PAKISTAN, Karachi, 2 February 2012: Safeguard and Design for Change (DFC) Pakistan today exhibited 35 winning stories, at the Arts Council of Pakistan in Karachi. These stories were submitted by Pakistani children who acted as change agents and future leaders of the country. The global DFC School Challenge 2011 which was initiated in September is the world’s largest movement for change initiated by children. In Pakistan, DFC partnered with Safeguard to take this program throughout the nation with over 35,000 children being reached in over 7000 schools.
Speaking at the occasion, Adeel Ahmed, Brand Manager, Safeguard Pakistan said, "We at Safeguard are thrilled to partner with Design for Change. The main aim of this collaboration is to enhance the creativity of children and bring out their best potential to contribute in nation building. In the past, Safeguard has educated over 7.5 million kids in more than 20,000 schools through largest private sector Sehat – o – Safai program teaching kids basics of health and hygiene and at the same time encouraging the youth of the nation to grow and prosper in an educated manner. We share a bilateral vision with Design for Change to educate & empower kids; and Safeguard futures for a healthier happier Pakistan.”
The DFC program is designed in a simple way where it encourages children to use a simple 4-step process of ‘Feel, Imagine, Do, Share’ to design and implement solutions to the greatest challenges in the country. The exhibition, in partnership with Safeguard, is being held for the first time in the country. Stories were exhibited and awarded in the following categories: Quickest Impact, Most People Impacted, Easiest to Replicate, Most Environmentally Friendly, Maximum Potential for Long Lasting Change, Boldest Idea and Jinnah Prize.
“The timing of this exhibition couldn't be better! A traveling exhibition showcasing stories of children being agents of positive change is the need of the hour. Our country has seen such troubling times recently that Pakistanis everywhere need to see these real stories of change.” said Nida Alavi, DFC Global Partner for Pakistan." We guarantee that everyone who comes to the exhibition will walk away inspired by how thousands of children have tackled bold issues in their schools, neighborhoods, villages and cities and changed countless lives across Pakistan.”
This year, stories of change tackled a broad spectrum of issues including environmental challenges like pollution, water conservation, traffic jams, use of polythene bags, shortage of electricity as well as social concerns like illiteracy, absence of livelihoods for struggling families, child rights, lack of training in basic first aid, absence of queuing in public spaces, bullying and lack of care of books among countless other problems. A small ceremony was held to commemorate the winners, where certificates and giveaways were also handed out.
At the event, Anwar Maqsood, poet and actor, expressed his thoughts on the initiative, “Via Design for Change, we have seen an alteration in the attitudes of children, embedding in them the desire to reach out and help others which in itself is an achievement. I too have been affected very deeply having read their stories, and encourage all of you adults and children alike to visit the travelling exhibition and see their stories for yourselves.”
Projects will be displayed and open to public at the Arts Council of Pakistan in Karachi from January 31 till February 1. After which it will be transported to Children’s Library Complex in Lahore on February 6 and National Library on February 8 in Islamabad.
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About Design for Change
The global Design for Change School Challenge is the world’s largest movement for change initiated by children. With over thirty countries involved and increasing every day, the countries participating to make it the world’s largest Design for Change School Challenge along with Pakistan include UK, Mexico, Japan, Brazil, Ireland, Canada, USA, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Australia, Finland, Indonesia, India, South Korea, Taiwan and many others. In its first year, Design for Change Pakistan reached 1500 schools while globally, the movement touched 50,000 schools. Design for Change presents children all over the world with an opportunity to wrestle with the world’s greatest challenges and design their own unique solutions to those problems, by taking one IDEA, implementing it for at least one WEEK, and CHANGING a million lives in the process. What the challenge intends to make visible is that this framework can and will inspire children across Pakistan to say “I Can!” This historic initiative is targeting schoolchildren of classes 3 to 8 from all over the country. We strongly believe that as change has no boundaries, any Pakistani child, irrespective of ethnicity or religion should be empowered to participate. DFC Pakistan is thankful to Safeguard for being lead sponsor of the initiative in 2011 and JWT for its creative support.