Our first drop-in centre is situated in Gharibabad, District Central, Karachi. Gharibabad (Poor’s settlement) is a densely populated, multicultural, multilingual, Muslim neighbourhood. People from different regions in the country have settled here. Major ethnic groups are Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi and Saraiki. Majority of the population is poor, some even extremely poor. They work on daily wages. Their occupations include car painting,car repairing, welding, carpentry, shepherds, goatherds, milkmen and the alike. Women stay at home and men go to work. Youth either spends whole day playing Snooker, Carom and Cards for gambling or stay unconscious by taking drugs. Infants play outside their homes on streets and in trash dumps. Rate of early marriages, number of children per woman and divorces are all high. Illiteracy and ignorance is destroying generations. All such factors encouraged our CEO Mr. Muhammad HassanGhoghari to come up with idea of O4E. Setting our first drop-in centre at such a locality was a difficult task. We did it because this was the place that needed it most. Today, we are running our all five projects in Gharibabad and have a positive response from the public.
Our journey began back in 2014. We daily saw a number of children wasting their lives playing in streets whole day. Their parents either do not have education in their priority list or do not have enough resources.
On 25th June 2014 we cleaned up a KachraKundi (trash dump) near Mina Bazaar, Gharibabad and invited the children playing on the streets to join us and learn something new. That's how STS, the first project of O4E, started. Initially we just had 5 students in our KachraKundischool. Soon the number began to grow. We noticed a positive response from the public. Within two weeks we were able to cover our place with metal sheets. By the end of our first month, the number of students quadrupled reaching to 20.
Our team spent a lot of time with the students to know them better. We celebrated our independence day with them. We played together the local games like Dabbu, Patti and PakramPakrai. We also had storytelling sessions. We realised these students can contribute to Pakistan positivity only if they are educated properly.