THE LITERACY PROJECT

An estimated 130 million of the world's 15- to 24- year-olds cannot read or write. A large proportion of these youth live in Pakistan.

Farm Guide has put the highest priority on its literacy projects. The literacy program at our organization has been running since 1971. Our partner schools participate in this program on the tenet of ai??? Each one Teach oneai???

HOW IT WORKS?

All individuals opting for this program are supplied with learning materials that we call ai???Pehla Qadamai??i?? (First Step) for reading and writing. These are provided free of cost by the participating teaching volunteers.

To make the literacy program more comprehensive and useful the First Step learning materials comprise of 1200 basic words of day-to-day vocabulary. Once this material is mastered and tested by volunteer examiners, an advanced set of learnings is utilized to take the education to the next level.

To enhance the capabilities to read and write further the Doosra Qadam (Second Step) has been compiled and published with a further 2000 words of elaborate vocabulary. After mastering the second step the new-literates acquire sufficient skill to read and write simple Urdu scripts. More often than not, we utilize children studying in schools to educate their parents, who barely know how to read or write.

To keep the momentum of the learning process ongoing, the so called new literates are then advised to read the fortnightly newspaper ai???Dehi Razaakaarai??i?? (Village Volunteer) which is published on a regular basis. In all the issues of this paper a lesson for the new literates is published to enable them to improve their reading capacity and technical know how. Simplest words are used to convey strong messages that enable them to enhance and modernize their farming practices.

Farm Guide has also leveraged ideas from the Literacy and Mass Education Commission (LAMEC) due to our founderai??i??s (Dr. Abdul Rahim Chawdhry) involvement with the government level programs success in winnings the NORMA award in early 1994-1995 whereby 110,000 student volunteers were engaged to spread literacy.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Farm Guideai??i??s services in this field of literacy and education in particular have always been appreciated and recognized not only in Pakistan but also by international agencies.

With distinction as recognition for our services rendered to the rural masses in the field of literacy we were awarded one of the most coveted prize of His Imperial Majesty Muhammad Reza Shah Pehlvi Medal by UNESCO in 1996. We were also awarded the unique Common Wealth Services Award in 1996-1997 including 20 silver medals for outstanding volunteers for various multi purpose welfare achievements. In 1994-95 in particular the Farm Guide launched a real big drive involving the student community in a big way.

However, these recognitions have little meaning if we do not celebrate the individuals that enable us to move forward with regards to our project and community development initiatives. All students, volunteers and the targeted individual are awarded certificates at the end of each cycle. The volunteers rendering outstanding services are also awarded commendation certificates and medals at the end of each cycle.

HOW YOU CAN HELP?

Do you like the sound of what we do? Drop Farm Guide an email at volunteer@farm-guide.net , look us up on Facebook or pick up your phone and give us a call. We need your help and your ideas to help rural communities! We believe in global volunteers, so it doesnai??i??t matter if you are not located in Pakistan.

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