Village decides education is too important to postpone

Volunteers organised an enrollment campaign that impressed local authorities; the school now has the resources it needs, and children are once more attending school
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Prioritising education is sure to ensure better times in the future for the people of the area
March 2015, Jhal Magsi: In 2012, a severe flood hit the village of Saifal Khan Tunia. The village was wiped out and the villagers had to rebuild their lives from scratch. With no facilities available and children helping with the reconstruction, school attendance plunged. Finally the Village Organisation decided education was too critical to postpone.

After the flood, the agricultural crops, livestock, schools, health facilities and homes were all destroyed. With every facility damaged, the community decided to move to a nearby area. As Mr. Saifal Khan, the VO President, explained: “We were totally destroyed both mentally and physically. Everything needed to be started from the beginning.”

The villagers were almost helpless to develop self-help initiatives. They decided to make an open-air primary school but initially the poor facilities and tendency of families to put their children to work in the fields meant they had only 12 enrollments. The small numbers left the teachers ill-motivated.

After the BCDP team helped them develop and build the capacity of Community Organisations and learn how to avail the various services provided by local authorities, Mr. Saifal and a number of other members of the VO decided to see what could be done about the number of enrollments and the quality of education.

They decided that if more children were attending school the village would make a better impression on the local authorities, thereby increasing their willingness to invest in the village.

The community elders decided to choose a volunteer from each community who would be responsible for an enrollment campaign in the respective community.

During the initial phase of the campaign, 25 boys and 4 girls were newly enrolled in the community school and the numbers continued to increase on a daily basis.

Impressed by the keen response to the campaign, the VO members decided to provide school books, stationery and other reading & writing material to the school but they knew they could not meet all the school needs on their own.

So they organised a tour of the DDO Education and District Coordinator of Balochistan Education Foundation (BEF) who agreed to help cover their running costs – including reading & writing material, black board and chalks etc.

Overall 54 children are now attending the school and getting basic education, an achievement only made possible by organising the community.

This will have a positive impact on the lives of the children forever because as Ghos Bakhsh, one of VO members, says “Education is the basis of all development, we cannot survive without it.”

Fact Box

Project:
Balochistan Community Development Programme (BCDP)

Total budget:
€ 7m

EU Contribution:
(100% of the total value of the project)

Duration:
December 2013 – December 2016

Direct Beneficiaries:
274,010 men, women and children

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After the campaign, the school has seen an increased enrollment of students
“Education is the basis of all development, we cannot survive without it.”

Ghos Bakhsh, VO member

Fact Box

Union Council: Saif Abad

District: Jhal Magsi

Village Organisation: Saifal Itehad

Population:553 individuals

Major income sources: Livestock and agriculture




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