Japan extends grant for a social development project

Japan

ISLAMABAD: The Government of Japan has extended a grant of US $ 94,184 to Pakistani NGO, Bright Star, for implementation of the social development project for disadvantaged communities in the suburbs of Islamabad.

The agreement for the project was signed on 8th March 2017 at the Japanese Ambassador’s residence in Islamabad, by Takashi Kurai, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan and Saeed Malik, the Chairman of NGO Bright Star.

Vice Chairman of Indus Motors Company Limited Toshiya Azuma also attended the ceremony.

NGO Bright Star was founded in 2009 and commenced its Mobile Library operations in 2011 for schools which had no library facilities of their own. Currently the NGO serves in around 20 schools where such facilities were previously neglected.

With their intervention positive changes in attitudes of students as well as the school faculty towards reading have been witnessed.

Considering the positive impacts of these Mobile Libraries, the increasing demand coming directly from the local communities, and also in order to enhance reading and learning skills among more children of marginalized households, the Government of Japan has decided to provide the current grant under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) scheme in order to reach out to more underprivileged children and expand further the areas of services of Bright Star Mobile Library (BSML).

Two Japanese vehicles, arranged by Indus Motors Company Limited under the first Public-Private Partnership (PPP) component of GGP scheme for this year, will be modified into mobile libraries and then will be fully equipped with 850 Books each; and electronic media items such as Projectors and DVD Players will also be installed in them. Indus Motors will also provide free maintenance to these vehicles for a specified time-period.

The objective is to promote library culture and respect for books by providing 5000 to 7000 preparatory to 5th grade students of schools to be identified later on with an access to excellent quality books for reading in English and Urdu every week.

Project activities will include but will not be limited to storytelling to younger students as well as guiding and self-learning book reading sessions in each school every week.

Takashi Kurai, at the signing ceremony, expressed how greatly better-quality and easily accessible facilities of education contribute to strengthening the foundation of long term development for both individuals as well as communities of the country.

He then further assured continuous support to the Pakistani communities and hoped that the projects signed today would certainly strengthen further the friendly relations between Japan and Pakistan.