Mashal celebrates 10 years of work in urban slums

Press release, 05.12.2018

Mashal Model School is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its work in urban slum areas of Islamabad this week. To mark the occasion, the school organized a charity event in its facilities near Bari Imam in Islamabad on Wednesday where the Head of Humanitarian Aid at the Embassy of Switzerland in Pakistan, Ms. Franziska Vögtli, participated as chief guest.

The charity bazar showcased handicrafts and other products made by children studying at Mashal. @SDC

The objective of the event was to promote the work of Mashal Model School to ensure sustainability in future. With more than 100 guests, the charity bazar showcased handicrafts and other products made by children studying at Mashal.

The Swiss Agency of Development and Cooperation is supporting the Mashal Model School, a local non-profit trust, to provide protection to displaced and street children currently living in the peri-urban areas of Islamabad. Four schools managed by the trust provide free education, protective space and appropriate counselling on culture, social and legal matters to some 1,000 children.

The project envisages the provision of quality education for marginalized children with a holistic approach based on the Montessori education model. Often not being registered with the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA), these children are excluded from access to government schools. Through Swiss support, the Mashal Model School facilitates these children in the registration process.

The school follows the same curriculum that is followed in the government schools, therefore the children are equipped with the same knowledge and education that can help them get into the state education system after registration. Until today, 783 children have been admitted to government schools.

Children and women of the surrounding community are taught livelihood skills like embroidery, sewing, carpentry and electric work. Another strong component of the school is the Speed Literacy Programme for older children and other members of the community.

According to a Human Rights Watch report, nearly 22.5 million children in Pakistan are out of school. Until 2017, Pakistan was spending less than 2.8 percent of its gross domestic product on education, which is below the four to six percent recommended by the UN.