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Poll Extension: Nursery Home Project By Awaz-e-niswan

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Do you support this much-needed idea of establishing a sustainable and model nursery-cum-home school for 150 (4-8 year of age) children of broken families at District Shiekhupura?
Vote closed!
Yes, I would like to support these children of broken families
 100%  [ 1 ]
No, I would not like to create this nursery-cum-home for poor children
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 1

Author Message
Jehanzeb Noor

Joined: 26 May 2005
Last Visit: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 7
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:40 pm    Post subject: Poll Extension: Nursery Home Project by Awaz-e-Niswan Reply with quote

If you have not voted on this project, please do so now. We are requesting the approval of the $3K funding. However, please note that funds will be released in stages. $1K is planned for January, 2007 activities upon which we will reflect on progress and update our plan of action accordingly. Please see details below:

> 1. Critical Need - Is this a vital/essential need?
As the Vision and Mission of Awaz-e-Niswan (Voice of Women) revolves around the empowerment of weak segments of society particularly single mothers and their children, the need was felt to start a facility for the children of single mothers involved in economic activities particularly working as domestic workers or factory workers. This would not only provide a safe and homely atmosphere for children but also a meeting place for women to address other community issues. The following actions will be taken to address the above need and serve as a model solution:

- To establish a nursery cum home school for children (4-8 year of age) of single mothers heading the families in District Shiekhupura by February 2007
- To provide opportunities to children to get basic education by
September 2008

As background, this profile group of women was found prone to poverty for many reasons including their marital status, lack of access to productive resources and income (land, credit, farming and technical assistance, wage-labor and employment, regular income), the decline of the traditional family support system, the lack of access to services (healthcare and education), size and composition of household (higher dependency burdens) etc.

They were found vulnerable because they face the challenge of making market oriented activities compatible with their domestic responsibilities. Being unskilled, illiterate and their dual role as mothers and workers, the type of jobs available to them is very few. The job option is only within the informal sector since the religious-cum-cultural setting confine females to jobs where sex seclusion can be assured. One of the most likely options is to work as a domestic servant (in people?s homes doing all sorts of domestic chores).

It was reported that women are insecure in the informal sector and can be exploited easily. The exploitation varies from harassment at workplace to rape or sexual abuse. Knowing the fact of these problems, women still work in the informal sector as have no other option.

On the other hand, children suffer a lot in the absence of their mothers especially those who cannot take care of themselves. Mothers also remain worried for their small one?s during their working hours. During a meeting with women, it was suggested to start a nursery cum home school for small children. This will not only provide relief for single mothers to concentrate on their work but would also provide a safe and secure place for children to stay and study in the absence of mother. Therefore, it was envisaged to open up a nursery cum home school at District Sheikhupura in a working area of Awaz-e-Niswan.

> 2. Sustainability - What happens to the project down the road?

The community shall provide local teacher. Local Mother Committee shall make effort of the best utilization of home school. It will also be responsible for necessary arrangements throughout the process.

It is possible to sustain such even small initiative financially by the education imparted in students that will sustain as well as it will multiply through beneficiaries. To sustain financially, Awaz-e-Niswan will open separate account for the collection of fee and admission fee. Though it is very small amount of money but in the beginning, Awaz-e-Niswan (Voice of Women) believes that it is a good start. Through such savings, Awaz-e-Niswan (Voice of Women) will generate an endowment fund in the same account to sustain the project. Awaz-e-Niswan will generate funds through its theater group (AeN?s Chanan Theater will perform its plays for other organization), and also encourage local corporate sector for the support of this school. At the same time, Local Mother Committee shall be also responsible to sustain the activity along with Awaz-e-Niswan (Voice of Women). Please note that the Board of Directors is also committed to make the project sustainable through personal contributions and fundraising, but needs seed funding to get the idea up and running.

> 3. Measurabitity - How will we know we have succeeded?
This is a long-term project but we are committed to see it through. Some of the measurable aspects are as follows:
- Very low drop-out rate (targeted at less than 10% and such cases will be individually pursued as well)
- 50 % of the children will complete nursery class (this start would be higher than most public schools)
- Increased number of volunteers for the work of Awaz-e-Niswan in the communities because they will have a bigger stake in this project that affects their local children
- Enhanced working relationship with community as well as NGO/CBOs, for which the idea needs to be on the ground before we indulge in greater outreach
- A significant part of our success will entail measuring the percentage of our students that will enroll in (free) public school for primary and secondary education, for which we will help and follow up with qualifying students
- Negative perceptions about the children of single mothers will be changed, and in the long run these students will be gainfully employed

In order to make the success more certain, following activities have been undertaken:
- Meetings with single mothers for the enrollment of the children
- Nominating Mother?s Committee (responsible for smooth running of center)
- Finalizing of curriculum
- Finalizing monthly fee, timing and rules & regulations along with Mother's Committee
- Identifying local teacher and place for home school

Funding is needed for the following:
- Three days training on basic teaching methodology for teachers and Volunteers
- Registration of children for nursery cum home school
- Renting property and making it useable
- Furnishing the nursery cum home school with necessary things( table, chair, dari, black board, charts, stuff toys, paintings of cartoons etc)
- Meeting with nominated / selected local teachers
- MOU signature by teachers

> 4. Impact - How many individuals will get affected?
It is envisaged that 150 children (4-8 years of age) of broken families
would be enrolled in the facility run by local teacher in the operational area of Awaz-e-Niswan.

The children will be encouraged to participate in other activities of Awaz-e-Niswan organized for children e.g. Child Health Program, poster competition on significant international days particularly international children's day or Mother's Day etc. This, of course, will be complimentary to the basic education imparted on the children. Because this is a sustainable model, the 150 is a number per annual cycle, so we would have a constant flux (inflow and outflow of the students). Over the years, the total number of beneficiaries would be far higher than 150 children, because the problem of broken families with limited resources and risk-prone children is expected to remain a real and existential one.

> 5. Organization - How much confidence do we have in the management > team who will implement this project?

There is a comprehensive management structure for this organization, summarized as follows:


Executive Board
(9 members)

Working committees
(As per need- at the moment two committees are functional)


Program staff
(6 paid staff members)

(15 volunteers including volunteers in community)

Note that the directors, who form the liaisons between operational layers of the NGO have committed their career to the success of this endeavor. Run by two siblings, A-e-N is in great hands. Mr. Asghar Siddiqui left a career in medicine to become co-director at A-e-N while his sister who was running the NGO before he joined just finished a master's from Canada. We believe the training will help her journey as the director, and she has returned to A-e-N. The staff is diligent and the directors are in positions of great social responsibility in Pakistan, yet they devote a lot of their time and resources to downtrodden women. We hope to press on with this project beginning of 2007.
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Justin Stone

Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 12 Mar 2007
Posts: 145
Location: Cambridge, MA USA
PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 5:55 pm    Post subject: questions Reply with quote

Hi Jehanzeb,

Forgive me for forgetting some of the history. It has been a while... I'm trying to get a fuller picture of the context before voting. Can you answer a few questions, or point me to the answers?

Thanks, Justin

1. Are there existing nursery school programs in the area?
2. What role will ADP have in approving curriculum?
3. What standards will the teachers need to meet? Will the 3-day training be sufficient?
4. How do they expect to realize the low drop-out rate?
5. Is it realistic to expect that there will be 150 students to fill each new class?
6. Has the budget been reviewed for value? No concerns?
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Jehanzeb Noor

Joined: 26 May 2005
Last Visit: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 7
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 10:26 pm    Post subject: Response to Justin Reply with quote

I think I replied via email but never posted this online. Here goes (and apologies for the delay - mostly the lag in correspondence combined with my schedule):

1. Are there existing nursery school programs in the area?
None that I found out about or was made aware of
2. What role will ADP have in approving curriculum?
We could have a role if we want to. However, the NGO pledges a secular and feasible curriculum for the tots (age range of 3 - 5 years)
3. What standards will the teachers need to meet? Will the 3-day training be sufficient?
Basically, teaching the alphabet and basic numerals is the goal. I think the training could be expanded if needed. Also, the NGO's assistant director will participate in the first few days of teaching to run things smoothly.
4. How do they expect to realize the low drop-out rate?
Screening for the right type of kids for admissions would be the biggest levers. As demand for the nursery would be higher than space, they are hoping to pick dedicated kids with committed mothers.
5. Is it realistic to expect that there will be 150 students to fill each new class?
Actually, it should be quite easy given that there are a few hundred kids in the age range that will be targeted. Also, word of mouth is the cheapest and most effective mode of advertisement in such communities, so 150 should be feasible.
6. Has the budget been reviewed for value? No concerns?
I screened the budget in person with the Assistant Director and he was able to defend it pretty well. For some of the large ticket items, he also had some documentation. So the answer in my mind is affirmative.
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