Empowering Street Children and Transforming Communities

Empowering Street Children and Transforming Communities: CIRCLE and GODH Unite for Impact

Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) CIRCLE, a dynamic women-centric tech-enabled non-profit, founded in 2018, is on a mission to revolutionize the lives of 1 million low-income women across Pakistan by 2025. Specializing in digital literacy, financial inclusion, and entrepreneurial skills, CIRCLE stands out not only for its ambitious goals but also for its commitment to gender diversity – founded by women, with over 60% female board members and more than 90% female team members.

Since its inception in 2018, CIRCLE has been actively engaged in conducting both online and in-person training sessions for women and girls from low-income households. The organization boasts cutting-edge programs such as the Digital Literacy Program (DLP), Digital Acceleration Program (DAP), She Loves Tech (SLT), Tech Karo, and Elevate.

The Digital Literacy Program, launched in 2018 with the support of UN Women during the pandemic, has already made a substantial impact, training 5042 low-income women across 60+ locations in the country. This success showcases CIRCLE’s commitment to bridging the digital divide and empowering women through technology.

In a groundbreaking collaboration, CIRCLE has joined forces with the Grass-Root Organization for Human Development (GODH), a Lahore-based non-profit civil society organization. Established in 1998, GODH has been tirelessly working on pro-poor community issues, particularly the rights and protection of children.

According to a recent survey by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), there are approximately 1.5 million street children in Pakistan, with a significant number residing in urban areas. In Lahore alone, an estimated 100,000 street children face various risks, including child labor, child marriage, substance abuse, and exploitation. These vulnerable children often lack access to basic necessities such as education, healthcare, and proper nutrition.

Under their joint project, 160 children from four communities will receive direct benefits through eight months of conventional and digital education. Furthermore, all 4605 community members, including 2058 children, will benefit from health camps, workshops, recreational activities, and various events. The project aims to increase access to education, digital literacy, improve health and hygiene, enhance livelihoods, provides parent and community training, offer recreational and sports activities, Conduct Theater and storytelling sessions, and increase community empowerment through collaboration with governmental and non-governmental organizations. Legal documentation will also be facilitated through the project.

Key figures and officials contributing to this initiative include SadafeAbid, emphasizing the importance of digital literacy for livelihood improvement; Nazir Ahmad Ghazi, addressing issues faced by slum communities; Muhammad, Superintendent of the Health Department in Lahore, highlighting government efforts; Nadeem Ashraf from the National Commission for Human Rights, addressing human rights violations; Sana Khawaja, Community Manager, shedding light on community issues and livelihoods; Mansoor Ahmad, DG Literacy, emphasizing the necessity of education; Ahmad Majeed, Child Law Expert, addressing child marriage, child labor, and harassment; and AndleesRizwan, Assistant Director NADRA, highlighting the importance of legal documentation.

This collaboration between CIRCLE and GODH signifies a powerful alliance working towards meaningful change. By combining efforts, both organizations aim to create a positive impact on education, digital literacy, health, hygiene, livelihoods, and overall community well-being.