SPARC Participated in Pan Commonwealth Forum 8 (PCF8) Malaysia

SPARC has been in partnership with Commonwealth of Learning Canada since early 2016 and has been implementing young girls and women projects across Pakistan. SPARC was invited to present its work at the international conference at Open University Malaysia at the 8th Pan Commonwealth Forum held from 27th till 30th Dec 2016. The event is considered the most significant one for Commonwealth of Learning where research experts from more than 50 countries participate every three years to present their research pieces.

SPARC, due to its expertise in research on children, was invited to present its research paper, “Identification of Barriers to girls Education in South Punjab” at a parallel session with UNWOMEN Executive Director, Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. SPARC also exhibited its research work and publications at the Market Exchange event of the conference. Ms. Sabeen Almas (Project Manager SPARC), joined Ms. Sadia Hussain at the conference as the Project Manager, Commonwealth of Learning-Canada for Girls Inspire Project. SPARC is among the partners from five countries partnering for this project till 2019, that includes Bangladesh, India, Tanziania, Mozambique and Pakistan.

SPARC Invited to National Taiwan University

Eden Welfare Foundation in collaboration with National Taiwan University-Taipie organized its International Development Conference on Nov 1st and 2nd 2016. The conference is held every two years to acknowledge the developmental work based research from across the globe.

SPARC’s research paper titled, “Barriers to Girls Education in South Punjab” conducted by SPARC ED, Ms. Sadia Hussain was selected and sponsored to be presented at the conference. The research attracted several international partnerships opportunities for future work on girls and children’s education in Pakistan. The other themes covered in the conference were related to the challenges faced by migrant workers across the world, issues of elderly people, social policies and developmental work for mother and child.










On Universal Children's Day, UNICEF Calls for Protecting the Rights of Every Child

On 20th, November, 2016, highlighting the plight of millions of children around the world, the head of United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) called on everyone to recommit themselves to protect the rights of every child.

"When we protect their rights, we are not only preventing their suffering. We are not only safeguarding their lives. We are protecting our common future," said the UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake, in his message on Universal Children's Day.

Established on 20th, November, 1954, UN Universal Children's Day promotes international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children's welfare. This day also marks the day in 1989 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a human rights treaty that changed the way children are viewed and treated as human beings with a distinct set of rights instead of as passive objects of care and charity.

Further in his message on the day, this year, Mr. Lake called on the world to confront the "uncomfortable truth" that around the planet, the rights of millions of children are being violated every day.

New Mobile Phone System 'mBirth' Registers Tanzania's Invisible Children

Thanks to mBirth - a new birth registration system created by the Registration Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (RITA), a government agency tasked to register births and deaths, and mobile phone operator Tigo, birth registration is now easier in Tanzania.

Tanzania has one of the lowest rates of birth registration in sub-Saharan Africa, with only 16 percent of children under the age of five registered with civil authorities, according to the 2010 Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey, the most recent records available.

Child's rights campaigners say ensuring every child's birth is registered is crucial to protecting their basic rights and access to healthcare, education and justice.

Birth registration also helps to protect children from early marriage, child labor, trafficking and recruitment into the armed forces, campaigners say.

Fewer U.S. Children Lack Access to Healthcare

As a growing number of U.S. children have gained health insurance over the past decade, fewer kids are missing out on things like physicals and dental exams, a recent study suggests.

Steep declines in the number of uninsured have been well documented, largely as a result of growth in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. But the current study offers fresh evidence that kids are not only getting insured – they’re also becoming more likely to receive the care they need.

To assess shifts in children’s insurance and access to care, researchers analyzed U.S. survey data collected on about 178,000 children under age 18 from 2000 to 2014. Among all children, uninsured rates declined from 12.1 percent in 2000 to 5.3 percent in 2014, researchers report in Pediatrics. For Hispanic kids in particular, the proportion lacking a usual source of healthcare dropped from 13.9 percent at the start of the study to 6.3 percent by the end. The proportion of Hispanic children who had no doctor visits fell from 19.8 percent to 11.9 percent, while the proportion missing dental exams declined from 43.2 percent to 21.8 percent.

Black children also saw significant, if slightly less dramatic, gains. The proportion of black kids lacking a usual source of care fell from 8.4 percent to 3.6 percent during the study period. At the same time, the proportion that had no doctor visits dropped from 14.4 percent to 8.8 percent.


40,000 More Out of School Children to be Enrolled in KPK

The Elementary Education Foundation has decided to extend the provincial Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s programme for supporting the education of out of schools poor children in private schools to eight other districts, according to officials.

They said that with the extension of the programme to eight more districts, 40,000 more out of schools children would be enrolled in private schools in the areas where government schools were not set up within 1.5 kilometer radius.

The provincial government has been supporting out of school poor children under its Iqra Faroghe Taleem Voucher Scheme since April 2015. Currently, more than 16,000 students are getting education at the government’s expenses in six districts including Peshawar, Dera Ismail Khan, Kohat, Mansehra, Mardan and Swat. The officials said that the voucher programme would be extended to Charsadda, Bannu, Shangla, Dir Lower, Lakki Marwat, Nowshera, Swabi and Buner from the next academic year.

Intellectuals Stress the Need for Stories for Children in Urdu Literature

Talking about why Urdu literature for children has been suffering lately during an event in Karachi, Humera Athar translated a Chinese proverb into Urdu: Jis jungle mein shair khatam ho jatay hain, vahan bandar ki badshahat ho jati hai [Monkeys become kings of the jungle where lions go extinct].

Children used to write and send us their works to be published back in the day, reminisced Humera Athar, who headed the children’s pages in a newspaper for more than seven years.

She was a panelist at the session, titled ‘Urdu mein bachon ke adab ki soorat-e-haal [The state of Urdu literature for children]’, on the fourth day of the ninth Aalmi Urdu Conference at the Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi, on Sunday. The session was moderated by Ali Hasan Sajid.
“Children used to write and send us their works to get published in those days but today things have changed and newspapers do not accommodate such stories and do not encourage children to write,” she said.

According to Sajid, there were around 350 children magazines after 1947. However, he added, all were closed unfortunately and we hardly have 30 magazines today, out of which only four have their permanent offices.

Malnourished Children to Get Free Food Supplements

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health department has planned to provide free food supplements to children suffering from malnourishment to prevent occurrence of stunting and wasting, highly prevalent in the province.

Officials said that health department was purchasing nutritional food worth Rs 42 million through UNICEF. They said that the plan was aimed at scaling up nutritional status of children and preventing other ailments caused by malnourishment.

Officials said that a decision to put in place nutritional services at the government-run health facilities was taken in view of the malnourishment among children. Last week, Chief Minister-KPK declared malnutrition as emergency and directed the health department to start giving free services to the population.

“We are procuring nutrition supplements to be given to children and women suffering from malnutrition,” said officials.