LWCO school #3 is in Arshad town near the waste water canal. This colony is in the outskirts of the main city ‘Faisalabad’. As compared to suburban areas in USA that are well developed and wealthier, Arshad town is quite poor. Most people belong to labour class where paying rent and having two meals in a day is the main worry for the parents. Majority of the girls go to other areas and work as house maids. It is tough job with minimum pay (less than a $1 a day) and whole day of work to clean the houses and take care of other people’s children. Majority of them did not know how to read and write.
I had a long chat with one mother who was there with two daughters and asked her that why she did not send her daughters to school. Her answer was that schools were far away and it was not safe for girls to walk to the schools by themself. She herself was working as house maid at that time. Now she was greatful that LWCO schools provided them opportunity to learn to read and write as well as learn skills of sewing that enables her girls to stay home and generate income for the family by stitching other people’s clothes.
I encouraged her to learn to read and write herself as there is no age limit for learning and gaining knowledge.
There are two teachers in this school. Qudsia khatoon has bachelor’s degree as well as diploma from vocational school. She was teaching girls in very systematic way of cutting patterns and then stitching. After training of four years, students get tested by teachers of other vocational school and diplomas are distributed. The second teacher of school is Aysha Nasir.
Both teachers are serving over 100 female students of different ages. As the space is limited, they divided the students in two groups with morning and evening shifts.
The major issue for this schools was limited sapce and availability of sewing machines. It is hard to teach class of 50 students on two sewing machines. I was amazed with the skill and agility of girls when they showed me some of their patterns.
I believe to get excellent results on any project if you guide them well. I also observe that this school has the most talent pools. Girls were able to make one patch in few hours as compared to other school where it was taking bit longer time.