IBBY Children in Crisis: Pakistan
Alif Laila Book Bus Society - IBBY Pakistan
Libraries for Flood Affected Children in Pakistan
Pakistan has been hit by the worst floods in its 63 year history, in fact, the worst floods to hit this area since 1926. 20 million people have been affected; of those 9 million are children. 3.5 million children are in grave danger of contracting water-borne illness. 11,000 schools have been swept away or been rendered unusable. 6,000 schools are being used as relief camps. In most cases people rushed to save their lives, leaving behind their all, not knowing where they would go or what they would do. The floods started in the northern Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province on the 28th of July 2010, inundating 20% of Pakistan in their southward journey to the sea, rendering 6 million people homeless and ruining standing crops on 7.9 million acres of farmland. Pakistan has to work its way out of this emergency we also have to be careful that the situation is not exploited by the Taliban in our country.
The people of Pakistan, shattered as they are by the enormity of this crisis, have risen to the challenge. People are looking at creative ways in which to respond. Celebrities, media, NGOs, school-going children, professionals, multinationals are volunteering their time, effort and money. Foreign agencies have rushed to provide much needed aid and equipment needed to access remote flood-hit areas.
At Alif Laila we have begun the challenging yet life-saving work of bringing back smiles to those children who have lost not only their homes, but their schools as well. Our volunteers visited Muzaffargarh in the Punjab province where out of the 2183 schools, 1175 had been rendered unsafe and 785 are being used as relief camps. In this district alone, 100,000 school dropouts are feared. In a relief camp set up in a government school, our volunteers distributed food, clothes, books and reading promotion hats which were a great success, even the older women wanted them. Alif Laila’s story book, Kahani Aik Jungle Ki (A Jungle Tells its Tale) a book on self-reliance and taking action for change left the children fascinated. We used bibliotherapy in the October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan and are doing it once again. We aim to provide our ‘Books Build Bridges’ libraries to as many relief camps and schools as funds allow.
The “Books Build Bridges” Kit Contains:
- 150 Story Books
- 5 Craft Kits
- 5 Marionettes
- 5 Bubble Making Kits
- 1 Interactive Storyboard
- 5 Mini Blackboards with Colored Chalk
- 5 Whiteboards with Markers
Replenishable materials cater to a group of 30 children, but the books can be used by the entire school.
Each kit costs Rs.20,000 (US$ 210)
Alif Laila will work with NGOs/Government agencies working in all five provinces of the country to distribute the library kits. We will provide feedback, children’s comments and photographs of the libraries as they are distributed and used.
Help us to raise enough to work with all the children!
Mark your donation with: IBBY Pakistan Appeal 2010