AMN Primary is the primary school we have supported since our beginnings. It is located in Mehmoodabad (Urdu: محمود آباد), one of the poorer districts in eastern Karachi. The children start here at the age of around 5 years in the Pre-Nursery class and have the opportunity to attend school here until they transfer to the 5th grade. The children's parents are often rickshaw drivers or run a small fruit stand. Without AMN Primary, many of the children would not have the opportunity to go to school. The school has seven teachers and consists of two rooms that together have around 60 square meters. It is located between a workshop and a hairdresser at a small intersection in Mehmoodbad. It is therefore often referred to as Garage School, but that will soon be over.


At the beginning of our commitment, the school had around 30 students. It was founded over 40 years ago by Asad's mother as an institution for girls. Back then, it was primarily about teaching values ​​and education about feminine hygiene. Over the years the school grew significantly and the girls' brothers and cousins ​​were now also allowed to attend the school. Before the first lockdown in March, 137 students were taught here in a morning and an afternoon shift. After the Covid pandemic hit many families hard, some parents took their children out of school so they could support the parents at work. Before the second lockdown on November 26th with a school closure there were 96 students.


With the two shifts and the spatial conditions, we are reaching the limit of our capacity. Since we want to accommodate more children at the school, the school is currently in the process of moving. At the beginning of my time in Pakistan, I met a lot with Asad and Fauzea, who now run the school and are responsible for recruiting teachers. We were looking for a suitable location in the area so that we could take all of our current students with us to the new building. The girls and boys all come from the surrounding neighborhood and walk to school, as there is often no money for transport to schools further away. We were all very happy when we found a suitable building. It's just a few streets away in an area where there are two other schools, private schools for less needy children. The building has three floors and a large basement with windows that will serve as a games and gymnastics room. After the building initially had to be renovated, we are currently adding additional walls to the building in order to be able to offer each class its own classroom.


A few days ago I went to the furniture store with Asad and Fauzea to buy more benches and tables for the school. We would like to take on another 150 students at the start of the new academic year. We are currently hiring a new head teacher and are looking for additional teachers. In the long term, we would like to have a total of up to 500 children taught there. In order to further improve quality, teachers will receive more training and further education in the future. We are all very excited about the day when the students will enter their new school for the first time. More on that when the time comes...


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