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Community Based Organization

Organization Location: 
Khoj-Society for People's Education
  • Lahore, Pakistan
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:

At the moment, we are looking for volunteers to fulfil the following roles:

Writers and artists for our social media campaigns – Writing and illustrating compelling stories/reports/blog posts to advocate for educational reform and women’s development, spreading the word about the innovative methodologies we use in our school.
Social media campaign manager – Strategising and orchestrating the different components of social media campaigns.
Office management trainee – working directly with senior Khoj staff to assist in daily operations.

Key skills and traits required:

Ability to work independently on the basis of provided guidelines.
Ability to write clear, simple, correct English in business communication (letters, e-mails, newsletters, funding proposals).
Mature, grounded person with strong moral values and professional ethics, sensitive in dealing with gender, class and urban/rural disparities.
Multi-talented, curious personality, interested in innovative teaching methods and willing to be involved in supporting the educational work at the Khoj Model School.
Proficient with tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint. Familiar with social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and posting material to blogs – or eager to pick up these skills.

If you feel like you'd be a good fit in any of the above mention posts, or if you think that you could help Khoj grow in any other aspect, we'd love to have you on board.

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
Education, Environment, 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 Provided - Minimum Stay: 1 week
Average Cost per Week ($USD)
$550 per week
Estimate only - contact this Organization for actual costs to Volunteer

Costs do not include Flights, Visas, Vaccinations, Insurance, Spending Money, Pre-Departure-Orientation, 3-Meals-per-Day, 2-Meals-per-Day, 1-Meal-per-Day, Volunteer-Hostel, Homestay, Local-Transport, Airport-Pickup-and-Drop-Off, Internet
Maryam Mohsin
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