Literacy Program empowering rural girls

It had been a very tough time for my area since the covid 19 break out. We are living in a remote area at the end of the border, south Punjab, Pakistan. We had merely been coming out of covid 19 outbreak when suddenly the flood hit the country across all cities. The most affected region is South Punjab along with Baluchistan. Even though the situation was devastating but the local people aiding each other on their own set a heartwarming example for standing the humanity. Today, this story writing contest and taking advantage of the power of writing itself will enable people across the world to witness the bravery and kindness of the people. On 22 August 2022, I walked through shelter homes with my father and my cheeks rolled down with tears seeing people homeless and flood washing off their years of crops, homes, and families. There was chaos among people. Rescue boats were in search of people yelling for help in the midway pouring water into their mouths. I couldn't help but wrapped a box full of a few clothes, shoes, and other necessary things, especially for women and children. The local government authorities though showed helplessness and fewer resources due to huge-scale devastation, but the local NGOs jumped into the field and their motivation was at its peak. This is where my motivation summoned up to never give up on my own people. I could hear my colleagues saying why I came back to my own area despite the fact my career was at its peak in a big city. I, the first generation, graduated from university in 2019 in the aviation field, but it was my ultimate life-changing decision to go back to my community and start from zero to set a new change for those, especially those who are underprivileged. I'm even back in that remote area where most of the time the rest of the world even couldn't know what happens to you. No technology, no freedom of expression for girls, and reluctant to change their mindsets. I even heard people saying there is no power in the pen which is why I deny it today by portraying fine examples of our work which we started for the young girls. Through the power of writing and the pen, I was able to communicate with a different organization where we started one of the most popular literacy programs for young rural girls, the conversational English language program. It is a kind of program that encourages young rural girls to participate by breaking language barriers. It not only teaches them a new language skill rather enables them to participate in different character and capacity-building activities. This is where we started to provide identity to those girls who were never knowing or recognizing their own skills. It was though difficult to resume such literacy programs in post-flood effects. We are grateful to organizations like “The International Alliance of Youth writing Centers” which provide a great collaboration for such literacy programs in such underprivileged areas. And it is equally important to let the world know how true determination and will to start from a little change can bring a greater impact on someone's life. Till now two batches comprising 60+ young rural girls have been passed out which depict fine quality environments for young rural girls and their remarkable journey to showcase their real talent. Such literacy programs shall be promoted to let girls stand on their own. And no doubt, it's the power of the pen which is enabling me to convey the real message across the world. We might be distant and apart, but writing plays a greater role in bringing new collaboration and people together. I have learned so many good lessons; uplifting others brings you joy in return, little change can lead to a big impact, and living in your own community enables you to find root causes and real solutions. CELP for young rural girls is one of its kind sole program we founded in order to smartly get rural girls into something which can easily break social and cultural barriers. CELP is originally running in a very remote area in Pakistan named Choti Zareen where the girls' participation in social and outdoor literacy activities was seen as taboo. This program enables young girls to develop their capacity and character building by engaging in healthy workshops and classroom activities. This program is one of the fine literacy programs for adults in order to polish their interpersonal skills and make them realize what potential they endowed. CELP isn't just a language program rather it promotes urban-rural cohesion and removes gaps in providing young rural girls an opportunity to connect with the world by breaking language barriers. Through this literacy program, young girls witness a new change in them; peer-to-peer learning, individual self-awareness, team building, connecting with world leaders, transforming mindsets, eradicating norms, and shifting stem stereotypes. CELP is one of examples that should be seen by the world.

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