Vehari Programme Unit
Area: 4,373 sq. km
Population: 2,613,020 (December 2009)
Districts: 3 sub-districts
Sponsored children: Around 8,560
Vehari is an old settlement beside the major river Sutlej, in Southern Punjab, Pakistan’s largest province. The area makes up part of the fertile Indus plains which are used to grow crops, particularly wheat and cotton.
Although a fertile area, the weather is extreme, especially during summer when the temperatures can reach 49°C. Flooding is a major issue in the monsoon seasons, where great devastation takes place in the communities living next to the river.
Plan-supported communities in Vehari have been unaffected by the floods crisis in Pakistan.
Quality education for all
Plan Pakistan has established approximately 43 Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) centres for children aged 3 to 5 years in Vehari. We have trained 43 caregivers in child psychology, and interactive teaching and learning methods which engage children in the learning process.
Eight primary schools have received additional classrooms and classes are now less crowded and more comfortable. “The children are learning quickly. They are well-behaved and disciplined,” said primary school teacher, Sumera.
Six adult literacy centres operate in the area for adults who missed the opportunity for education. These centres also provide 27 non-formal education classes for children who cannot attend formal schooling.
“I got the opportunity to take primary classes in the non-formal school. Now I have passed the exam and have enrolled in high school,” said Iram, aged 15.
Child rights campaigns
Around 180 government secretaries have been trained in the importance of birth registration, which gives children a formal identity and easier access to social services such as education and healthcare. Awareness campaigns have been run on the local radio station based on live discussion forums.
Plan’s Learn Without Fear campaign to end violence against children in school has been launched in the district. Approximately 204 teachers received specific training in appropriate and inappropriate forms of discipline within classrooms. Measures for reporting abusive treatment of children have also been put in place.
We are providing vocational training to 162 adult girls to give them greater livelihood opportunities. “Our parents are happy with this vocational centre in our village,” said student Shahida. “Initially we were designing dresses for our family members on our own without ever having any formal training.”
Health and sanitation
Six training programmes have improved the skills of traditional health workers (birth attendants), 76 female health workers and 519 primary healthcare staff.
The construction and rehabilitation of 5 sewage systems was completed with Plan Pakistan’s support, creating a healthier environment for all, especially for the children who spend much of their time playing and doing chores outside their homes.
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