Citizen’s Education Development Foundation (CEDF) celebrated 25 years on October1, 2011. CEDF is a small NGO with only one goal—Functional literacy for all.
The organization has been imparting literacy to the forgotten children of Karachi through its network of 21 informal Home Schools and the Mobile School. After a year with CEDF, students are assisted with admission to government schools. CEDF provides these students with books and uniforms each year and follows their progress.
An estimated 10,000 boys and girls have been helped by CEDF in the past years. Many have completed their matriculation and are continuing with college or vocational education—still helped financially by CEDF. Some are gainfully employed.
CEDF believes that social equality can be achieved only through quality education, CEDF organized a seminar titled: “Education for Enlightenment and better job Opportunities”. The event was held in the grounds of Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture.
This was a unique event because of the nature of the subject and diversity of participants from all sections of society- from the illiterate to the professional. Over 400 persons attended, among whom were domestic servants, their children, housewives, small shop owners, as well as educationists, social activists, scientists, doctors, lawyers, artists and university faculty.
This integration of diverse participants was intended to let the wealthy stratum of society understand the deprivations and injustices faced by the underprivileged class where it relates to lack of schools and poor standard of education, and to engage them in helping to uplift this class.
Describing the gulf between rich and poor classes of Pakistan as being analogous to the first and third world countries, Dr Naseem Salahuddin, founder of CEDF said that this gulf is responsible for the disparities in social structures where the poor serve the rich, where young children are employed in homes to clean and sweep, rather than to help them get education. It is the duty of the privileged class to realize this and inculcate education rather than service.
The Vocation Fest was a novel idea. There were ten stalls put up by different vocational institutes so that information and direction were available to CEDF students after matriculation that would guide them towards job opportunities such as carpentry, electrical, plumbing, computer, hairdressing, nursing, etc.
Potential vocation seekers picked up information of their interest and would contact the organizations at a later time.
One Reply to “Citizens Celebrate 25th anniversary of Literacy Drive for Pakistan’s Children”
Naseem is doing a wonderful job. My experience shows that such efforts are cost effective. They reach many more people than many of the fancy high cost ones. The most important result of functional literacy imparted in a personalised way as Naseem does is that it motivates children (and their parents) to study further which they would never have done without this intial boost they receive.