Nov & Dec 2016

2016 has shown us how loss is manifested. In the form of saints leaving us, legends being snatched from us, many voices breathing their last, and cities trying to hold on to their past.

We have seen a shift in the global conscience – the secluded, the narrow, has trumped over the broader and the inclusive. Our disdain for unfamiliar rises in direct proportion to our inability to empathize and reach out.Perhaps loss makes the least sense when it is conflicted by men upon fellow men – the kind of loss that could have been, should have been, prevented.

The value in the collective is evident, yet distrust continues its divisive march in our conscience. And distrust sees no boundary – no Left or Right, no East or West, no skin color, and no religious inclination – it grips all alike.

One wishes for trust without boundaries.

Our ability to give, and take,need not have economic barriers; our desire for a conversation need not depend on my accent; our laughter need not be in the same language; and our ability to learn from each other need not depend on age.

We share below all that we learned from in 2016.

Wishing you all a year of trust ahead.

RABTT FELLOWSHIP & SCHOLARS PROGRAM
2016 saw Rabtt expand operations to Karachi with Scholars and Fellowship program, engaging students from DCTO – Lyari, Rana Liaquat Government School, and Social Bond. This was made possible through support and guidance from EngroVopak.

We had an amazing cohort of around 75 Fellows and 475 Scholars in total, which came together for five weeks of fun-filled action, activity-based learning and interesting conversations over the summer. The subjects taught at the Camps this year included English, Mathematics, World History, Philosophy, Public Speaking, Dramatics and Arts, with the program focusing on building empathy, self-confidence, critical thinking and creativity – the four core competencies at Rabtt.

The Scholars not only enjoyed their classes at the camps but also lectures conducted by guests during which they explored a range of topics including game development, innovative teaching methods, traffic information, introduction to 3D printers, evolution of morals in society, pottery making, and career counselling.We ended the summers with a ravishing showcase in Lahore and our first ever graduation ceremony in Karachi. Currently, the Fellows are conducting regular workshops with Scholars till the annual cycle finished in March ’17.

SHOWCASE & GRADUATION CEREMONY

In Lahore, Rabtt and The Little Art joined hands for a Showcase enthusiastically put together by the Fellows and Scholars. In both Lahore and Karachi, Scholars scripted and performed theatrical performances, delivered speeches on topics close to their hearts, and showcased their various projects. The performances were captivating and were highly appreciated by the Scholars’ parents as well as everyone in attendance, including other civil society organizations, guests, media personnel, and the Fellows.

Showcase in Lahore also prompted an interesting debate through a panel discussion titled ‘Hamain Taleem Kaisee Chahiye’, and film screenings by The Little Art. Not to forget the enticing paan by PaanDaan and the delicious naans by MaroTandoors that kept the attendees’ taste buds satisfied. The chief guest gracing the event was renowned Urdu writer, Mr. Asghar Nadeem Syed, who thoroughly appreciated the show, artwork, and the spirit of Scholars.

FUTURE LEADERS IN EDUCATION – TEACHER TRAININGS WITH AKHUWAT

This summer Rabtt conducted Early Career Teacher Training with Akhuwat teachers in Faisalabad and Jhang,building upon the Induction Training that we had conducted earlier in March. During the week-long training we engaged Focal Teachers and Cluster Coordinators with a focus on improving learning outcomes and understanding how to efficiently use assessment frameworks. The Focal Teachers were also equipped to become trainers themselves who went on to train their teaching staff at Akhuwat thorough this tiered training program. We’re getting amazing updates from the teachers about the progress in Akhuwat schools, in terms of student enrollment as well as quality of teaching!
THE WORKING SELF – MAXIM INTERNATIONAL

Rabtt conducted a week-long training with Maxim International, at their plant in Sheikhupura, exploring questions around empathy, communication, and leadership in a corporate setting. Modules included Problem Solving, Conflict Management, and Systems Thinking, among others. With a combination of activities and discussion, we were able to learn from each other and work effectively towards an empathetic work environment where leadership can be practiced across the board.
THE WORKING SELF – ARBISOFT

Rabtt carried out a training on ‘Practicing Leadership and Building an Empathetic Work Environment’ with Arbisoft as part of our TWS program. Life maps were made, thought experiments were conducted and case studies were mulled over. It’s safe to say that everyone left with a deeper understanding of not only themselves but also the people they work with day in and day out, what determines their leadership role within the organization, and with a lot of yet unanswered questions!
SIX MONTHLY ASSESSMENT DELIVERY IN PUNJAB GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS 

Rabtt collaborated with ASO (PVT) Limited to conduct a six month assessment in 138 Government schools in 18 districts of Punjab. Rabtt worked as the implementation partner and after a rigorous selection process, shortlisted and selected 90 project invigilators who carried out the assessment under the monitoring of our supervisors in each district. Our programs team ensured the smooth delivery of the project in all the respective schools and made sure no compromises on the quality of the assessment were made.

RABTT SESSION IN FORMAN CHRISTIAN COLLEGE – COCA COLA PAKISTAN EMPOWER LECTURE SERIES

We were invited by Coca-Cola Pakistan for the EMPOWER lecture series with students of FC College, Lahore, on the occasion of International Literacy Day on 8th September. Imran Sarwar, our CEO, engaged the students on a discussion around identity, self, and the role each individual plays in their own surroundings, covering the theme for the day ‘Reading the Past, Writing the Future’.

COLLABORATION WITH KASHF FOUNDATION

Rabtt conducted workshops at seven low-cost private schools supported by the Kashf Foundation in Lahore. The workshop modules fostered critical thinking abilities among students, familiarized them with the theory and practice of empathy and helped them learn about financial management and entrepreneurship through experiential learning. The trainings concluded with a Business Plan Competition among the schools that were involved in the training.
CONTINUING COLLABORATION WITH M.H.SUFI FOUNDATION

We’ve kicked off our first cycle of workshops for 2016 with the M.H. Sufi Foundation school in Kot Ishaq. The initial workshops on identity formation and appreciating diversity have been fundamental in establishing trust between the trainers and students as they got to know each other through the various discussions and activities. This is just the beginning and we’re looking forward to discussing a wide variety of topics such as empathy, the power of the pen, critical thinking and performance art!
WORKING WITH UBER

Rabtt helped Uber design training modules on Preventing Sexual Harassment for its drivers, as the ride-hailing app launched its operations in Pakistan. The modules & training session focused on informing participants about what constitutes harassment, the legal structures in place to punish harassers, and most importantly, helping them develop more empathetic dispositions.
TAKING THE VISION FORWARD – TEDx FAST

Rabtt was represented by Imran Sarwar, our Co-founder and CEO, at TEDx FAST where he talked about the necessity of being selfishin any endeavor we pursue, to do justice to ourselves and to the task at hand. Imran talked about the allure of believing that we are being ‘selfless’ and draws examples from what he calls the ‘selfish life’.
RABTT TEAM BIDS FAREWELL TO 2 FULBRIGHT SCHOLARS AND A CHEVENING SCHOLAR

Rabtt bid Salma Chaudary, Tooba Fatima and Anum Nawaz farewell as they embarked on an exciting new phase in their personal and professional lives. Salma joined the 2016 batch of Chevening Scholars starting her Masters in Social Policy and Development program at The London School of Economics and Political Science – LSE, while Tooba and Anum, were both selected as Fulbright Scholars and joined the Boston College (M.A in Mental Health Counseling) and The New School (M.A in Cognitive Social and Developmental Psychology) respectively!
TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITY WITH COCA COLA PAKISTAN

Rabtt team conducted a brief team-building activity with the Coca-Cola team and staff at the organization’s Lahore Head-office. The event was held to bring together the whole staff at Coca-Cola, in a spirit of giving to each other and building a collective ethos. Activity-led discussion helped the participants relax and work together across departments and teams.
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RABTT AT ASPEN IDEAS FESTIVAL

Imran Sarwar, our Co-founder & CEO, was selected as an Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar this year, and attended the Festival from 29thJune to 2nd July 2016, in Aspen, Colorado. The extensive festival is a public gathering for leaders from multiple disciplines and walks of life, from across the globe, to come together and engage in deep discussion around issues that affect us and shape our lives. The Festival gave us the opportunity to interact with, and learn from, some of the leading minds in entrepreneurship, education, social change, and academia, giving us food for thought as we chart the road ahead for Rabtt. You can view highlights from the Festival here.
DISCUSSIONS AND INSIGHTS AT WORLD BANK, DC

Imran Sarwar, our co-founder, was a speaker at an interactive session at the World Bank on how can social entrepreneurship in education play a significant role in Pakistan to ensure quality education. We are grateful to Aun Rehman, head of infoDev at the World Bank Group who joined the discussion through audio conference. His work focuses on innovative financing mechanisms, such as angel group formation and venture fund creation in emerging markets. It was an interactive conversation with insightful questions on the Rabtt model and the emerging social enterprise sector in Pakistan. The audience included people from the World Bank as well as other organizations. A big shout out to Saniya Ansar at the World Bank for organizing the event.
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