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Community Based Organization

Organization Location: 
Lahore
Pakistan
Khoj-Society for People's Education
  • Lahore, Pakistan
Languages:
English, Urdu
Organization Description
Khoj - Society for People's Education was established to work with women for their development. Education that includes socialization from an early age was seen as a determining factor to keep women subjugated for centuries. It was deemed imperative to work towards a kind of education that is liberating and leads to women's development. The Society started its educational work in participation of women in 1995 and was registered in January 2002.

In a couple of years the scope of Khoj work was broadened and children also became the participants of the organizational program. This two pronged approach was meant to achieve better results for women's development.

The work demanded to develop an integrated multi-disciplinary approach and development of methodologies that could lead to personal and community development.
Currently, we have two active projects, a charity school which offers free education to over 150 students in village Thathi Bhanguaan, and a free Health Center in village Kot Mughal, offering basic healthcare facilities to around 15 surrounding villages having no access to any hospital or doctor.

Khoj School
Thathi Bhanguaan and the surrounding villages in tehsil Sharaqpur, district Sheikhupura in the Pakistan province of the Punjab, where the population is predominantly of small landholders or landless peasants, was deprived of the most basic facilities. It had neither the most basic health services nor the basic education facilities available to children. These crime-hit villages are spotted with non-functional government primary schools for girls and boys. The gravity of the problem can be realized seeing the school buildings fallen into ruins. Children in many villages, as a result, are denied the basic right to education. There are certain one teacher primary schools where occasionally classes take place in the absence of most needed educational aids. The teaching methods and the curricula are not relevant to the learning needs of the children. After a few years' futile exercise most of these children get absorbed in the status quo of the socioeconomic life of the communities. Girl children are the first and the worst casualty of the circumstances.

Community education includes education for adults and children both. It also provides a platform for community development activities. It accommodates not only the conventional mainstream schools subjects but experiential learning in civic education, agriculture, nutrition and health care, environment and computer skills.
The school is offering education to 165 children of more than six villages. A computer lab, a very basic science and agricultural lab and a small library with more than 800 books are functional in three of the nine rooms. It has an adjacent agricultural plot as well for experiential learning.

The ultimate aim is to establish a school upholding international standards for the children and adults of one of the most neglected areas in Pakistan.

The first group of children enrolled as part of the non-formal education passed their secondary school examination with flying colours.

In addition to routine educational work other activities are organized that could help cultivate logical thinking, democratic outlook and a belief in healthy lifestyle. Rice Festival is a regular feature which is organized every year to promote a culture of cooperation and participation, chemical free safe food, diversity and sovereignty in choice, production and consumption of food. Clean Village campaign was launched to ensure safe and healthy environment. A number of child-centered community health activities are organized at regular intervals.

Khoj Health Center
Kot Mughal and the surrounding villages in tehsil Sharaqpur, district Sheikhupura in the province of the Punjab in Pakistan where the population is predominantly of small landholders or landless peasants had absolutely no health services, either by the public or the private sector. These crime-hit villages were deprived of even the most basic health care facilities. Basic Health Units run by the government are in Fattoo wala and Marh Bhanguan which are about 15-25 kilometers away from the cluster of these villages. Some of the villages do not have even the traditional mid wives. This leaves the villagers at the mercy of quacks or unqualified and inexperienced doctors. Women and children are most adversely hit. Absence of even a traditional midwife shows the gravity of the situation. In case of a complication in child birth the woman was taken to town on a tractor trolley. There were instances of delivery taking place on the way and children expiring.

Khoj decided to build a health center in order to Providing health education and health services to neglected communities of Kot Mughal and thirty villages with a focus on women and children's health. And also the health of the local environment. . The central location of the village Kot Mughal became the reason for the selection of the site. It is directly connected to six villages and more than 15 villages are within 5-7 kilometer radius. A woman Shehnaz Bibi donated ¼ acre of land for the health center while others offered free labor and free accommodation and food for the workers involved in the construction work. The project was launched in December 2006. The construction of the health center was made possible through predominantly generous private individual donations. The Health Center building consists of a reception, an emergency, an 8 bed inpatient ward, 2 rooms for doctors, a testing laboratory, a store, a pharmacy and provision store, a toilet, a kitchen and a room for the caretaker of he building.

You can either volunteer at the Health Center, the school or at Khoj Head Office in Lahore.

Volunteering opportunities include:
Assisting in the Health Center
Teaching primary school students English, Maths or Science
Teaching students about sustainable/organic agriculture
Doing research work
Aiding in carrying out events and festivals
Conducting Arts and Crafts classes with the students
Even if you don't exactly fit in any of these categories, do apply and there might be a position for you

Please note that the rates that have been quoted are only if you would like to work in the project area on a daily basis since the project area is very remote and secure accommodation is at quite a distance so travel costs make a major chunk of the fees you pay. If you would like to volunteer at Khoj Head Office and visit the project area periodically, costs are $200 a week which includes secure accommodation and 3 meals a day.
If you would like to volunteer in your home by fundraising or by teaching school children via Skype, volunteering is free and you will receive a certificate stating the community service hours that you have earned
Causes
Childcare / Children, Education, Health / Medical
Skills Needed
Good command over English language, Good Communication Skills, Excellent writing skills, Some knowledge of health care for Health Center, Some teaching skills
Accommodation
Accommodation Provided - Minimum Stay: 1 week
Average Cost per Week ($USD)
$550 per week
Estimate only - contact this Organization for actual costs to Volunteer
  • Pre-Departure Orientation
  • 3 Meals per Day
  • Homestay
  • Local Transport
  • Airport Pickup and Drop Off
  • Internet

Costs do not include Flights, Visas, Vaccinations, Insurance, Spending Money, 2-Meals-per-Day, 1-Meal-per-Day, Volunteer-Hostel
Manager
Maryam Mohsin
Location
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