Street To School (STS) is a youth based non-for-profit organization working under Charter For Compassion | Pakistan. STS is an opportunity for the street children to have brighter futures. It focuses on the children who otherwise play on streets whole day after their parents went to work. These children are vulnerable to a number of diseases as well as societal ills. STS is striving to provide them quality preschool education so that they can be enrolled into a school to join the formal education system. Currently, STS have fully functional Montessori and Kindergarten sections with around 30 students each. We plan to initiate Playgroup, KGI and KGII from our next session starting this December.
We also have a “Special Class” for children who have crossed the age of preschool but have not been in a school before. Here we make them able to join their age group. STS attends to each child’s physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs. We have properly divided our six day week into academic, sports and recreational activities.We focus on the 3 Rs of preschool education that are Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. As Pakistan is a multilingual country, we teach both English and Urdu along with arithmetic. Each day is divided into three equal classes of 45 minutes for each subject.
We understand that there is always a room for improvement
After education, health is our next priority. Every week we have a lesson of basic hygiene, sanitation and health issues.Sports are an integral part of a healthy living. At STS, we have a weekly period of 45 minutes of sports in which we encourage other children of the area to join our students. It helps our students build their communication, team making and leadership abilities.STS deals with the poverty stricken, deprived and uncared-for children. We keep ourselves aware of the tough times each child is going through. It helps us in helping him or her. For this, we regularly have counseling sessions; for children, for their families and for the community. STS also works on rehabilitation of our students who have been addicts or have suffered some trauma. We also arrange awareness campaigns for drug control, health, environmental and other social issues.
Adults in School (ADINS) caters people who have crossed the schooling age but have not been fortunate enough to attend a school. We observed that the parents of our students at STS were now feeling deprived. They also wanted to be educated but lacked the required resources. We appreciated their willingness to learn and provided them the opportunity to improve their standard of living.
In May 2015, we launched our ADINS project. We started with women because when you educate a woman, you educate a generation. It was challenging to encourage females to come out of their houses for something the male members of their family would not favour. We had to conduct a series of public meetings to make this happen.
Later on, we also started separate classes for men. It proved much fruitful for the professionals like Electricians and Plumbers who were previously facing great difficulties in managing money matters.
ADINS focuses on three aspects of life. Basic education is the foremost one. We teach them what they have missed much, the 3Rs, Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. We teach both English and Urdu along with arithmetic because Pakistan is a multilingual country.
Next is to make them able to have a sustainable livelihood. We have regular sessions on entrepreneurship. Our trainers guide them how they can establish their own small businesses and how they can profit from them. We not only guide them but also provide them financial assistance under our project of “Street Deeds”. We have helped two of our students to setup general stores and a female student to buy a sewing machine to generate living from home.
Third one is parenting. The way they would raise their children would have lasting impact on generations to come. We have regular classes on parenting skills. We guide them in building healthy parent-children relationships. Our trainers teach them to fulfill their children’s physical, emotional, social, financial, and intellectual needs better. We occasionally have class discussions to learn about the problems they are facing regarding their children and subsequent counseling sessions to resolve them. These sessions are helpful in reducing the population of street children in the area.
“Education is my right and my age won’t decide whether I should get it or not.” – Saima
“I’m really happy to learn new things from these people. They are very cooperative and friendly. I will try my best to complete my studies.” – Shakra
“I studied till 5th standard and was forced to get marry. I’ve three kids but still I want to explore new things. For that reason I’m part of ADINS.” -Hina
“Thank you for all the things you have done for us.” – Najma Bai
Street deeds provide financial assistance to those in need. Our funds for street deeds are formed by Zakat and Donations. At times we also work as an intermediary between the donor and the receiver by arranging a sponsor for a particular case. Anyone can apply for help. Every application is given a fair chance of review. We allocate our funds for street deeds into three different categories.
It focuses on shifting people from the unemployed bracket to the self-employed bracket. Income generation receives 50 percent of our Street Deeds fund. All financial assistance is provided on an interest free loan basis which will be returned in the form of monthly installments. We have helped a number of families to establish a continuous income generation stream. It enabled them to escape the ills of adversity.
“An elderly woman “Shahbana” had nothing to earn upon except her home. We helped her paint her home and arranged a tenant for her. Now she runs her home with the rental income happily.”
“Our ADINS student Hina, mother of three, needed to increase her household’s income. She came to us for a solution. With the help of our Zakat fund, we bought here a sewing machine to be able to earn from home.”
“We also helped two gentlemen in establishing their own general stores.”
It focuses on helping people who encounter a medical situation and could not afford to get it treated. Healthcare receives 30 percent of our Street Deeds fund. We have helped a number of people to avail medical facilities who were injured in traffic accidents or suffering from some disease.
It covers everything except income generation and healthcare. It receives the remaining 20 percent of our Street Deeds fund. We have helped people arrange wedding ceremonies of their daughters.