GOOD PEOPLE GOOD WORKS Flying with the Bird of Light: Pakistan’s Funkor Child Art Center - P2/2 (In Urdu)    
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Today’s Good People, Good Works will be presented in Urdu and English, with subtitles in Arabic, Aulacese (Vietnamese), Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Urdu and Thai.

Fauzia (f): A mother is called Amai in some areas of Pakistan. So I named my bird “Amai,” because Amai loves children, and she loves children like a mother and my bird Amai is made of light, just like mothers tell you, “Don't do this, this is right, this is wrong. Amai wants light to be shining in children's minds, their mind are enlightened.

HOST(IN URDU): Hallo, splendid viewers, and welcome to Good People, Good Works on Supreme Master Television. Today’s show features the conclusion of our two-part series on the non-profit, volunteer organization Funkor Child Art Center in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Founded in 2002 by peace advocate, artist and children’s book author Fauzia Aziz Minallah, the Center promotes awareness of environmental protection, preservation of traditional culture, human rights, moral values and peace through art appreciation and book reading.

Fauzia(f): (The name) Funkor is made out of two languages spoken at (my) home. I speak Urdu with my husband, so “fun” means “art” in Urdu, and “kor” is my mother language; a Pashto word, “kor” means “house” so it means an “art house” for children. The main purpose is really to promote art among children, but use the medium of art and book reading to promote concepts of peace, tolerance, human rights, environment and heritage protection.

Nausheen: My name is Nausheen Malik. And I work as a coordinator for Funkor Child Art Center. I started work in 2009 and it’s been two years since I joined. I love working here with special needs children and especially the ones who cannot see. While working with blind children, one feels very touched, because once a child made a painting with three children and he said that these are my three siblings.

HOST: Fauzia Minallah now kindly introduces us to two of Funkor Child Art Center’s core projects, Amai Park at the Al-Maktoom Special Education Center for Visually Handicapped Children and the “Arts and Books for Children In Crisis” program.

Fauzia(f): We are in Al-Maktoom Center for visually impaired children. And this was in 2006 when I really wanted to work with blind children because I saw an exhibition of tactile drawings in Germany, and I got that material and I wanted to do it here, so I met Ms. Robina Anjum, the director of the Al-Maktoom Center; she welcomed me and ever since I've been working here as a volunteer.

Robina(f): Fauzia came to me in 2006. She was carrying special paper. This special paper is used by special needs children to make drawings. She requested to work with the special needs children. She said that she wanted to get a sketch of these children’s thoughts about nature and different things. They have not seen anything, but they might tell us how the moon looks like, flowers, and trees.

I said, “Okay,” and then she started coming to the school and children started drawing all these things on the paper. They also used special clay to make different models with her help. Small models, models of everything, eatables, they made all the things out of clay, then they thought to arrange an exhibition so that we can tell people that these children also have the same feelings.

HOST: Ms. Minallah became aware that the public parks in Islamabad are not designed to meet the needs of visually impaired children, so with the help of other like-minded friends she decided to do something about it.

Fauzia(f): And it was a couple of years back when this idea came up that we should have a special play area for blind children. Because blind children when they go to parks, because they can't see, they get pushed and they can't play like normal children. And while children who can't talk or can't hear, at least they can see that somebody is coming or somebody is pushing so they can take care of themselves. But for blind children, it's very difficult to play in public parks. So that's why we built this area that is like any other public park. And this was all funded by Pakistani friends, our Dr. Anwar Dil and a few more people, and they raised funds for this park.

Robina(f): And really these children come from disadvantaged families and they do not get a chance to play around like this. Then we thought that we will include a water feature in the park and sand feature in addition to the play place toys so that children get the full opportunity to enjoy nature like ordinary children do and help each other.

HOST: The park is named after Amai, the bird of light, the main character in a children’s book series written and illustrated by Fauzia Minallah that teaches young ones about different cultures and peaceful living. Her books include “Sadako’s Prayer,” a true story about a little girl in Hiroshima, Japan for which Ms. Minallah received the 2007 Hiroshima Citizen's Award for its peace-advocacy message. Now let’s have a look around Amai Park to see how it meets the needs of the children at the Al-Maktoom Center.

Fauzia(f): I wanted this play area to be really special for these children so that they can enjoy themselves and use their limbs just like any other normal child. But the only different things that you will see is that the slide has all these sides, they are raised so that they don't fall, and we have a bar where a child cannot go straight. These special braille tiles, they were donated by an architect, Faiza Moatasim, and they are A, B, C.

So we wanted everything in this park to be educational as well as, you know, including something of beauty, and through that beauty, they can also learn something. So on this side is ABC, on the other side we have a ا (alif), ب (be), پ (pe), which is in Urdu, the alphabet in Urdu. And this is all painted by the children here. Because some children have a little bit of vision, they can see from a distance of two or three inches, they have painted, and because a flower is very easy to paint, they painted the flowers.

And the children who can't see, we just told them to go make these dots. And then, if you come on the other side, I will show you that we used stencils for blind children. And then they painted with stencils, like this circle is made with a stencil and that was made by a blind child. And the reason why it is all so colorful is that although the children can't see here, we wanted to tell them that it doesn't matter if they can't see, we will paint this place as bright and as cheerful for any child who can even see because we wanted a very nice, bright, cheerful place for them.

So you can see that there're a lot of trees here; this is a banana tree where children can feel, how and where banana grows from and then they also feel the big leaves and then they feel the small leaves of this tree and then they can compare that this is a big leaf and that tree has a small leaf. So this place has a lot of trees also to give them shade, and keep them cool in summer also. So in this corner, we have all these fragrant plants for them. It's basil; it's a beautiful scent. So when they sit here, I ask them if they can smell something and they always tell me that it's a very nice sweet smell.

HOST: Volunteers from local schools sometimes organize events with Funkor Child Art Center to bring joy to the children at the Al-Maktoom Center. For example, a group of high school students from the Beaconhouse School System painted Amai Park’s play structure and then organized a party for the children that featured activities such as singing songs and distributing gifts.

Syed (m): Actually, I was very much interested in doing social welfare work. After that, I searched the Internet and came across Funkor Child Art School. I contacted Madam Fauzia and talked to her and arranged our first event in the school, which went very well. Then we started working with her. We feel very good over here. We get an inner satisfaction when we come here and see a totally different atmosphere where we have the opportunity to gain experience and children also become happy and their small smile also matters a lot.

HOST: Through the Funkor Child Art Center’s “Arts and Books for Children In Crisis” program, a number of uplifting events are held for young ones who live in challenging environments.

Fauzia (f): I work with children who are really in crisis situations, they are either in relief camps or they are in shanty towns. So for them it’s a very beautiful respite from their bleak surroundings and it's a healthy activity they get. Art has a very therapeutic effect on children, so that is why I use art, because I would love to help these children. It's the art I use as a tool to give them a nice, productive time.

Rahat (f): This is “Sadako’s Prayer” and Madam Fauzia came here and she told us that this book is a book of peace.

Danish (m): In this book, I liked Amai the most; she takes the small girls on adventures and she is a fairy.

Ahmed (m): My name is Ahmad Faraz and I am a student at Punjab University. I have been connected with Fauzia and Funkor for the past five years and we have worked together during the earthquake and Fauzia informs me whenever she wants to take me as a volunteer. I felt so happy when I came here that I am helping disadvantaged children and I feel satisfied. We should take care of them and we should teach them because they are our future and we can gain a lot from them.

HOST: Ms. Fauzia Minallah, and all Funkor Child Art Center volunteers, we sincerely appreciate all that you are doing for underprivileged children in Pakistan. Surely through the steadfast devotion of yourself and others a more joyous, colorful future is assured for all Pakistani youth.

For more details on Funkor Child Art Center, please visit

OUTRO (IN ENGLISH): Happy viewers, thank you for your company on today’s program. Up next is The World Around Us, after Noteworthy News. May all children be forever blessed with Divine love and be gifted with bright, blissful surroundings.
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