Young Champions Initiative Education 2009
The Young Champions Initiative for Education project is planned to be implemented in 40 Union Councils (UC) of Lahore and Faisalabad (20 Union Councils in each District) of Punjab province – focusing 20 union councils in each district. In Lahore, the Jahandad Society for Community Development (JSCD) was entrusted the task to carry out the initiative with UNICEF.
The project aims to identify young champions from the targeted UCs as advocates and change-makers to make education available for all children in selected UCs.
The key objectives of the project interventions in the targeted UCs are:
- To reduce drop out and improve primary school retention among children of Class-I & II in the selected 20 union councils of Lahore.
- To enroll disadvantaged, marginalized, out-of-school children, migrated children, working children, street children in formal and non-formal schools in selected 20 union councils of Lahore.
The Young Champions Initiative for Education (YCI) organized consultative meetings with the Punjab School Education Department, Non-Formal Basic Education and
Literacy (NFBE&L) Department and Social Welfare Department, where the officials made commitments in facilitating the champions in getting children enrolled in government schools as well as non-formal basic education schools.
A consultation meeting was organized with Media persons to develop partnership and highlight the activities of the Project in their publications. As such seven news items were published in different newspapers within three months.
The project has formed 40 Youth Clubs consisting of 26 male and 17 female – in the targeted 20 union councils. Each youth club comprises of three to seven youngsters, who conduct project activities leading to motivation of parents for sending their children to schools.
The Young Champions organized three Alliance Building Seminars, which were participated in by Nazims, political workers, headmasters, teachers, parents, boy scouts, girl guides as well as the marginalized children from all the targeted union councils. The Young Champions explained the objectives of the project that aimed at the welfare of their own communities. All stakeholders pledged their full cooperation in Young Champions for Education endeavors, which were later, translated into the enrolment of out-of-school children in the same community.
The Young Champions also conducted community mobilization process through 300 “town storming” sessions that unfolded festivity in respective union councils, where children along with their elders in the community actively participated by raising slogans, mounting banners and distributing pamphlets. The “town storming” sessions and community gatherings focused on creating awareness among residents of respective UCs about the importance of education that could transform their children’s lives and bring them out of vicious circle of poverty.
The Young Champions enrolled 5.11% of 2,775 identified marginalized children in formal and non-formal institutions through enrolment campaigns in the selected 20 UCs. The Young Champions’ efforts helped as many as 142 out-of-school children – 88 girls and 54 boys – to get enrolled in public sector schools during December 2009 and January 2010 with due help and cooperation of the Punjab School Education Department and the NFBE&L department.
The Young Champions organized creative and interactive co-curricular activities through sports and essay writing competition at primary/ middle and high schools, respectively.
Three Success stories have also been published in leading newspaper as a part of advocacy campaign.