ILM-Power Children Center, a project co-supported by University of Lahore and Protection and Help of Children against Abuse & Neglect (PAHCHAAN) and located at Walton, Lahore is currently providing free education and food to 63 students (34 girls and 29 boys) in two shifts. The centre that started in 2017, is now calling for volunteers especially the youth to work with it and learn more about child rights. It also calls upon Civil Society Organizations and other well-wishers to build more ILM-Power Learning Centre for children who are deprived of education.
This learning center admits children of lower and lower-middle class families, without any fee, and enlightens them with life skill based education and activity based non-formal education for children who were once out of school. These include child laborers or children who can no longer be enrolled in regular schools. It also provides them healthy nutritious food during the class break and avails them a chance to exercise in its gymnasium located in the basement of the center.
Government and even private schools lack life skill based education which entails problem solving, body protection, health and hygiene etc. These skills are imperative for people living in densely populated neighborhoods
The Centre was able to help Ayesha Shehbaz whose father was a drug addict and would not maintain social relationships, and thus abandoned the family early. Due to financial constraints, Ayesha had to stay at home all day to perform house-hold chores and had to discontinue her studies for 5 years. Through the Centre’s community social workers, Ayesha heard about UOL-PAHCHAAN ILM Power Learning Center, she wanted to educate herself but her mother was hesitant to enroll her as she thought Ayesha was overaged. They were told that the learning center does not discriminate against children who can’t apply anywhere else for any reason and all children are welcomed with open arms.
Although she had forgotten her basic studies over five long years sitting at home, now, she is confident in her abilities because she can read and write.