British Council has won 'The Collaboration Award' at the Bond International Development Awards 2018 for the #ILMPOSSIBLE: Take a Child to School programme at a ceremony in London.
The Bond International Development Award 2018- an internationally recognised award- that celebrates inspiring humanitarian and development work. The Collaboration Award recognises effective relationships and collaborations within and across sectors and disciplines to tackle difficult issues.
British Council’s ILMPOSSIBLE: Take a Child to School is programme co-funded by Educate A Child, an initiative of the Education Above All Foundation (Qatar) which has the mission to enrol out-of- school children across the globe. Through ILMPOSSIBLE, over 225,000 previously out-of-school children (OOSC) have been enrolled in school across 65 districts of Pakistan. 15,000 young volunteers were trained to run door-to-door awareness campaigns and work with parents to facilitate vulnerable OOSC’s enrolment and retention. There are over 3,000 community members sit on ‘mohalla’ (neighbourhood) committees and collaborate with schools, the local education department and the communities to address barriers to school enrolment and retention through advocacy and self-help initiatives. These impressive results were achieved through the collective efforts of British Council, Educate A Child and a network of 28 local partners across Pakistan.
While accepting the award, James Hampson, Deputy Director of the British Council in Pakistan said:
Congratulations to my colleagues in Pakistan whose great work helped 225,000 children into the classroom out of which 40 per cent were girls. The success of ILMPOSSIBLE: Take a Child to School was made possible due to the efforts made by parents, youth volunteers, teachers, community influencers, local NGOs and support from Educate a Child. Continuing our efforts we have started work on the second phase of ILMPOSSIBLE: Take a Child to School that aims to take more children to school.
The second phase of ILMPOSSIBLE: Take a Child to School aims to enrol 200,000 out of school children, enable positive learning in 400 new public schools through life skills and sports. The project will also train 500 teachers to play a leadership role in their communities and aims to establish 550 more ‘mohalla’ committees to enable better coordination between local education departments, schools, and communities.
On the programme, Shazia Khawar, Director Society, British Council in South Asia said:
This programme’s success has been achieved through the British Council’s commitment to harnessing the potential of the youth, fostering a culture of volunteerism and community ownership for creating societies that work better for people. The collaboration between parents, schools, community-based organisations and government representatives has ensured a viable mechanism for removing barriers to education and bringing sustainable change in communities.
These efforts are made to bring sustainable change for children living in rural and marginalised communities by creating an awareness and appreciation on the importance of education in the development of young people.