Effort to support street children continues
This year the Ticket to Life (TTL) Project national coordinators met from 6-9 December 2013 in Karachi, Pakistan, and mapped out a strategic plan with a short and long-term effect for the coming year of 2014.
Guest speaker at the Opening Ceremony was Mrs. Shehla Raza, Deputy Speaker of the Sindh Provincial Assembly, who expressed hope that the concerted efforts invested in this regional project would continue and even become even wider not only in Pakistan but in other countries as well. She took pride in being part of the project that upholds the well-being of the children especially the street children or marginalized young people. Currently, Mrs Raza is known in Pakistan as a strong advocate of children protection act at the Sindh Provincial Assembly.
Echoing the same message was expressed by the Regional Scout Committee Chairman Dr. Chao Shou-Po in his speech on the same gathering and said that the heart of TTL was to be part of those hands that are building a good future for street children. He said TTL is one of the most important among the many projects that the Asia-Pacific Region is currently doing. Joining him was Regional Director Mr. J. Rizal C. Pangilinan who expressed his appreciation to all NSOs that are contributing in this project and for Pakistan Boy Scouts Association (PBSA) in hosting the said event.
Also present the whole period of the coordinators planning was the PBSA Chief Commissioner Abdul Karim Baloch who expressed his full concern not only on the TTL project but in all programs that is being implemented by PBSA. Mr Rizwan Jaffar, PBSA National Commissioner for Youth Affairs and Media and a member of the APR Programme Sub-Committee also attended the said gathering.
During the workshop, coordinators reported the significant changes of their Scouts seen during the advancement process. As coordinators, sharing of issues and challenges was made and how they faced and overcame the challenges. Joining the coordinators were scout leaders who will be starting TTL project in their districts in Pakistan.
Children who are under TTL are largely living in the streets due to poverty or abandonment. Currently, the TTL project has over 1000 Scout members in seven countries.
TTL Pakistan national coordinator Prof. Anwar Ahmed Zai facilitated the workshop, assisted by APR Director Syd Castillo and Ms Arjay Francisco-Cameros and funding from the Messengers of Peace.