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ACTIVISM PROJECT
 
CURRENT WORK: ACTIVISM PROJECT
 
The Activism Project was introduced in August 2005 as an opportunity for a school to take part in teaching children active and responsible citizenship and to move a step further in training a whole generation in social activism.
 
Previous projects have taken place on the following issues:
Small Arms – its proliferation and illegal use
Earthquake – reconstruction (in the affected areas) and looking at how prepared our country is for emergencies and natural disasters
Billboards – violation of byelaws, visual pollution of the city and safety hazard
Disability & Special Needs – the problems faced by people with disabilities in their daily lives and the discrimination they face.
Violence – saying ‘NO’ to violence instead of accepting it as ‘normal’, understanding its causes and effects and pledging against violence of all kinds on a personal level.
Are We Prepared for Emergencies? - The infrastructure of disaster management. – looking at the effectiveness of emergency services in the city. How prepared is a school in the face of an emergency, and what can be done to improve the levels of safety and security in the event of a crisis.
 
THE PROCESS
Children and teachers from selected schools attend a 2 day workshop on the topic.
 
Day Session 1: Understanding the issue
On the first day of the workshop students and teachers collect information and gain a well rounded understanding of an issue by:
listening to relevant speakers,
watching films or going on field trips,
working in small groups to form their own views on a particular issue
forming a strategy on how to create a greater awareness of the issue and what activism activities could be done in their schools to make a change.
 
Activism Period (one month in schools)
The Students and teachers then return to their schools to implement their one month’s activism strategy and try out various structured activities in their respective schools. (e.g. pledge signing, holding assemblies to create awareness etc)
 
Day Session 2: Presentations, Reflections and Lobbying
The children then return for the second day of the workshop after the one month’s activism and
   
recap the learning that has taken place so far
give presentations of the activities they conducted in their schools over the last month
discuss the successes and the difficulties faced
are trained on how to lobby with an official to persuade them to see the need to make a change
go on a field trip to a relevant institution, or invite an official to attend the workshop and conduct structured lobbying activities in which the students have the opportunity to ask questions related to the issue.
 
SMALL ARMS
its proliferation and illegal use
Speakers Field trip Lobbying Activities
• Dr Kaiser Bengali (Professor of Economics - Szabist)

• Ms Amber Alibhai (lifelong social activist)

• Mr Rizwan Abdullah (General secretary of SHEHRI – an organisation to raise awareness about environmental issues and responsibilities of citizens)

• Mr Ghazi Salahuddin (journalist)

• Ms Saima Anwar (Save the Children UK)

• Citizen Police Liason Committee (CPLC) – Chief of CPLC Mr Sharifuddin Memon

• Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Operations – Clifton Town Police Officer, Mr Imran Shaukat

• Mr Shoaib Siddiqui, Special Secretary, Home Department, Govt of Sindh

• Mr Hamish Daniel, British Deputy High Commissioner

• A panel discussion with the three speakers, Dr Kaiser Bengali, Ms Amber Alibhai, Mr Rizwan Abdullah.

• Million Faces Petition – collecting signatures. This petition was part of the ‘Control Arms campaign’ run by Oxfam International, Amnesty International, and the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) to limit the trade and improper use of firearms, and pushing governments to create an international treaty limiting the trade in small arms and light weapons.

• Letter written by children from 36 schools protesting a small arms ad published in DAWN newspaper on ‘Defence Equipment’. Apology received from DAWN for offending the children.

 
EARTHQUAKE
reconstruction (in the affected areas) and looking at how prepared our country is for emergencies and natural disasters
 

Speakers

Field Trip

Lobbying

Activities

• Mr Arif Hasan –Architect and Urban Planner

• Mr Naeem Sadiq – Chief Executive, Quality Concerns

• Mr Ghazi Salahuddin Editorial Director at GEO TV

• Mr Ghulam Mustafa (GEO TV) – one of the first reporters to cover the earthquake tragedy of 2005

• Ms. Safina Siddiqui – a social activist

• Sindh Institute of Urology & Transplantation (SIUT) – Dr Adeebul Hasan Rizvi, and a team of doctors: Dr Ashar Aslam, Dr Siraj Islam Bhatti and Dr Ali Asghar, who went to help in the areas affected by the earthquake

• GEO Newsroom – to see how tv channels receive the news to presenting it on the tv.

• Mr Saeed Ghani – Member of the Opposition, Karachi City Council – to relay concerns and petition to pass on to the City Nazim • Collecting signatures on a petition to the City Nazim to make better disaster management systems in the city so that it is prepared to handle a minor or major disaster.
 
BILLBOARDS
violation of byelaws, visual pollution of the city and safety hazard
 

Speakers

Field Trips

Lobbying

Activities

• Ms Anna Khan
Plan International

• Mr Roland D’Souza
Environmental Activist (SHEHRI)

• Mr Tasneem Siddiqui
Director (Saiban)
• City District Government Karachi Offices (CDGK) – District Officer, Dept of Revenue (local taxes) Mr Ali Hasan Naqvi and Deputy District Officer, Mr Afaq Mirza • Karachi Press Club Mr Ghazi Salahuddin, President of the Press Club

• Office of Naib Nazim – Nasreen Jalil, City District Government of Karachi (CDGK)

• Unilever Office
Sania Sattar (Communications Manager), Ms Naima Ismail (Corporate Social Responsibilty Manager)

• Letters written to the Marketing Managers of 16 companies to make sure their billboards are compliant with the ‘Advertisement and Signs Rules 2003’. (Bank Al Falah, Citibank, Cupola, MCB bank, Mobile Zone, Mobilink, Nestle Milkpak, Paksitan Beverages – Pepsi Cola, PSO, Standard Chartered, Ufone and United Mobiles)

• Protesting with placards outside the Karachi Press Club

• Collecting signatures on a petition to the City Nazim in support of his campaign against illegal billboards

 
DISABILITY & SPECIAL NEEDS
the problems faced by people with disabilities in their daily lives and the discrimination they face.
 

Speakers

Field Trip

Lobbying

Activities

• Mr Zaigham Mahmood Rizvi, Patron-in-Chief of the Deaf Association of Pakistan

• Ms Farhat Rasheed, President of Show You Care

• Ms Shirin Rasheed, parent of a wheelchair-bound person

• Mr Adil Asif Visram, Athlete from Special Olympics

• Ms Abeer Afridi, Athlete from Special Olympics

• Ms Naseem Ahmad, Volunteer at Special Olympics

• Dr Habiba Hasan, founding member of AURA

• Al-Umeed Rehabilitation Association (AURA) – Coordinator Ms Amtul Abbas and Teacher, Ms Shabana • Mr Abbas Nasir, Editor in Chief, DAWN Newspaper

• Mr Shahrukh Hasan, General Manager Editorial and Project Management, Jang Group

• Mr Mehdi Raza, Chief Executive Officer, radio channel, FM 107

• Petition to the Prime Minister requesting him to make Pakistan a signatory of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

• Letter written to Director of Goethe Institut, Dr Petra Raymond requesting facilities be available at the Institut for people with disabilities.

 
VIOLENCE
saying ‘NO’ to violence instead of accepting it as ‘normal’, understanding its causes and effects and pledging against violence of all kinds on a personal level
 

Speakers

Field Trip

Lobbying

Activities

Mr Azhar Abbas – Head of News and Current Affairs, DAWN News TV

Mr Omar R. Qureshi – Editor, THE NEWS International

Ms Sumera Saeed Naqvi – Journalist

Dr Ehsanullah Syed – Associate Professor Psychiatry Department, AKU

Dr Shifa Naeem – Psychiatrist, with special focus on stress and anger management

Dr Zubaida Qureshi – Senior Consultant Radiologist, Director of Mall Clinic

Mr Aziz Suharwardy – Chairman of Neighbourhood Care (DHA)

Ms Nosheen Ali - Academic Reasearcher in Development Sociology

Citizen Police Liason Committee:
Mr Sharifuddin Memon, Chief of CPLC

Governor House:
Mr Ishrat-ul-Ibad, Governor of Sindh
Mr Shujat Baig, Minister of Education
Ms Rabia Javeri, Special Secretary to the Governor

Home Department:
Mr Arif Ahmad Khan, Secretary Ministry of Interior
Mr Asif Hyder  Shah, Additional Secretary (Admin) Ministry
Ms Iffat Malik, Deputy Secretary (Admin) Ministry of Interior

Police Department:
Mr Sabir Husain, Sub Inspector
Mr Tariq Mahmud, Sub Inspector
Mr Fida Hussain, Assistant Sub Inspector
Ms Syeda Ghazala, SHO, Women Police Station

Home Department:
Mr Asif Hyder Shah, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Interior Home Department
Ms Iffat Malik, Deputy Secretary, Minister of Interior Home Department

Pledge – ‘Say NO to Violence’.
20,523 pledges were signed
 
ARE WE PREPARED FOR EMERGENCIES?
The infrastructure of disaster management. – looking at the effectiveness of emergency services in the city. How prepared is a school in the face of an emergency, and what can be done to improve the levels of safety and security in the event of a crisis.
 

Speakers

Field Trip

Lobbying

Activities

Mr Naeem Sadiq
Chief Executive, Quality Concerns (Health & Safety Management Consultant)

Wing Commander Jahangir Khan Consultant, Disaster Management Cell, City District Govt, Karachi

Ms Marrion Sheikh Certified Nurse from the UK

Mr Abdullah Sachwani
Project Manager, FOCUS

Ms Aroosa Khan
Journalist, The News

Fire Station:
Officer Mazhar Rafiq, Fire Station Chief.

 A demonstration was given by the fire fighters to show how various fires are put out, the children asked questions as to how fast response times were and which area the fire department covered etc.

In various schools:
Children lobbied with the school administration to put into place fire procedures, assembly points and to reduce hazards in the school.
  • Checklist of safety procedures and equipment to be checked in school
  • First Aid Training by Marrion Sheikh

 

  • How to carry out investigation in schools to identify risks and hazards
 
DISABLED OR DIFFERENTLY-ABLED?
Working towards the implementation of laws that give differently-abled persons the rights they deserve
 
Speakers Field Trips Lobbying Activities
Ms. Sheema Kermani
Social Activist, Classical Dance Teacher

Mr. Aziz Memon
Student, Wheelchair Bound Person with Muscular Dystrophy

Dr. Habiba Hasan
Pediatrician, Human Rights Activist

Ms. Naila Jamall

Head – The Learning Tree, Visually Impaired Person

Ms. Farida Aslam
Head – Institute of Behavioral Psychology

Mr. Sarmad Tariq Motivational Speaker, Wheelchair Bound Person
Ida Rieu
School for the Blind and Deaf

IBP
Institute of Behavioral Psychology
Ms. Nadia Gabol
Provincial Minister for Human Rights

Ms. Uzma Noorani Human Rights Commission of Pakistan

Mr. Shahid Iqbal General Manager, Pakistan Television

Mr. Syed Adeel Azhar

RJ FM107 Morning Show

Ms. Lubna Khalid

Editor, US Magazine (The News)

Mr. Akber Ali

News Reporter FM107

Representatives from Dawn.com

Ms. Rabia
Express News Channel

  • Petition to the Prime Minister requesting him to make Pakistan ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 901,853 signatures collected (till September 15th 2009)
  • Sign Language Class – Learning the Alphabet. Conducted by Ms. Sadaf Majeed & Ms. Rubina Tayyab (Teachers from ABSA School)

  • Decoding Braille Activity
  • ‘Using one hand only!’ Activities
 
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