We had a soft opening of our school on August 14, 2014 - Pakistan’s Independence Day!
This is the number of girl students and the number of female teachers in the school.
Estimated girls & women affected
This is the number of girls participating in the youth group and women engaged in savings and health programs.
Estimated community members affected
Since 2013, when we shared our first report, we’ve completed a lot of work on the ground! The construction of the school has been completed on schedule, despite a number of hiccups related to the legal and political situation in Muwach Goth, Pakistan.
Besides the initial plan for the ground floor plus two more floors, we have developed the roof top as a shaded area for students. We’ll also use this space as the home of a roof top garden (inspired by Fifth Street Farm). We’re excited to introduce the concept of outdoor learning spaces in the school!
One of our major tasks throughout this past year was to furnish the school. The planning team carried out a meticulous study and consultation with specialists and has designed furnishings for each classroom, paying particular attention to the nursery and kindergarten space. As soon as the fixtures are in place, we’ll obtain the necessary equipment for the science and computer labs.
In terms of quality of education, our teachers have participated in various training sessions to improve their techniques in activity-based learning. A focused training session on early childhood learning practices took place in December of 2013.
14-year old Sherbano has six siblings, and her family is very poor. Being the eldest child, she worked as a child labourer to help support her family. Our team identified her during a community session and found that due to the abject poverty of her family, her parents were not pursuing educational opportunities for their kids. We offered to pay for Sherbano’s education, as long as they gave permission for their kids to go to school.
Today, Sherbano and all her siblings are studying, and Sherbano actively participates in art competitions and role plays.
Risks and challenges
Completing the construction of the school was a big challenge, considering the precarious law and order situation in the area and lack of reliabale power and essential resources. We worked meticulously to complete the building by the end of July 2014, and we had a soft opening on August 14th, 2014 - Pakistan’s Independence Day!
Other than the material challenges, our budget was impacted by the depreciation of rupee, inflation - which increased the operational costs (electricity, fuel, etc), and the capital costs of equipments. For long term substainability, we are working with our board members to build sufficient ring fenced funding which can help us with operational expenses.
What we’ve learned
An important learning point for all of us was to keep contingency buffers and back-up plans in our planning process. Secondly, we learned that for projects of such big magnitude, it is important that there is dedicated project management. Hopefully, in the future, these steps will be taken care of in advance.
During our research, we have come across new and exciting developments in education techniques around the globe. The idea of outdoor learning spaces was very attractive to our teachers, as it can give more experimental learning opportunities for the children. We are now working on the design and planning of the space which will complement the school. The open space is envisaged as an outdoor learning area and also a community meeting place to bring the community closer to the school.
Initially we had allocated $114,923 to construction. The actual expenses overshot the budget due to rising inflation (an increase in the price of raw material, fuel, and electricity costs), and also due to the addition of a roof top shed construction. A fire exit was also incorporated later in construction plan. However, we managed to get funds from other sources to minimize the overall impact on other areas.
Amount spent so far
Student / Teacher Materials
Operating School Costs
Dream Foundation Story featured in Dawn, Pakistan's leading newspaper: http://www.dawn.com/news/1091552
A blog on Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation website: http://www.impatientoptimists.org/Posts/2013/12/If-You-Can-Dream-It-You-Can-Do-It
Various news links about the Dream Foundation: http://www.dreamfoundationtrust.org/news.html
If you can dream it, you can do it
"Have you ever seen a Lotus flower, it grows right in between mud but its beautiful - For me this school is like a beautiful Lotus flower" says Waleed 23 year old Primary teacher who joined Dream Model Street School few months back. Waleed was inspired by other youth in the locality who joined Dream and enhanced their skills. He says "I haven't seen such a school in my student life and am happy to be part of this institution where we go beyond books and inculcate social and civic values in kids"
The construction work of Dream Model Street school is on track and both floors are now raised. Our target is to complete construction and furnishing by June 2014. We are also finalizing the interior design and procurement plans for equipment/furniture of Library, Science Labs & other necessary teaching facilities.
Parallel to the construction work, we are working on enhancing the quality of education delivered to children. For that purpose, we engaged educationists who have worked with our teachers in introducing Activity Based Learning methods in class room. A comprehensive Teacher training program was introduced and learnings from same were applied in class room environment.
We have started advocacy campaign to bring more children to school. In this regard 15 education meetings were conducted in community and our team reached 150 women and 50 men of community to increase awareness and importance of education for girls. Due to these meetings, 127 girls have enrolled so far
Risks and challenges
The major risk which we have identified early on in this project was the depreciation of local currency and inflation due to which price of construction materials have increased manifolds. With advice from our board members we have kept a significant amount of the grant in US$ accounts. This measure has helped us offset the risk on project budget due to inflation.
During the advocacy campaign, it is important for female members of the team to join in door to door campaign. Due to unstable law and order situation in surrounding areas it was difficult to travel via public transport. The new vehicle acquired with funding from Catapult will help mitigate the risks.
Our focus is currently on timely completion of the premises so all get a better environment of learning. Secondly, the capacity building of teachers will continue. In this regard we have planned training for Early Childhood Learning practices during the annual winter vacations of school. The advocacy work within community will also continue to increase enrollment of girls.
Funding from two projects "Help Humaira Build Dream Model Street School" and "Build the Dream Model Street School". Both funds have been pooled together in the budget. Our spending as per budget is on track. The major expenses are related to construction & purchase of vehicle. (Teaching Aids & Teacher Salaries so far are funded by other resources)
|Line Items||Original budget||Amount spent so far|
Materials Utilities & Operating
Costs - School
An article published in Economist - The Intelligent Life Magazine
We’ve helped fund the ground and the first floor of the Dream Model Street School, now we need to complete the rest.
Why we care: In Mawach Goth, tribal culture and conservative ideologies have led to a general disregard for education and the pursuit of literacy, especially for girls; female literacy is often undervalued, as residents fear that their daughters and wives will gain a bad reputation if they are seen on the streets going to school.
How we’re solving this: Finishing construction, purchasing furniture, equipment, and teacher and student materials, and operating the Dream Model Street School for one year.
Since 2005, the Model Street School has educated 2,000 students in the Mawach Goth urban slum area of Karachi, Pakistan. Dream Foundation Trust has been operating the school out of rented rooms but now is constructing an 11-room school building, which is envisioned to ultimately provide a high-quality education to Mawach Goth children—boys and girls.
The Dream Model School provides education irrespective of gender, caste and religion. The school is situated in an area where education for girls is a taboo. In Mawach Goth, many community members hold tribal and traditional views regarding girls’ education. Parents believe outside exposure will make their daughters vulgar, sexually promiscuous, and morally corrupt and many believe that an education is useless for girls and women. As a result, the literacy rate among girls and women is 15 percent.
Dream Foundation has constructed the ground floor of the building and secured funding to build the 1st floor, but now we need to complete fund the rest of the construction, equipping, and furnishing the school so girls and boys in the Mawach Goth area of Karachi can get a higher quality education.