Natalia Aslam Khan recently completed 9th grade from Headstart School. She was born in Northern California and lived there for approximately seven years before moving to Pakistan. She reminisce her memories of her early years in the US and loves to refresh them whenever her family gets an opportunity to visit. Her family moved to Karachi as the headquarters of the company her father works for was based there. After an initial turbulent experience in Pakistan, they soon adjusted to the new lifestyle. Her passion for sports developed there. She particularly relishes sports such as basketball, swimming and soccer. She is also an avid reader and one of her favorite books is “The Kite Runner” by Khalid Husseini. She loves to travel and her favorite destination is Austria, Europe.
She has a strong desire to volunteer especially in the areas of educating children, building confidence in them and improving the lives of the impoverished population of Pakistan. She inherited this passion of volunteering from her father who used to teach underprivileged students in the US. Her aunt, who is just a few years older than her, has also given her motivation to pursue this aspiration of her and she intends to be steadfast in the pursuit of this goal.
Natalia considers CLF to be an inspiring and enlightening movement, and is honored to be a part of this journey. She looks forward to meeting new people and finding ways to help the underprivileged to have an uplifting experience.
Tooba Sultan is in her third year of a BSc Program at the Lahore School of Economics pursuing Double Majors in Economics and Political Science. She has often assisted less privileged children with their studies, following the Punjab Board syllabus, which commenced her agony into grief. Her dreams are relentlessly hovering around improving the education standards in Pakistan and narrowing the gap between public and private schools. Studying at Lahore Grammar School has been a privilege that painted the best memories of her life. A privilege she believes shouldn’t be limited to a few in society. Her passion for public speaking and dramatics has made her expressive towards her ideas that she is adamant and determined can change Pakistan if, not the world.
Lahore has been her first love, whether it’s the halwa pooris, the overwhelming Punjabi humor, bargaining over 50rs with a Pathan, or a long drive from Main Boulevard to the Canal. Her love for her country and the ambition to bring change to the status quo has forced her to pursue a career in the Development Sector. “If you hate it, might as well just change it” is her mantra of life. In her spare time, Tooba likes to read books based on current affairs as well as philosophy and religion, do social work and yoga. Her recent obsession has been with “40 Rules of Love” by Elif Shafak that looks at the spiritual bond between Rumi and Shams Tabrizi.
Education may be a powerful instrument but to instill the ability to dream and ponder over the impossible leads to breakthroughs; a shoe in hand does not. “Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” ― Margaret Mead.
Tooba believes that children need to be taught how to look beyond what they see, hear and should be effortlessly pushed to the edge of brilliance without them knowing what just hit their life.
Reading brews imagination and the freedom of thought and expression. Therefore, she became interested to work with CLF which is social movement that promotes interactive methods of learning and works against the mundane school culture. CLF has helped children broaden their horizons with exposure to different activities such as “Bol kai lub azaad hain teray” which gives children self confidence and freedom of expression. Tooba aims to contribute to the society by being a part of this social movement.
Suleyman Anwar is 13 years old and studies in grade 8th at the Singapore American School. He is passionate about writing short stories; both fiction and non-fiction. Additionally, he writes analysis of news articles as well and makes it into a featured article.
He chose to intern here as he wants to guide the underprivileged children on how to write creatively. Additionally, he wants to read children’s literature and to summarize the various works to facilitate the children.
How has this internship inspired me? I learnt a lot from this internship, for example how to write book reviews to tell other readers what the book is about, and to prepare a short summary of the book. Also I did a lot of drawing/art to describe different objects, for example I drew a picture that represented a verb or an adjective. After I had finished drawing the picture, it was used to help children understand what a verb or an adjective is. I also wrote more short stories, which were used in a magazine so others could read it and get an idea about how to create stories of their own. I have had a lot of experience in creating stories and book reviews, for instance in school in Singapore where it isn’t called a book review but an author study.
In an Author Study I basically explain what the author is trying to show in his/her story. Then I take sections of text as evidence from the book to support my author theory. This concept has helped me write book reviews I have put together in this internship, and written for children of a certain age. CLF (Children’s literature Festival) has also inspired me to draw pictures of book covers and authors to put these on a ‘tree’ to show all the books so these inspire children to read. So this Internship has really inspired me in terms of helping those children who don’t have the opportunities or education to learn everything and are poor. It has made me happy that I have been able to help others who are less privileged than me.
Aleem Anwar is currently studying in grade 8th at the Singapore American School. His expertise is in writing stories, both long and short. He also writes short biographies of authors and featured articles. He was inspired by his parents to utilize his time productively and to do an internship in summers. Additionally, he believes that this would be a great learning experience for him where he will not only acquire new skills but will also meet new people. He expects it to be a unique experience for him with various learning opportunities.
What was my experience over the past one month of internship at CLF (Children’s Literature Festival)? I have had a great deal of fun doing this internship. I have learnt what it is like to be in an office environment, coming everyday to work became an enjoyable habit. Often it even felt like being back at school. I did a fair amount of work, which wasn’t boring. I was involved in two workshops which I enjoyed a lot. The first workshop was about writing short stories. I already knew how to write short stories from school in Singapore. For instance, writing a feature article and an author study. In my language arts class in Singapore I have learnt how write a feature article and prepare for publishing in a magazine. I have used my knowledge about writing feature articles to write a book review for CLF. In the second workshop I visited the Habib Bank Limited (HBL) where I learnt about savings and credit cards and debit cards. HBL supports the CLF. In that workshop a story was read about a boy who saved his money and became successful later on life, versus another boy who spent all his money and did not succeed when he grew up. I enjoyed the most this workshop. I met many interesting persons who work in CLF. Other things I did during this internship were making posters, coloring cards, preparing math and English worksheets for school children and much more. I have had a great deal of fun at this internship and I wouldn’t mind doing it again.
CyraKhawar is a student who is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in social sciences. She has been working as an intern at Idaara-e-taleem o aagahi for 3 months. She has successfully been working alongside the CLF and TWF team, helping them with their projects. And now has been given the opportunity to lead a project herself. One related to our recently departed saint Edhi Sahib.