Shaheer Ahmed Piracha

Pakistan is a developing country with a very low literacy rate. A large proportion of the population is living below poverty line. In order to help these masses, a number of NGOs have taken up the responsibility to give hope to the poor citizens. One NGO CARE especially focuses its attention on underprivileged children through providing free education. As the chairman of CARE said that education is the only weapon that can raise your stature.

During the summer, 13 members of Aitchison College took a front line stance by helping the impressionable youth. An intensive programme called ‘The Literacy Initiative’ was devised. The aim of the programme was improving not only the vocal and written skills of the young people, but also to instill a better understanding of the English language. The objective was to make the students skilled and fluent in all areas of communication. The delegation initiated the programme at the CARE School, near Sheikupura. The programme was comprised of various creative writing exercises, vocabulary building and grammar skills activities. It especially focused on oral expression and effective communication through debates, spoken conversations and reading books. In order to engage the learners, extra activities were incorporated such as educational field trips, watching documentaries and playing interactive games like ‘Hangman.’ In the first assignment nearly all of the students failed to write a well-structured and coherent essay with any paragraphs at all, whereas in the final assignment each one of them produced acceptable, meaningful pieces of writing. This result demonstrated the progress they had made in a short space of time, and also showed the talent that sits within people, waiting to be discovered and developed.

I believe that each one of us has been gifted with special talents and capabilities and when we share them with others it makes a difference. Still a lot more needs to be done. We must think of the larger goals that loom above us: to alleviate illiteracy and accomplish the dream of an educated and prosperous Pakistan.

“Empowerment through education”