Agah Walidain

Agah Walidain - A mother engaging with her childAgah Walidain aims to provide the children of Northern Areas of Pakistan a head start to succeed in life! A home-based customized program that aims to engage families with infants and toddlers to begin their child's development through talking, playing, reading, nurturing and use of non-violent discipline techniques. The Agah Walidain Centers have the potential to make significant impact over the long term predicated on our belief that the government may not have the resources to put a school in every village, but the Agah Walidain program can train the mother to become a teacher in each home.

Agah Walidain in Urdu means informed parents. Focusing on children between age 0-3, the basic premise of this project is that development of children begins from the time of conception. This project came into existence based on two important factors [i] extensive research in one part of the world and [ii] dire need of communities in another.

The project was initially experimented in the US for many years and the recipient communities were very much appreciative of this innovative project. The founders of this initiative visited Pakistan in 2007 and felt that communities in the far flung areas of Gilgit-Baltistan needed such innovative ideas to bring up their children hence the project Agah Walidain. The pilot project has successfully benefited parents and children in two localities and there are greater demands from other parts of the region for its replication.

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Project Umeed

Project Umeed - An ECD specialist from the USA conducts a demonstration for Village TeachersProject Umeed (Project Hope) is a grass root Montessori based ECD program for the 3-6 age group that aims to provide age appropriate facilities, sustainable resources, and encourage active parental involvement in the classroom setting, in order for parents to become aware of their child's developmental needs. RF has targeted the 20 Community Based Schools (CBS) in Sindh which are rural based. Its pilot program is under implementation at the Khyber Community Based School where it will cater to over 100 students, with plans to increase the number of targeted students two-fold with a projected replication in 2010.

Project Umeed is envisaged to evolve its targeted constituency over time to cover all the grades in each CBS school so that a child that enters the school into its program gets to continuously benefit and grow until graduation. This will eventually require both the pilot programs to merge into one and evolve together so that a newly born child is nurtured by this combined program through high school. In order to ensure sustainability, both programs are village based, empowering the entire community to engage itself.

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Following the Child

This commonly used phrase comes from the Montessori practice of observing children in their natural environment (e.g. the prepared classroom)
and using their interests and level of ability as a
guide. The caregiver provides appropriate material
and adapts to meet the needs of each child accordingly.

Using Best Early Childhood Practices

Our programs are adapted for the specific areas
we engage in (e.g. rural environments) and utilize
time tested methods to make impact at the
grassroots level. We have a dedicated core of
experienced developers and trainers, with
backgrounds in a multitude of ECD disciplines.

Creating a More Peaceful and Sustainable World

By focusing on the early years, our programs capitalize on a window of opportunity when the brain is still forming and a person is most conducive to internalizing humanistic principles. By instilling a strong framework of values and ethics in our children, we plant seeds for future prosperity in the world.

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