Local teens give back with innovative educational games

It’s great to see young people giving back. A group of teens from three schools in Karachi got together to make the most of lockdown downtime by creating resources for underprivileged children.

They took some of their own childhood favourite games like Taboo and Pictionary and gave them a cultural twist. They said that they realised that these games were a great way to teach skills like lateral and critical thinking. They wanted to boost the children’s perception, communication and social skills. They created the materials for the games and instructional videos to distribute, calling themselves JAAGO which means “Wake Up”.

Amal Ali, one of these inspired young teenagers says,

“JAAGO believes in giving children the power to explore their abilities and the space to creatively direct their own learning. Therefore, we gave traditional games a cultural twist and made them more accessible for all children and all layers of society.”

The teams provides all the materials for each game as well as short instruction videos. Games include versions of Taboo, Pictionary, Spot the Difference and the Memory Game.

Another one of the volunteers Imaad Feerasta says, “These games have been important parts of our childhood and we would like to see other people learn from them like we have.”

Their first project was Hamari Kahani library, which is a non profit organisation which aims to help educate the future generations of Pakistan by providing low income schools with portable libraries. They distributed their games to the children, some of whom lived nearby and others who came from further afield.

The team includes Amal Ali, Imaad Feerasta, Arman Ali Khan, Alina Vohra, Amal Naveed, Shazaib Bandukda and Eman Haq. Their next project is currently in progress as the games are being printed though the project is delayed due to the second Covid wave.

The team has big plans,

“We’ve gotten in touch with orphanges in Karachi such as Sweet homes Orphange which is located near Iqra university. They have a boys orphange and one for girls, catering to all different ages,” says Eman Haq.

The team goes on to say,

“We are also distributing 50 packages to Next generation Pakistan which is in Lahore. It is a youth based NGO working to uplift others in the hope of building a more responsible, empathetic and tolerant society. Our games will be sent to Lahore and the volunteers there will be teaching these games with the help of our instruction videos at the street school.”

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