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RIzwan's Activity Reports

The Milestone Conducted
Active Citizens' Programme
“Connected Globally, Engaged Locally”

Date: 18th & 19th January, 2013

Time: 10am to 5pm

Organizers: Milestone Society for the Special Persons in collaboration with STEP, Punjab CBID, Sindh CBID and DWA (Disabled Welfare Association) Karachi

Venue: Milestone Office, Lahore

Participants: 30 Participants including Disabled and Non-disabled persons

Facilitators: Mr. Shafiq Ur Rehman (Milestone) Lahore

Mr. Kashif Umar (STEP) Islamabad

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Ms. Sidra Bajwa (Milestone) Lahore

“The world is getting more crowded,” said philosopher and cultural theorist, Kwame Anthony Appiah. “Depending on the circumstances, conversations across boundaries can be delightful or just vexing. What they mainly are, though, is inevitable.”

“Globally connected, locally engaged”

In today's world, we encounter a greater variety of perspectives, cultures and communities than ever before. This is partly the result of globalization, through which people and countries have become increasingly connected culturally, politically and economically.

The Active Citizens programme envisages a world in which these increasing connections lead to positive outcomes. A world where people feel empowered to engage peaceably and effectively with others in the sustainable development of their communities.

This vision is important at a time when decisions taken locally can have an immediate impact globally and vice versa – whether it's controversial Danish cartoons or decisions on the global climate, we are reminded of our interconnected lives.

Who is involved?

Active Citizens is a not-for-profit programme run by the British Council in partnership with civil society organizations who share this vision. The programme works with people who have demonstrated they have local social responsibility, including youth workers, women’s groups, educators and faith leaders. Working together, these local influencers build trust and understanding, develop skills and deliver projects on urgent themes such as poverty, literacy, democracy and climate change, and connecting local and international agendas through the programme.

So far it has reached around 80,000 Active Citizens from diverse communities in over 30 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Linked as part of a global network, including 21 communities from the UK, Active Citizens undertake a common learning journey that enhances their leadership, inter-cultural and project management skills.

How it works

  1. A national strategy. Research identifies key national issues. For example, in some countries a key issue might be literacy, in others, environmental protection might be considered more urgent. The British Council then forms partnerships with civil society organizations working in these areas, to enable the delivery of Active Citizens locally.
  2. Facilitator development workshops. Delivery partners identify local facilitators. These facilitators take part in facilitator development workshops to find out more about the programme and explore approaches to delivering the programme locally.
  3. Local community delivery. Local facilitators adapt and deliver local workshops to groups of Active Citizens in their communities.
  4. Active Citizens work with facilitators to design and deliver social action projects in their communities.
  5. Globally connected. Locally engaged Active Citizens connect to a global network through study visits and exchanges with other countries, as well as through sharing via online portals and working on joint activities with communities around the world

Proceedings of the Training:

The Milestone Society for the Special Persons organized Active Citizens' two days training in collaboration with STEP, Punjab CBID, Sindh CBID and Disabled Welfare Association Karachi where disabled and non-disabled participants from Karachi and Lahore were provided with the training of living as an active and productive citizen in their communities. Mr. Shafiq Ur Rehman from Milestone and Mr. Kashif Umar from Step facilitated the Training sessions. Mr. Shafiq formally introduced the participants and described Active Citizens' Program that how it works explaining its objectives and impact in community. Mr. Kashif facilitated the training sessions with his expertise, distributed charts and sticky notes among the participants to write down what they wish to achieve in form of Tree of Dreams, some wished they want to get education, some aspired to work in disability field and female participants wished to have a society where women r provided with the equal status and opportunities with their counterparts.

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The rules of the training were formed and agreed by the participants with mutual consensus and in a friendly manner i.e Time Management, Discipline, Respect, Activeness, Concentration and that Cell Phones will remain Silent to ensure the concentration. Most of the activities involved charts and sticky notes as it ensures maximum participation of each participant.

Mr. Kashif explained the concept of 3Vs, stands for Verbal. Vocal and Vision and asked participants to draw their picture on the chart showing what is near to their heart and what they keep away from it? This activity gave vent to the innermost feelings if the participants to express themselves.

Punishment for late comers was also decided and colored the training proceedings, it was decided that the participants will be deciding the punishment for late comers in Public Demand session.

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Mr. Shafiq initiated Energizer after tea break by practicing Finger Clap, the energizer sessions infused a fresh spirit in participants in whole training. Different energizers were practiced like singing song, dancing, play a role etc. The next activity was related to Play Role in TV Show, newspaper and radio where participants were divided into 4 Groups and they had to discuss what active citizens make change in the year 2023, after 10 years. The participants played acted their role and discussed live about the past achievement of active citizens training. The purpose of this activity was to make vision about future, to think what we would achieve in the next years through this training. Mr. Shafiq delivered lecture on Capacity Building by explaining how the capacity of every individual differs and how it can be increased and built thorough enhancing the skills. A man with chain having 2kg weight in his feet is unable to walk but an elephant can do it as the capacity differs.

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We can make difference in our community by initiating small steps like planting, cleaning our street, making environment accessible etc. It is all about having vision and commitment to do something as an active member of the society. Then forms were distributed among the participants and lunch was served. Mr. Amanat being late after lunch for the next session was punished on public demand and he had to perform dance and it served as energizer for the next session too. Another interesting activity was observed where participants were divided into 4 Groups and they had to write about 4 different situations i.e Eid/ Basant Celebration, Long March, Reunion Party and Presentation in front of Boss , the groups had to work in rotating manner and fill each chart with their opinion about the given situations. The purpose of the said activity was to make participants think and express their views what they think about the situations and how they celebrate or manage these with their resources.

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The session was sell presented and four participants faced public demand including Kamran, Ayusha, Johnny and Topi , they had to perform Gangnum Dance, Cat walk and perform as Rikshaw as well. Cat and Rat play was performed by two participants, one of them was blind folded to catch other guessing the movements. Mr. Kashif motivating the participants floated a thought provoking question what comes in your mind listening word Accessibility, write Eight words about accessibility on sticky notes divided in two groups, then mix up and make Four words out of these eight words, finally four participants select Four final words on accessibility by pairing with each other. This activity provided the participants with the learning to think in the realistic manner consulting each other.

Tillu and Hathora Group, the participants were divided in two said groups to debate on accessibility to find out the better way, after harsh criticism the four logical points were mutually agreed by both the groups. Mr. Kashif raised the question what is difference between Dialogue and debate to make the participants clear about what they have been doing discussing accessibility. What is required for a good dialogue? Connection, Communication, Topic, Respect to each other and Patience they relied but during discussion they had no patience to listen to each other so it made them realize how to make a dialogue Successful to meet a goal and result. The first day wrap up with a melodious song by Mr. Kashif Umar.

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The Second Day proceeds with the revision of last day learning activities by participants, divided again in same groups to revise what they practiced and learned last day. They had to present their last day activities through their group representatives. It was an energizer as some late comers had to face public demand including singing song, reciting Alif, Bay, Pay and reading Twinkle Twinkle Little Star poem. Mr. Kashif floated an interesting question asking participants to express their feelings about yesterday training by telling what AHA was and what as OHO for them meaning what was interesting and what they did not like? There comes interesting answers that refreshed the participants.

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Fish Bowl Activity , Participants were divided in groups to debate on the given Accessibility topic, one would had to debate and dialogue and other group had to observe in the outer circle. The purpose of this activity was to engage participants to learn that one should be aware of his surroundings, observing what is happening in the community as an active citizen. After tea-break the participants were again divided in groups to match 10 Statements written on charts with the words written on stick notes provided to each. The statements were as following

  • Whether I am honest
  • What kind of music I like
  • Whether I choose to spend time helping others
  • Whether I go to worship
  • What my moral values are
  • How many children I can have
  • Whether people get the same chance in life
  • How I dance
  • What kind of clothes I usually wear
  • What language I speak

The words to match these statements were as following:
a) Parents b) Religion c) Government d) Culture e) Individual/ Many

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The purpose of this activity was to make participants to be aware of the culture and norms of the proposed areas where they visit for the implementation of projects that what matters in different communities and who decides about different issues and situations. Participants had to explain why they matched statements with the given words so that situation stands clear to all others. Public demand energizers again and participants including Asher, Zahid and Kamran had to present Gangnam Dance famous these days.

How Our Area Look like to us, this activity involved creativity as participants divided in two groups were given a task to draw City Map of Lahore and Karachi. The said map should include famous historical places of the city and the groups had to present the map before other group guiding them to travel different places. They had to explain if someone visits their certain city then how should he travel using this drawn map? The purpose of this activity was to aware the participants that it is important to know the city they are going to work as one needs accommodation and other facilities during stay.

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Energizer after Lunch followed practising Say say koray, say say koray sa,si si si , si si maga, maga maga maga. Next activity was related to tea-making where participants divided in groups had to write down tea making process with maximum requires action and then explain to other group. It was interesting to note each action of making tea and all the groups done in wonderfully especially females as they had more experience of kitchen work. The purpose of this activity was to learning team work, how to engage team members actively.

Conflict, what brings this word to your mind Mr. Kashif asked the participants in the next session. What RED COLOUR brings to your mind? The participants had to explain the red areas in their minds and life that that what makes them annoyed most of the times. It was thought provoking process for all the participants as they started turning pages of their life history searching and explaining what makes them feel anger and annoyed being Red Flag for them. Then four groups of participants played role of expressing their anger situation by playing role of a Statue.

The last energizer engaged participants to play role of Hen, they had to make voice of hen gathered in a circle. Final words were delivered by Mr. Shafiq Ur Rehman where he appreciated the efforts of Mr. Kashif Umar for facilitating this training and added that we all hope that this training will bring positive change in our lives and we will be working as active citizens in our respective communities.


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