CLF held to bring children closer to literature

Islamabad - A Children’s Literature Festival was organised here at Mashal Model School under a social movement founded by Idara-e-Taleem-O-Aagahi and Oxford University Press (OUP). It was the first school-based CLF to be held here with an aim to connect on more personal and intimate level with schools to ignite in them a love of literature. The sessions conducted throughout the school hours included creative writing session by Sehar Tariq, storytelling session by Shafaq Malik, Hina Haroon and Parveen Haq, while a separate workshop was also conducted by Farah Ali for teachers regarding the use of storytelling as a tool for classrooms.

The official opening of the event was done by Piotr Opalinski, Ambassador of Poland to Pakistan, who in his speech emphasised the need for literature to open our minds and to move forward in the world.  Serena Hotel’s GM also attended the festival and also brought cookies and treats for the children, which was a huge delight for them. Mashal Model School is a community development hub working in the area of Bari Imam since 2008. Starting out with only two children, it was the efforts of founder, Zeba Husain that has been the ultimate force behind creating this safe haven for kids who have been victims of hardships at home, as well as at work, when selling items such as flowers, shopping bags and sweets, and washing cars on the streets of Bari Imam, not to mention are constantly vulnerable to abuse and exploitations. 

Today Mashal is a self-funded school, comprising of almost 800 children in classes ranging from nursery to class 8. The school consists of underprivileged children, the majority of whom have never been to school before.

Children’s Literature Festival (CLF) (2011-2016) is a social movement founded by Idara-e-Taleem-O-Aagahi (ITA) and Oxford University Press (OUP) in collaboration with the Open Society Foundation (OSF) and several partners.

It is the first ever national level systematic event that intends to reach all territories and segments in Pakistan. Children’s Literature Festival is the only festival of its kind in Pakistan that is not only exclusively for children but has been held in all 4 provinces of Pakistan.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt