Thursday, August 20, 2009

Artwork of students of Khushal Public School for Girls Mingora

by Nosheen Malik

Shajar-e-Ilm an emerging youth organisation, dedicated to promoting creative and progressive education throughout Pakistan, and creating networks of support for youth in the spheres of education and social activism, hosted a summer-retreat for 26 girls from Swat Valley from 14th to 20th August 2009. For more information please visit

To hold this retreat, Shajar i ilm collaborated with a respected and progressive educationalist from Swat Valley, Ziauddin Yusufzai, who has been working selflessly for female education in Swat Valley despite tremendous opposition and threats. The award winning New York Times documentary “Class Dismissed in Swat Valley” documents his tireless efforts, which is available for general viewership on the New York Times Website.

As a healing experience for the girls of Swat Valley who suffered tremendously over the past few months Fauzia Minallah organised a painting activity, 'Painting Colours of Education', in which these promising young girls painted their hopes and aspirations about education.
They painted a mural as well, in which they depicted three girls, one in a black 'Burqa' who dreams of going to school, 'If only I could learn' is written next to her. Two girls are depicted in school uniforms with one holding a placard of 'IQRA' a word from the Holy Quran, highlighting the importance of education for both boys and girls. They wrote messages i.e
It is a duty of all Muslims to Educate themseves!
No one can Stop our Education!
Rebuild Our Schools!
We love Pakistan!

These young girls and thousands of girls in Swat have experienced immense trauma. They have seen violence of terrorism and war, shelling and bombing of their homes and destruction of their schools. For these promising young girls progressive individuals like Ziauddin are a ray of hope. His school Khushal School for Girls, Mingora needs help from all those who believe in enriching the lives of hundreds of girls who are enrolled in his schools with the gift of education. Against all odds he kept his schools opened, but three months of conflict made it impossible for him to pay salaries to his teachers. On urgent basis teachers have to get paid for 3 months the school remained closed due to the conflict. parents are not in a position to pay for the salaries. Private intiatives such as Khushal Public School need to be supported for a brighter future for children. Whoever wants to donate should do so in the following bank account:

Khushal Public School
Askari Bank Mingora,
Account No. 61 01 01 00 48 07 Current Account.


Madiha Syed, Ghazala Minallah and Sara Mehmood Akhtar distributed Rs. 500 among all the girls to buy gifts for their parent.
Funkor Childart Center gifted paints and canvas to the young artists at Khushal Public School, for an art exhibition on 'Peace' held in Mingora on the occasion of International Day of Peace.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Artwork of Internally Displaced children

Fauzia Minallah, an artist who has encouraged the children to draw and paint, says they need help to exorcise their fear of both the Taliban and of army shelling...Barbra Plett, BBC
To read the article click on the following link:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Visiting Mardan Church

by Tajrin Midhat

Tajrin Midhat with Christian children in Mardan

Sometimes I wonder who we are. It’s perhaps not so facile a question to be perceived by the mind that utilizes only one percent of its ability to think. For the mysteries of the universe and our existence within, is not a matter as self-explanatory as we may like to think with our limited intellect.

But what really is the significance of man in this limitless universe, in which there are far more galaxies than people? The vastness of the universe is incomprehensible. The starry heavens above us, the celestial order, and the imagination that can take one places that are magical…I am barred by my limited perception to explain something that my mind is incapable of fully perceiving.

And back on ground, there is Gojra, so much for man being the microcosm of the universe. What have we learnt from history? What has science and technology given us except a mathematical precision guaranteeing the accuracy of targeting arsenals at those who have taken no part in this course of modernity? Cynical, and disturbed, yes my thoughts are, but they only epitomize the hollowness of the times that we are living in.

The ‘Internally Displaced People’ are supposed to be the subject here, a term that evokes nothing but a feeling of indifference perhaps. No matter how disconnected it may sound from the reality of those who come to be defined under this term, it is yet another example of how the powerful has dictated the life course of the weak, the dominated, the suppressed. It’s not a story of today, but a fact that represents the primitive instinct of man to dominate, to control territory, exposing the dual face of globalization.

The Christian IDPs in Mardan are yet another story, same old story, we should say of a people whose lives are turned upside down by a political upheaval, not based on any ideology but that of relentless materialism, a war in which there is serious money involved. The uprooted victims are of course struggling well, for what choice do they have but to go on living, living for the sake of just living, perhaps in hope of a better tomorrow, not knowing perhaps that those in power are too blinded by the temporary pleasures of the world to abide by any universal principles of justice and righteousness.

We happened to visit a part of Mardan that has long been buried in some deep dark corner of the city’s soul. The 120 years old church built in the colonial time stands still. How indifferent is the land to the fate of the creatures that inhabit it. Those rulers are gone. The trees remain there, alive; they have survived the vicissitudes of time.

Perhaps it is only nature that takes a just course, whether it’s the ruins of a bygone power in the deserts of Egypt, or the lost glories of a sunken empire, time levels all. For in the end we are all made of the same clay and shall return to it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It was Beautiful! Art Activity by Funkor in PODA IDPs Resource Center

Funkor Childart Centre distributed 40 ' Amai & Sadako Gifts' among children.

By Afshan Bibi and Nazia Taj

Funkor child Art is an organization works with children for art activities. They visited Potohar Organization for Development Advocacy (PODA) IDPs Resource Center, at Pirwadahi Rawalpindi.
They facilitated children to make a mural. 38 children participated in this activity. Children were divided into two groups. Then Miss Nosheen Malik asked them to make beautiful environment on white cloth. Children were provided with painting material.
Pirwadahi, the slum area of Rawalpindi has the world’s most beautiful mind like any where else!!! Proved by Art Activity by Funkor. Children were enthusiastic extremely happy while painting trees, butterflies, flowers, sun, moon and houses the white cloth turned into a beautiful painting. Later on juices,biscuits, painting colors and drawing copies were distributed among children.
Thank you Fauzia Minallah and we wish you all the best!

Afshan Bibi and Nazia Taj work for the Potohar Organization for Development advocacy (PODA)