by Hafsa Khan
The mothers and children waited eagerly to welcome people to their school. They knew they had prepared so well to make sure their guests today have a good time. Hence, they waited; the children, their mothers and the team behind it all. Every effort had been done from their end to make sure that the Open House at Orange Tree on the 25th of February proves to be a success. Finally, the bell rang to put an end to the waiting period and slowly and gradually, guests started pouring in.
Behind all of the cheerful faces lies a great purpose. Each person from the team of Orange Tree has an ambition; an ambition to do something extraordinary, to create an impact and to set an example in society for others to follow. Every dream has a beginning and for this team, Orange Tree is just that. It runs with the sole dedication of every child, every mother and every working member.
Consequently, the open session was one arranged to introduce the team of Orange Tree to the rest of the city. Although we have our ‘branding and marketing’ plan limited to our personal networks as of now, the team, after taking the parents of these children into confidence decided to host an Open House day where we could invite people from all walks of life to come over, see our little haven and interact with our little wonders and meet the team as well as the parents of the children enrolled.
The event itself proved to be a very fruitful one. It became a way of moving forward. Getting acknowledgement from everyone makes every individual feel good. Therefore, it is always very encouraging for a child when someone comes and appreciates your work and this session provided an opportunity for just that.
Everyone who came in had lots of feedback and wishes for the team and the children and it really served as a boost for the team and those enrolled with us. Events like these, I feel, are important for not only increasing the confidence of the students, but to allow them to meet with people belonging to various walks of life.
After ten days of diligent efforts in welcoming and adjusting the 12 kids and their respective mommies from Lyari and its adjoining areas, the Orange Tree (OT) celebrated its Red Day on the 26th of January 2012. Dressed in red and white the management of OT was seen quite excited and well prepared for this celebration.
The day started off with joyful activities that brought the mother and child together in a beautiful gesture of ‘my heart is your home’. The moms cut out hearts and wrote messages on it while to the same heart the kids left an impression of their red painted, cute little hands.
Followed by this activity, was the circle time in which the management sung baby rhymes while the mother and kids danced along. “When you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands”, is what the kids enjoyed the most as they jumped in their red outfits complimented by red little stars pinned to it.
The story time of the red day was about a ‘Little Red Hen’ who asks her cat, dog and tweety friends for help and they all eventually end up sharing their food. The moral was certainly about how sharing is a good virtue and it was pleasantly delivered in a red tone. Another activity for the day was passing the red bear around and winners, Fardeen and his mother Rozina were gifted a red shiny toy pencil.
The day came to a wrap with the combined lunch time where everyone sat together to share their home-made meals as well as a treat prepared by the volunteers in which kid’s ever favorite strawberry red jelly in silver cups was given out and the moms enjoyed their samosa’s and tea with, red ketchup.
Ironic for the Orange Tree to be celebrating red but the love and affection that it purely established today is indeed a matter of pride and inspiration for all.
Written by Mina Kidwai.
Back in August as we sat together with a mentor we were identifying needs of our community today, and it is not unknown to anyone that education is the need of the hour in order for our community to develop. For the past few years, NGOs and the private sector have been working diligently to fill in the gap between classes using the tool of education and one such example is the Kiran School System functioning in Lyari. In the fifth year of its running, Kiran School has successfully prepared 93 children and their families for a better standard of living and quality education and is now planning to start up a community centre.
Orange Tree, an adaptation of the Kiran School System was only a dream until a few months ago and starting this season, we have taken our first batch of twelve families. An idea or dream that crossed our minds a couple of months ago, finally materialized as we shortlisted these 12 families from Lyari, Azam Basti and Gizri. Regular sessions for the students and mothers took off from the 16th of January, 2012.
The first week primarily focused on settling in the kids and their mothers. The enthusiasm and response we receive from these families on a day to day basis is nothing less than overwhelming. However, as we conclude our first week of school we have to come to realize that the responsibility of 12 families is indeed huge but we believe that our team is all set to take on the challenge! Click here and see how you can help!
None of this would have materialized in a time span of three months had it not been for the unconditional support from our mentors, donors, volunteers and our overly-enthusiastic team.
In today’s time, where insecurities surround us, I believe that if there is anything valuable you can give to a family, it is the gift of education. It’s an asset that is not only benefitting the kids and securing their future, but it is an asset that is beneficial to their generations to come! So come forward and join us in our cause and help us Support. Encourage. Educate.
We are passionate. We are energetic. Many call us rebellious, but we speak for what we believe in. Committed to mobilize the youth, we stand united for one cause – Pakistan.
Founded in 2009, we have successfully completed ten student related projects till date. We aim at mobilizing students and networking among various youth organizations to give the youth of Pakistan the platform to excel at a national level.
Our main ideology revolves around the need for improvement in the education system of Pakistan and the role that Pakistani youth can play towards helping our society. We do not merely believe in community work but we also believe in community development and sustenance. So far, we have managed to pull together various activities; from protests and marches to theatre and art as well as student mentor programs and rehabilitation and relief work.
Jaag’s Team Awesome
Header Photograph: Eema Alvi