes that can lead to achieving sustainable change. During the training, participants developed awareness-raising campaigns focused on influencing effectively through the use of different tools. We analyzed risks and sensitive features involved in designing influential campaigns,

he said.

The training enhanced the participants’ knowledge and skills on developing effective and persuasive educative campaigns that could lead to social change. Muhammad Bux was able to apply the learnings from the training to his work immediately. He said,

On my return, I modified the language of our nature of work. During our coordination campaigns, we now use new terms like ‘influencing,’ ‘networking’ and ‘liaising with stakeholders.’ I replicated part of the training and transferred the learning amongst the staff of Sukaar Welfare organization. They are already engaged voluntarily with organizational campaigns, so they understand the new term ‘influencing for social change’. I also shared my key learnings from the training to ensure more impact of the advocacy work done and to help our organization influence the communities effectively and resolve our issues with stakeholders.

Sukaar Welfare is now reevaluating and restructuring their advocacy strategies to be able to bring about more effective social change among the communities it works with.

[1] Formed under the ‘Every Voice Counts’ project, implemented by CWSA and supported by CARE International

For a zero hunger world, people around the globe should eat healthy diets, the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has said in a booklet that is released ahead of World Food Day on October 16.

The goal of the UN-mandated Sustainable Development Goals of meeting ‘zero hunger’, according to the document, can be met by eating more seasonal fruits and vegetables and reducing the consumption of junk food. Over 820 million people — approximately one in nine people around the world — were hungry, and malnutrition affected one in every three people, the FAO noted.

To share the learning, Community World Service Asia organized a session in the village of Padmoo Bheel Union Council Khararo Charan, District Umerkot on October 16. Fifteen men and women from the community participated in the activity. The session focused on the theme which said “Our Actions Are Our Future. Healthy Diets for a #ZeroHunger World”. As a result of globalization, urbanization and income growth, our diets and eating habits have changed. The event generated awareness who suffer from hunger and increased knowledge for food security and nutritious diet intakes for all. Communities were sensitized on ensuring food security in households and how to avoid wasting food at home, marriage ceremonies and other communal gatherings.

Community Voices:

The session was very informative in terms of learning how to avoid food wastage and eat healthy food items for better health. New learning for me was food being our fundamental and basic right.

Janat from Padmoo Bheel village, Umerkot

It is important to make food as per the needs and number of people. Excess food often is wasted which is not good. The session shed light on how food is made excessively in communal gatherings and is wasted in large number. We will in the future make the food according to the need and number of people.

Ranjeet from Padmoo Bheel village, Umerkotet

Pribhat theater group performing a play on the role of rural women in climate resilience.

Community World Service Asia, in collaboration with the Social Welfare Department and District Engagement Group[1] (DEG) Umerkot, celebrated the International Day of Rural Women 2019 to pay tribute to the rural women who are playing a vital role in the development of their communities. More than three hundred people attended the event.  Participants of the celebratory event included representatives from the district administration, police force, local government, the Population Welfare Department, Women Development Department, civil society organizations, teachers, artisans and the rural women of the district.

At the event, rural women were awarded appreciation shields for their proactive role in promoting socio-economic and cultural development in their communities. A local theater group, named Pirbhat, performed a play that conveyed messages on the role of rural women in societal development and climate change awareness as part of one of the event. The play was emotional in nature and gave a strong message. As part of the event format, participating human rights defenders, specialists and relevant government representatives gave inspirational speeches and acknowledged the contribution of women in socio-economic development, food security and rural development. Stall was set which displayed handcrafted apparel and home accessories produced by rural artisans.

Contributions and Challenges of Rural Women

The crucial role that women and girls play in ensuring the sustainability of rural households and communities and their overall contribution towards improving rural livelihoods and community wellbeing has lately been increasingly recognized. Women account for a substantial proportion of the agricultural labor force, including informal work, and perform the bulk of unpaid care and domestic work within families and households in rural areas. They make significant contributions to agricultural production, food security and nutrition, land and natural resource management, and building climate resilience.

Structural barriers and discriminatory social norms continue to constrain women’s decision-making power and political participation in rural households and communities. Women and girls in rural areas lack equal access to productive resources and assets, public services such as education and health care, and infrastructure, including water and sanitation, while much of their labor remains invisible and unpaid, even as their workloads become increasingly heavy due to the emigration of men. Globally, with few exceptions, every gender and development indicator for which data are available reveals that rural women fare worse than rural men and urban women and that they disproportionately experience poverty, exclusion and the effects of climate change.

The impacts of climate change, including on access to productive and natural resources, amplify existing gender inequalities in rural areas. Climate change affects women’s and men’s assets and well-being differently in terms of agricultural production, food security, health, water and energy resources, climate-induced migration and conflict, and climate-related natural disasters.

Comments from Speakers

Rashida Saand, renowned women’s rights worker from Umerkot, commented during her speech,

We believe that rural women have unique ideas and indigenous solutions to solve the current challenges facing a society that must be heard by the government and decision-makers. To benefit from the wisdom of women, community organizations must amplify the voices of rural women and call for women’s inclusion in the decision-making process at all levels.

Tarique Waheed Baloch from Women Development Department said that, on the occasion of the International Day of Rural Women,

They shall be encouraged to struggle for their just right of education, social welfare, and their legitimate rights. Village girls should be encouraged to get an education and step ahead in the field. Rural women face, among other problems, under-age marriages, and domestic violence, while they also share in work with men in agriculture and livestock farming besides sewing and embroidery. The government should ensure that technical training programs for rural women in the field of vocational training be started to provide them with opportunities to earn better incomes and live a better life along with educating their children.

Muhammad Bux Kumbhar, DEG member, said the observance day recognizes,

The critical role and contribution of rural women in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty. As the world faces a critical need to act against climate change, this year’s theme highlights the important role that rural women and girls play in building resilience to face the climate crisis. Rural women represent the backbone of many communities, but they continue to face obstacles that prevent them from realizing their potential. The devastating impacts of climate change add to their hardship. Almost a third of women’s employment worldwide is in agriculture. Women cultivate land, collect food, water, and essential fuels, and sustain entire households, but lack equal access to land, finances, equipment, markets and decision-making power.

The guest of honor, Dr. Rubi Dharmdas from Umerkot, paid thanks and applauded Community World Service Asia, the Social Welfare Department Umerkot and District Engagement Groups for organizing such a great event to pay tribute to rural women. She added,

The contribution of the rural women is not being given due importance. Moreover, the right to basic facilities such as education and health are also overlooked. This is a great tradition initiated by Community World Service Asia to honor rural women by giving them due respect in terms of awards, as it will encourage many rural women to play a vital role in society.

[1] The District Engagement Group (DEG) comprises representatives from district-based CSOs, Steering Committees and Social Welfare Department responsible for networking and influencing relevant stakeholders and government departments on implementation of laws and policies related to women empowerment.

Ali Sher Ranto, the son of a poor farmer, was eager to get an education and have a better life. Despite facing significant economic challenges during his schooling, he pressed on and completed his bachelor’s degree. Now, with new learnings and skills from the trainings organized by Community World Service Asia (CWSA), Ali Sher is helping to make life better for others in his village as well.

Ali Sher lives in the rural village of Ranta, located in Sindh’s Union Council Bijora. The village faces several social and economic challenges, including poor infrastructure, low literacy rate, lack of water, sanitation, and hygiene systems and practices, and limited livelihood opportunities. While a few individuals in Ranta are well educated, due to high unemployment rates and limited resources, many of them are jobless. Despite his degree, Ali Sher was one of them.

Since 2015, Ali Sher has been an active member of the Health Management Committeeⁱ in Ranta. He has been committed to bringing positive change in his village and area. He has actively participated in several events and trainings organized by Community World Service Asia including Community Management Skills, Disaster Risk Management, Leadership and Record Keeping, and Health and Hygiene. The learnings have helped Ali Sher to convey healthcare messages to others in his community as well.

“As a member of the health management committee and a representative of my village, it is my prime responsibility to think about and work to improve social issues within my village and area. I am determined to contribute to the development of my village, so I decided to teach the children on a voluntary basis to promote education in our area. This all happened with the knowledge and awareness that we obtained from meetings, trainings, seminars and workshops organized by Community World Service Asia and other organizations,” shared Ali Sher.

Today Ali Sher voluntarily teaches children at the primary school he himself once attended in his village. He has been doing this for three years now. He teaches classes one to five. In addition, he is supporting the school staff members in forming a school health and hygiene club in the same village. Through the club, he will impart the knowledge he has gained from the health and hygiene sessions he attended under the health project. As a result, Ali Sher’s students are more active, disciplined and healthy.

ⁱ Health Management Committee formed under the Health project to ensure community participation, ownership and support to communities in building awareness.

Health sessions were conducted where community members were provided with IEC material for better understanding to build a hygienic living environment.

Community World Service Asia (CWSA) provides basic health services with a focus on Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Care (MNCH) under its Umerkot Health Project, supported by Act for Peace. The project is implemented in two Taluka Headquarter Hospitals (THQs) in district Umerkot, namely THQ Pithoro and THQ Samaro.

Free medical camps are set up, under the health project, to bring health care and health education to vulnerable populations who have no access to basic health care services or knowledge about diseases. The medical camps aim at providing free medical advice, medicine and referrals for specialized treatment if required. These camps make sure that people receive health care at the right time and see a doctor early enough before a small health problem turns serious.

The health team organized a free medical camp on September 24, 2019, in the village of Maryam Nagar, Taluka Pithoro, District Umerkot. This village is nine kilometers away from THQ Pithoro and lacks a regular transport facility in the area. Patients from more than four surrounding villages came to the camp for treatment; in total, 127 patients were treated, including 55 women and 7 men, 29 girls and 36 boys. Five antenatal care (ANC), three postnatal care (PNC), and six family planning patients were diagnosed and provided with medical services. The remaining 113 patients were treated through the outpatient department and provided with free medicine. Major diseases diagnosed and treated during the camp were anemia, scabies, musculoskeletal pain, diarrhea and ear and eye infections.

The Village Health Committee (comprised of both women and men) was involved in organizing the camp and facilitating the patients, while community mobilizers delivered health education sessions to women, men and children on food and nutrition as well as on the causes, symptoms and preventive measures for malaria and dengue fever. The community mobilizers also distributed Information, Education and Communication (IEC) material on related topics.

The Government Girls Primary School (GGPS) Abdul Wahid Colony in Umerkot, Pakistan, was struggling with low enrollment, low attendance and low engagement from the School Management Committee (SMC). In 2015, the school had a total of 80 students, with only 20 students newly enrolled. Sami, the school’s principal, identified several reasons.

Weak infrastructure and limited basic facilities discourage parents from sending their children to schools in Umerkot. Moreover, far off distances, social evils and child labor contribute to the high illiteracy rate as well. Teachers in schools often use old methodologies of teaching, such as reading the lessons, giving lectures and assigning lengthy homework. As a result, students do not have positive outcomes and lose interest in studies,

she said.

In 2016, Community World Service Asia invited teachers from the school to attend Teachers’ Trainings as part of the Girls’ Education Projectⁱ.  In 2017 and 2018, six teachers from GGPS Abdul Wahid Colony—Sakeena, Mariat, Mohni, Naheed, Tania and Sami—were trained on pedagogical skills, early childhood care and education (ECCE) teaching methodologies and implementation of the Scheme of Studiesⁱⁱ.

When Community World Service Asia came to us,

said Sami,

things started to change gradually.

Putting New Methods into Action

Sami was pleased with how practical and hands-on the trainings were, packed with new strategies they could implement right away. For example, they learned about new ways to engage with their students, such as involving them in morning meetings to increase social interactions and in practical work to build interest in learning. The training also placed strong emphasis on lesson planning, which has renewed the teachers’ excitement and dedication to their lessons.

Naheed attended a Teachers’ Training focused on ECCE Scheme of Studies and ECCE Methodologies in January 2019. Back in the classroom, she began implementing new teaching methodologies involving group work, pair activities and learning through play. Since then, Sami observed,

Students have become confident and regularly attend school, as they are enjoying their studies.

Sharing her learning experience, Naheed said,

We have developed a different attitude towards our students after the trainings. The child-friendly environment created in our classrooms has encouraged students to learn more freely and ask questions frequently without any hesitation. The quality of education has improved immensely as students are more engaged in active learning.

Naheed and the other teachers have also worked to increase teacher-parent interaction, with positive results among both students and their parents.

Parents are more involved in their children’s education updates and have witnessed the support the teachers give to their students in school. We have received positive feedback regarding teachers’ behavior with their children and the children’s increased interest in studies,

Sami added.

The students have noticed the difference. Humera, a student from class 4, shared,

There is so much change in our classroom. Our teacher, Naheed, encouraged us to participate in sports and cultural events and academic activities. We meet with students from different schools in these events and now I have made many friends in Umerkot. My parents motivate me to study hard after the parent-teacher meetings. They are very supportive and helpful, especially when I do my homework.

Reinvigorating the School Management Committee

The School Management Committee (SMC) of GGPS Abdul Wahid Colony is comprised of a General Secretary, a chairman, two teachers, two parents and two students. Its primary functions are to monitor teacher attendance, increase student enrollment and build awareness among parents on the importance of education for their children. It also holds administrative functions such as organizing co-curriculum activities, monitoring provision of free textbooks and disbursing SMC funds for improving the school. Unfortunately, the committee had not been fully engaged in its duties.

Abdul Razzaque, Senior MEAL Officer at Community World Service Asia, conducted a session for the SMC in February 2018, emphasizing the key role of the SMC in strengthening relationships between the schools and local communities. He highlighted each of the SMC’s functions and why it was important.

Shahida, who has served as the chairman of the SMC since 2017, said the difference was dramatic.

It was after the teachers’ training and SMC session that the SMC of Abdul Wahid Colony was actively involved in the school’s operations and academic decisions. The learnings provided by Community World Service Asia further built on our capacities to work towards better outcomes for our students, teachers and the entire school system,

 she said.

Sami is very pleased with the progress she has seen at the school since her team started to work with Community World Service Asia and implement what they learned through Teachers’ Trainings.

This year we have enrolled 60 new students, and today, a total of 210 students are studying in GGPS Abdul Wahid Colony. Moreover, 50% of the parents come to us for regular updates regarding their children’s progress after the Parent-Teacher meeting held in collaboration with Community World Service Asia,

she said.

ⁱ Improving Access and Quality of Education for Girls in Umerkot Project is implemented by Community World Service Asia with the support of Act for Peace.

ⁱⁱ A guideline for teachers that defines the structure and content of an academic course, its learning outcomes.

Representative of University of Agriculture Tando Jam delivering a presentation.

Water scarcity is one of the main challenges for communities in the Thar Desert, which also includes almost half of Umerkot district. During field operations, Community World Service Asia and partners observed significant negative impact on the lives and well-being of the local communities from chronic water shortage and drought, putting these communities at high risk. Their main sources of income are agriculture and livestock, which are totally dependent on the availability of water. Owing to these issues, Community World Service Asia is partnering with Community World Service Japan (CWS Japan) and Japan Conservation Engineers & Company Limited (JCE) to implement an emergencies project to enhance drought-related disaster resilience by improving access to water and supporting drought-resilient agricultural practices in Umerkot district.

Under this project, the partners organized a one-day workshop on August 30, 2019, to determine how various stakeholders within government and non-government organizations can better coordinate to resolve these issues. Key questions to explore included how to determine the best locations for well digging; how technologies can be used to identify potential areas for aquafers; and how communities and relevant government departments can support the maintenance of these resources to make them more sustainable.

The training drew an estimated 25 participants from government departments such as the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), Arid Zone Agriculture Research Institute (AZRI), Extension Department, Pakistan Meteorological Department, Sindh University of Tando Jam, Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Sindh, Public Health Engineering Department (PHED), and Water Management Department as well as staff from Community World Service Asia.

Mir Hassan from Community World Service Asia started the workshop with an overview of the project and its stakeholders. During the training, the participating government agencies were given a chance to share about their roles, responsibilities and achievements in the field of disaster management to highlight best practices and find synergies in support of the at-risk communities. Representatives from PDMA Sindh, Sindh University of Tando Jam and Pakistan Metrological Department began by presenting their work and areas of expertise.

Then the lead trainer, Takeshi Komino of CWS Japan, shared the findings of the field visit with the workshop participants and discussed where collaboration is required to address the water-related issues of the communities. He also shared how potential areas for digging wells can be determined in cheaper and more appropriate ways using technology and how Electrical Resistivity Surveys can be done at specific locations to get clean water.

Then the representative from PDMA Sindh, Ajay Kumar, shared about their mandate and the response they have extended to the drought-affected communities to date. The representative of the Sindh University of Tando Jam, Arshad Narejo, followed by sharing about their work in the field of Disaster Risk Management. Then a representative from the Pakistan Meteorological Department, Abid Laghari, shared about their research and existing resources and how one can efficiently utilize meteorological data to minimize a community’s vulnerability to drought and other disasters.

The workshop was concluded with a note of thanks by Komino for the participants’ collaboration and expertise in service to the communities affected by the drought.

The role of the community members in the education system is immensely valuable.  It can lead to greater advantages in terms of improved school functions, low dropout rates and increased positive attitude of parents toward the schools. Community participation contributes in strengthening the education system as a whole,

shared Saleem Malik, Chairman of the School Management Committee (SMC) at Government Girls Campus Pithoro. Located in Umerkot city, the school has a total enrollment of 80 girl students. According to Saleem, the inactive role of the SMC in the planning, implementation and monitoring of developmental programs for the school has decreased academic achievement.

92% of the SMC members have not appeared in meetings or have not attended any training in relation to school management. They did not have a clear idea of their responsibilities towards the development of the school until they attended the session conducted by Community World Service Asia.

The SMC session conducted in March 2019 by Farhat Fairy, Project Officer at Community World Service Asia, was attended by 7 SMC members including parents, students, community members and head teacher.

The session was very informative and effective. We learnt about the important functions of the SMC including monitoring teachers’ attendance, utilizing the SMC funds to improve schools’ infrastructure, disbursement of stipends to girl students and sensitizing parents on the importance of education. We initiated quarterly meetings to implement the learnings of the session. The SMC encouraged mothers of children in the school to participate in meetings and as a result, mother of 10 students attended the first quarterly meeting in April 2019. This achievement shows that parents are realizing the importance of education and are eager to send their children to school for quality education, especially girls,

 said Saleem.

The school has been associated with Community World Service Asia since 2018, under the Girls’ Education Project[1].

The Teachers’ Trainings trained our teachers on Positive Learning Environment and ECCE[2] Methodologies and Scheme of Studies. Two of our teachers participated in the trainings which were held on November 2018 and January 2019. They implemented the learning in the school and introduced new teaching methodologies, creating child-friendly classrooms. Students now feel comfortable in asking questions and are engaged in practical activities which have built the confidence level of the girls, 

shared Saleem. The new teaching methodologies, according to Saleem, have improved student relations with fellow classmates and the teachers. Group work activities have encouraged team building and strengthened communication skills in the students’ learning processes.

Seema, a teacher from Government Girls Campus Pithoro, said,

We have made the classroom rules with the students. The involvement of students in rule-making processes have helped them set their own boundaries, and learn the difference between what is right and wrong. They actively follow the rules in the classrooms as they have set these rules. The rules are listed on a chart paper and displayed on the wall for every student to read in the classroom.

As a teacher, Seema feels that the teacher’s positive and friendly gestures in the classroom reflect the behaviors of children.

By being cheerful and active in class, children will be encouraged to do the same. If we follow the rules, the students will also be motivated to follow the same. Likewise, if a child breaks any rule, we as teachers should act calmly and explain the child what they have done wrong, rather than being aggressive or loud. The trainings have helped in transforming our attitudes with the students, consequently building a trustworthy and friendly relationship between us.

Nisha, a student of class 5, shared,

All girls in the classroom are friends together. Our teacher, Ms. Seema, has taught us to act kindly and friendly with students of other classes as well. She continuously encourages us to behave at our best. Moreover, I encourage other students to construct their own classroom rules to follow so that they can also have a clean and well-behaved classroom like ours.

[1] Improving Access and Quality of Education for Girls in Umerkot Project, implemented by Community World Service Asia and supported by Act for Peace.

[2] Early Childhood Care and Education