Program Profile of Agah Walidain

Agah Walidain (AW-IP) in Urdu means Informed Parents. Focusing on children between the ages of Birth to 3 years, the basic premise of the project is that development of children begins from the time of conception. AW-IP came into existence based on two important factors i.e. extensive research in one part of the world and dire need of communities in another. The project was created in the United States and has successfully operated for many years, impacting countless families. The founders of this initiative visited Pakistan in 2007 and felt that families from the far flung areas of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) could benefit greatly with a similar ECD program. This was eventually realized with the inception of Agah Walidain in the city of Gilgit and in the village of Gich. The first year pilot has proven to be very successful, as indicated by an external evaluation and the increased demand for the program in other parts of the GB.


Core Values

  1. Prenatal to three years of a child’s life is critical for his/her brain development and earliest relationships and experiences that a baby has. It helps set the stage for lifelong growth in emotional and other competencies.
  2. Home is the first school and parents are the best teachers to begin with.
  3. All families and their children deserve to have the best possible opportunities to succeed.
  4. Investing in high quality early care and learning is essential to reduce the achievement gap for low income young children.
  5. A comprehension and appreciation of the history and diversity of cultures is essential in serving families.


Goals and Objectives

Empower parents for optimum development of their children and to set a pathway of lifelong learning through timely information and support during the first three years.

The goal of this program is to provide a comprehensive program of education for parents and primary caregivers of children from prenatal to three years of age. The purpose of this project is to assist parents and primary caregivers in building their parenting skills and thus becoming their child’s most influential teachers.

Program objectives

  1. Increase knowledge and enhance parenting skills of parents and primary caregivers to become active agents of change in the child’s holistic development;
  2. Create a safe and positive parenting environment at home;
  3. Alleviate stress from parenting and promote a peaceful environment;
  4. Engage parents in regular literacy activities with their children;
  5. Identify critical areas of need through regular assessment and ongoing screening of the child.

The child should receive:
  1. An active, positive and stimulating environment to grow in;
  2. Love and nurturing for optimum development of their brain and body;
  3. Appropriate care as needed through ongoing screening and early intervention.


Program and Service Delivery Mechanism
The program is implemented through trained field support staff known as “Family Support Motivators (FSMs)” under the guidance and support of the Project Coordinator. Parents receive research based knowledge and guidance about various aspects of prenatal and postnatal requirements of children and the role of parents therein. This knowledge is shared through formal sessions at the Resource Centers of the program and monthly home visits by the Family Support Motivators.

The Project Coordinator and Family Support Motivators educate parents on age-appropriate milestones and parenting topics suited to the age of the child. They are educated about the age-appropriate stimulating activities, while explaining how to play with the child and challenge his/her problem solving skills and observe the child’s developmental growth. Each month the parents have homework on observing and tracking the child’s growth, interests, activities and reactions. Parents are asked to maintain their observations in a journal. Moreover parents are encouraged and motivated to read age-appropriate materials to their children and attend monthly family sessions at their respective resource centers. Field staff regularly observes the parent interactions with the child at home and also tracks their developmental milestones while at play hence screening each child’s need for further intervention.



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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