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GOOD PEOPLE GOOD WORKS Flying with the Bird of Light: Pakistan’s Funkor Child Art Center - P1/2 (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.

HOST (IN URDU): Hallo, generous viewers, and welcome to Good People, Good Works on Supreme Master Television. This week’s show features the first in a two-part series on the non-profit, volunteer organization Funkor Child Art Center of 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. Ms. Minallah will now discuss what led her to establish the Center.

Fauzia(f): I'm an artist, I love painting, and I've been painting since the age of 12. I've always loved painting and still love painting, and it makes me very sad that something so beautiful like painting is not enjoyed by many children in Pakistan. First of all, because of poverty many children don't go to school, and if they go to school, if they're from the underprivileged strata, they don't have any art or painting in schools. So this was in 2001 that I thought of setting up this Child Art Center, where children can come and paint.

And through this Center I promote art and book reading among children. (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.

I go and organize workshops in different shanty towns and schools for special children, refugee camps, relief camps, because I have noticed that art also has a very therapeutic effect on children, they enjoy painting. And the time that I spend with them is a time that they really enjoy themselves and express themselves.

HOST: Being an artist and peace advocate, Ms. Minallah herself has written and illustrated a series of books for children with storylines containing deep messages to expand the horizons of young minds and encourage respect for people of diverse cultures.

Fauzia (f): This book of mine was printed when I was 18, and this is to promote the Pakistani culture through the clothes of different parts of Pakistan. So this is Baluchistan, and then this is from KPK - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. And this is for little girls to learn the different dresses of Pakistan and here is the doll on the other side. And then I did a lot of cartoons for children, a cartoon strip in a newspaper “Nation” for children and it was on different social issues like child labor. And then understanding special (needs) children, if you have one at home how can you make it easier for the child and yourself also. So this was all done through a cartoon strip.

But it was really after September 11, 2001 when I felt that as a mother the world is really changing for my boys. I have two boys, and they are Muslims. So I wrote this book, “Amai's Wish,” and this is my bird, Amai, and she's made out of light. And she can also magically turn into a shooting star and take children to different parts of the world and tell children about different cultures, different children of the world.

So here in this book, Amai takes children to New York (USA) and then they meet American children. She also takes them to Afghanistan, to meet a child called Bibi. It's really to show children that there are beautiful children everywhere. There are good children in America. And then for Americans the message is Afghani children are good too.

And then I wrote a book “Children of Light”; this was printed by ACTIONAID Action Age and given free of cost in schools. And this book promotes peace between India and Pakistan. These two children are Pakistani and then they meet a Hindu boy. And Amai takes them and this is also an awareness about nuclear weapons and really it's urging children to think differently because in India and Pakistan a lot of pride is promoted as far as nuclear weapons is concerned. So I tell children about what nuclear weapons are, I take them to Hiroshima (Japan) and they should really think about what is good and what is bad for their future.

And this book, “Sadako’s Prayer,” was printed by ANT Hiroshima; this is another organization in Hiroshima. It's about Sadako, and it's a true story, but in this book Amai takes Sima and Ali to Japan. This is Sima and Ali. And she takes them to Japan and they meet Sadako. So this is printed in Japanese, in Dari language for Afghanistan, Urdu and English, so it's available in four languages.

HOST: In recognition of her selfless efforts to promote harmony between peoples and children’s education, Fauzia Minallah has received several international awards, including the 2007 Hiroshima Citizen's Award for the peace-advocacy message presented in her book “Sadako's Prayer.”

Fauzia (f): There is the Bremen Peace Award in Germany; they shortlisted the work of Funkor Child Art Center in democratizing art, taking it (art) to children who have never enjoyed art (before). And then My Hero Project, they have awarded one of our videos as third prize. And then this year, they have awarded (me) the Ron Kovic Peace Prize, which is a big honor for me, and then, I also have a Book Promotion Award from the National Book Foundation of Pakistan. Awards are very important in one's work, and it gives you strength, and it gives you this motivation to do more, and there is so much work to do with children.

HOST: Many non-profit organizations and volunteers partner with Funkor to provide a better life and education for vulnerable children in Pakistan.

Fauzia (f): Funkor works with different organizations, with different NGOs, and it's very small right now and I would love to keep it small because it's quality work that we do with children, and if I increase the number, then I don't feel that the quality of work will be as it is now. So far we have organized workshops for over 80,000 children since 2001, and different activities like book reading, art workshops, and recycling workshops. with different children from minority groups, Afghan refugee children. So we have worked with different children.

HOST: Through Funkor’s “The Multi-colored Scarves of Peace from Pakistan” project, Pakistani girls ages 8 to 19 had the opportunity to design scarves reflecting their vision of a peaceful world.

Fauzia (f): These are scarves that some girls wear in Pakistan, and they painted (them) with different messages of peace. So one girl painted a doll, because for little girls all over the world, dolls are very important, and a house, and then she painted a bird which she said is Amai, because she (Amai) loves children. It was exhibited in Munich (Germany) at a little art gallery, and now it's in Austria. It will travel to different places.

It was really the idea of the gallery in Munich, Germany. So the idea was to tell other children that it doesn't matter what kind of clothes one wears, it's really their thoughts, it's their feelings that matter. So what they painted was their thoughts and their feelings, which are not different from any other child of the world.

HOST: Another wonderful Funkor Child Art Center initiative is “Amai’s Nest,” a healing center for children living in a northwest Pakistan relief camp. The young ones and their families were severely affected by the massive flooding that inundated one-fifth of the nation in August 2010.

Fauzia (f): This is a place where they have two teachers and a supervisor, and right now there are about 51 children, and they all come from a relief camp in Bahrain, Kohistan (Pakistan). So this is funded by Funkor Child Art Center, with the help of all the friends who donated money for flood relief, and implemented by another NGO(non-governmental organization) in Swat, Kohistan, (called) Idara Baraye Taleem-o-Taraqi.

And this is where children can catch up with their studies, and children who've never been to school, they start to learn ABC, ا (alif), ب (be), پ (pe) in Urdu, and then they have other activities that they don't have in other schools, like they have painting, they have book reading. We have a little library for them. And then they have sports, like once a week they do different games, play cricket or they have races.

HOST: As an environmentalist, Fauzia Minallah is also deeply concerned about the future of our planet and works to spread important messages to young ones about nature conservation.

Fauzia (f): Things that have made our lives life easy have on the other hand destroyed this planet also. And it's sad because some people are not able to control their desires and (it is) their love for ease that the world is (becoming) warm and its effect is really on the poorest of the poor. And in Pakistan also, if you see the destruction because of the floods, it has to do with global warming and most of the people who are affected by the floods were the poor.

These days I'm working on a book on the environment, (called) “Trees Are Our Friends” and really telling children about the importance of trees. If we had trees we would not be having such a big disaster. If we had trees, then the destruction that was caused by the floods would not have been so much as it was, as we had witnessed in 2010. Because we have cut down a lot of trees in Pakistan, and that is something one has to tell children, it's very important for their future.

HOST: Here are some closing thoughts from Ms. Minallah.

Fauzia (f): Out of all the concepts, it is the concept of tolerance that we have to teach our children. All the conflicts that we are witnessing in the world are really because human beings have stopped tolerating each other, and respecting differences. One has to really learn to live with differences and respect differences. So that is what I try to promote in through my books.

HOST: Ms. Fauzia Aziz Minallah, we sincerely appreciate your kind-hearted, benevolent work that brings so much happiness and hope to disadvantaged Pakistani children. We all share your dream of soon creating a more loving, peaceful world for all youth.

For more details on the Funkor Child Art Center, please visit www.FunkorChildArt.com or connect with the Center on www. Facebook.com

Please join us again next Sunday for Good People, Good Works and the conclusion of our two-part program on Fauzia Minallah and the Funkor Child Art Center.

OUTRO(IN URDU): Harmonious viewers, thank you for your company on today’s program. Up next is May your heart The World Around Us be replenished with the after Noteworthy News. currents of Divine love. May the palette of life always be filled with bright, joyful colors for everyone.
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