Skill & Will

"Skill & Will" is our recently launched project in which we are focusing on vulnerable children by providing themHealth Services, Life Skill Based Education, Non Formal Education, Vocational Training and Psycho Social Support.

Street children and their problems

 The term street children mean those children who are and have to live on the streets of the city and belong to deprived family. They need care and shelter and because of not having the basic needs compel them to come on the streets in their childhood. In Pakistan about 1.6 million children are street children and mostly are migrants from Afghanistan and undeveloped areas of Pakistan with or without their families.

In Pakistan mostly children does not live on the streets but they live off the streets, public places and they do earn by different means like begging and “hang out” with their peers more and less around the clock and its growing just like a bullet. Because of undeveloped rural areas and especially those who don’t have properties, lands and proper shelter in those areas, have forced these families and children to migrate towards bigger city which also increases the urban’s problem. Pakistan’s urban population is growing at a fast pace and one of the main reason is these immigrants as well. Unfortunately even the developed cities don’t have facility and infrastructure to undertake these families. And has resulted a high rate of adult employment in these families, children of these families have to come out on the streets to support themselves and their families. Due to unemployment of their families these children are getting more weakened and play a very vital impact on their future lives.

Majority of these children are boys and are sent out to the city to earn or being run away from their homes for their basic needs but unfortunately most of them never return to their homes. Mostly also belong to the deprived areas of the urban as well; some are from broken homes or households headed by a woman. Some of them may have been neglected by their families but most of them run away from home because of abusive and exploitative family relations, and thus bus stops, railway stations and marketplaces become their homes and workplaces.

We can’t say that only runaway children are street children; there are various forms of street children who are facing different human behaviors in society in their daily routine life. These children are vulnerable during work and in their normal life routine as well. Thousands of children mostly working in different areas of city at tea stall as a table boy, helpers for steel work, street hawkers, trash pickers, hotel worker, beggars at roads, truck boy and working with transport industry and most of them mentally and physically humiliated most of the time.

But the society has a specific mind set about these families and children. Mostly think, that is the living style of deprived class and they can survive in these difficult and worst circumstances. No Govt. can handle this sort of issue individually as the most crucial issue in this era is poverty, but organizations with the corporation of local philanthropy must start or redesign the projects according to the ground realities.

 Most of these are boys and they have to work in their younger age either on streets or workplaces and their lives are at a risk in different means both mentally and physically as they have to work in different conditions. During their work they are behaved badly and humiliated. Lack of education, food, drugs, human trading and other factors are critical issues in this regard.

 According to our environment it’s an acceptable phenomenon and we should do encouragement for the rights of abused children to make awareness among the general public. We should try to change the mentality approach about these children because these neglected children need to be loved and care like every other child.

 There should be a project based service delivery package for this population which can make awareness about rights and responsibilities. There should be a participative approach with children otherwise we cannot bring a productive change. Participative approach of skilled and motivated human resource is an essential part of success of project. NGOs can and are playing a very vital role in this regard.

EAHD (Education and Health Develeopment)  Foundation has the same approach and wants to impart their efforts to help out these children by having a shelter base school where we can try our level best to change the society’s mentally approach about these deprived children. So come and join hands with us for this purpose for the prosperity of country and these children.

Life skills and the Life-skills based education in schools

Life skills and the Life-skills based education in schools

Before we understand what exactly life skills based education in schools are we have identify which skills are life skills?

Life skills

Life skills have been defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life”.

No perfect list of life skills is available but Life skills education is particularly important in such critical areas a HIV prevention, care and support, child protection and emergencies, etc. The goal is to arm children with every available weapon for their defence in the face of potential harm.  The following listed list includes the psychosocial and interpersonal skills generally considered important. The choice of these skills varies according to the circumstances like topic and local conditions. Though the list suggests these categories are distinct from each other, many skills are used simultaneously in practice.

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Verbal/Nonverbal communication
  • Active listening
  • Expressing feelings; giving feedback (without blaming) and receiving feedback
  • Negotiation/refusal skills

Negotiation and conflict management

  • Assertiveness skills
  • Refusal skills

Empathy/Understanding

  • Ability to listen and understand another’s needs and circumstances and express that understanding

Cooperation and Teamwork

  • Expressing respect for others’ contributions and different styles
  • Assessing one’s own abilities and contributing to the group

Advocacy Skills

  • Influencing skills & persuasion
  • Networking and motivation skills

Decision-Making and Critical Thinking Skills

Decision making / problem solving skills

  • Information gathering skills
  • Evaluating future consequences of present actions for self and others
  • Determining alternative solutions to problems
  • Analysis skills regarding the influence of values and attitudes of self and others on motivation

Critical thinking skills

  • Analyzing peer and media influences
  • Analyzing attitudes, values, social norms and beliefs and factors affecting these Identifying relevant information and information sources

Coping and Self-Management Skills

Skills for increasing internal locus of control

  • Self esteem/confidence building skills
  • Self awareness skills including awareness of rights, influences, values, attitudes, rights, strengths and weaknesses
  • Goal setting skills
  • Self evaluation / Self assessment / Self-monitoring skills

Skills for managing feelings

  • Anger management
  • Dealing with grief and anxiety
  • Coping skills for dealing with loss, abuse, trauma

Skills for managing stress

  • Time management
  • Positive thinking
  • Relaxation techniques

Motivational Skills

  • Self-esteem
  • Self-respect
  • Group Motivation

Life-skills based education in schools

Research has shown that up to 65 % of young people know nothing to hardly anything of their bodies changing until it happened to themselves and it simply means something like the education and skills you need for your life. Mostly in schools these Life-skills are not being introduced mostly in Pakistan boys and girls go to separate schools. No one talks about teenage years and other things: they are prohibited. So there is a need in Pakistan to talk about these Life skills base education in school’s level so that we able to increase the psychosocial and interpersonal skills of children and which help to boost up the mentality approach of the human being as well.

EAHD Foundation has the program to make it possible to teach ‘Life Skills Based and it this regard have program to train teachers so they can answer the many and sometimes difficult questions of young people.  An important part of this education will be discussion about the differences between girls and boys because in Pakistan boys are often favored above girls.  Boys are allowed more than girls. When this comes up in a discussion it turns out that both boys and girls do not agree with that. By discussing

topics like this change is possible, etc.

Formal versus Informal Education

Formal versus Informal Education

There is a long-lasting debate in some circles about the relative intrinsic worth of formal and informal education. This debate may impact our work in a literacy program. We have to differentiate between formal and informal education and why it is necessary in this rapid world and especially countries like Pakistan.

Formal Education

 The term formal education refers to the structured and prearranged educational system provided by the state for children of that country. In most countries, the formal education system is state-supported and state-operated. In some countries like Pakistan, the state allows and certifies private systems which provide a comparable even some time much better education. 

Informal education

 It is very simple to understand Informal Education as informal means unofficial and it is called informal education because;

  •  No regular curriculum
  • Not obligatory
  • No  formal certification

 The Government can or can not support the whole program as it is mostly refer to the social base programs. Mostly education/training or awareness for this purpose is organized outside of the formally school. Most typically, the term or phrase informal education is used to refer to adult literacy and continuing education for adults. 

Promoting Informal Education

Mostly this sort of Education, Programs, training needs cost and mostly are being supported by international organization like World Bank, UNICEF, Red Cross, etc. Now there is a problem as these organization has their own philosophy and according to the World Bank, they emphasis that formal education is most essential and thus illiteracy can be eliminated in a generation or next coming one.

According to others they think that there is more need to work on Informal Education because deprived families and children can be accommodated through the informal education programs. And it will help to reduce illiteracy’s percentage.

 Conclusion

It seems feasible that a more balanced approach or model for formal versus informal education is needed not only by educational theorists but also societies as well. And they have to come out to work on this to try to eliminate illiteracy rate. Because there is no doubt that education is needed and especially countries like Pakistan, we do understand that the Govt. can not cope individually on this issue now we have to play our role (Societies) in this regard and have to come out to reduce the illiteracy rate either by formal or informal way.

Why Skill & Will Important

Most of these kids are belonging to extremely poor families who migrated from smaller districts to cities for better opportunities of employment. Because of their environmental and economic conditions their parents can’t support them for education and health. Thousands of deprived children are working on Lahore streets and experiencing different forms of abuses in routine.

These children have no idea about reproductive health and rights. They get infected during the work through injuries which leads to more complications. These kids are more at risk for Hepatitis, STIs and HIV and there is suspect of high prevalence rates in them.

These circumstances are completely indifferent with the environments of schools and formal educational techniques. They have more need for Health Services, Non-Formal Education and Life Skill Based Education and these kids can excel better using these techniques.

Education & Health Development Foundation has decided to launch a project named “Skill & Will” which focuses on Health Services, Life Skill Based Education, Non Formal Education, Vocational Training and Psycho Social Support.  All the activities will be conducting through participative approaches which will empower them and make them productive individual.