In Summer 2018, “Hansti Basti” or “Happy Hoods,” a program organized by Cities For Children in collaboration with Pehli Kiran Schools and the Community Support Program at Bahria University (BUIC) in Islamabad. It was designed to ensure that over the course of six weeks, Pehli Kiran students worked with volunteer mentors to build social-emotional skills and create an environment where they felt encouraged to go to school. Each session had its own theme, and a combination of art, theatre, or discussion-based activities.
From Hansti Basti program, a teacher of the Pehli Kiran Schools (PKS) followed up with the observation of the project’s impact:
“The Hansti Basti program was not just informative for the children but also for the teachers. Such activities are very important because they have encouraged children to come to school happily [and build] confidence”.
PKS managing trustee, Ms. Sabira Qureshi shared her views on how the Program made a huge impact:
“We introduced the Hansti Basti Program in one of our schools where we were facing challenges. That school is located in a community where crime is high. So the children are used to wandering on the streets. They were not drawn towards studies because that’s what they see around them. Within a few months of implementing the Hansti Basti Program, we saw a record change in our progress indicators. Our enrollment grew, our attendance improved, and kids showed great interest. They kept demanding from the teachers for music theatre, drama, and art activities. Teachers responded to children’s demands and we provided schools with more material.”
Pehli Kiran Schools considers a ‘whole child’ approach in its educational philosophy, instilling confidence and providing character education by exposure to positive role models.
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