Written by: Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child
“I’ve never imagined to be that much help to my family as I’m contributing to my family well being now. This really makes me proud,” says Ghulam Fatima, 14 years old from Multan, Pakistan.
Fatima was a domestic laborer and worked in different homes with her mother. Her father was unable to work and earn for his family.
The Center for Street Children (CSC) mobilisation team, run by the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC), visited the community and motivated her and other girls to visit the center and get vocational training.
Fatima visited the center with her mother; they were satisfied to see that already so many girls are learning skills like stitching, embroidery and decoration work. Her mother consented to register her daughter; Fatima joined the center and learned different skills very passionately.
Besides, skills classes, Fatima was very keen in different life skills sessions and non- formal education sessions as well. Her attitude in class made her very popular among other girls. Though she was very quiet and shy at the start, she made many friends during her stay in the center. The psychologist at the center also supported hergave special attention to her a as she had low confidence in the beginning. However, with the passage of time and attention of staff and other girls, she gained the confidence for decision making and social interaction.
Framework embroidery is very famous across Pakistan; it’s a very intricate skill requiring knowledge on fancy thread and bead work. It’s a very marketable skill for bridal and party wear dresses.
Fatima wished to take after her skills trainer at CSC and learn this skill. As a result, she successfully completed a three- months course and a tool kit was also provided to her so that she could continue her work. After wards, the CSC skill trainer linked her to a few women who run their boutiques in Multan and they gave embroidery materials to her to work for them. Due to these linkages, Fatima has now been working for the last 1.5 years while sitting in her home and looking after her siblings.
Fatima continues to visit CSC often to show her affiliation with the center and the team.
With a vision of a world in which children are valued and empowered and their rights promoted and protected, Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) in Pakistan promotes and protects the rights of children to empower them through advocacy supported by research, awareness raising, service delivery and human and institutional development.
Established in 1992, SPARC works broadly on a range of child rights issues with special importance to the girl child issues including nearly child marriages and harmful traditional practices, thus addressing the overall system and policy framework combined with service delivery.
Partnered with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), SPARC works to address child, early and forced marriage and to improve sustainable livelihoods for disadvantaged young women and girls in underprivileged communities in Pakistan. By promoting employment oriented skills, using women groups as platforms for awareness raising, collaborating with training institutes to strengthen training placement opportunities and linking with micro-financing schemes, the partnership aims to provide enabling conditions for women and girls’ economic empowerment in Pakistan.