A dissemination meeting of the project “What Works To prevent Violence among and against Children” was held on 6th August at Serena Hotel Islamabad .
The project was funded by UK aid through medical research council of South Africa. The project in pakistan was implemented by Right to Play and evaluated by Aga Khan University Karachi in 40 public schools in Hyderabad involving 8000 children’s out of which 1752 boys and girls of 6th to eight graders were evaluated.
Dr. Judith McFarlane, Dr. Rachel Jewkes from S. Africa and USA respectively and Dr. Rozina Karmaliani as a principal investigator highlighted the importance of the project specially in the Pakistan context which is highly patriarchal, developing society where corporal panishment and violence is widespread both in society and domestic level.
Mr. Iqbal A. Jatoi country director and mr zulfiqar manager highlighted the importance of addressing violence among school children at an early stage through play based learning transformation.
The importance was also given on the fact that intolerance and violent behavior has become a norm of our society.
Dr . Rachel informed that 17 projects in 13 countries are being run under global program focusing on violence against women and girls.
Dr. Judith from Texas women university was the advisor for the project in Pakistan and explained the importance of research strategy and methods.
Dr. Rozina karmaliani and her team of AKU explained that the study have found that Right To Play intervention is effective in reducing violence at schools and home reduced depression plus it brings gender equality among children and improved their mental health.
She added that in Pakistan Right To Play has an important contributions to make in building peace and social harmony.
Prominent experts at the panel reflected on the research and gave their opinion and ideas to scale up and institutionalize this intervention and taking it forward by involving teachers, parents and media. Among the panelist were, S AA Akif Cabinet sec government of Pakistan, Khawar Mumtaz from NCSW Dr Anjum Halai of AKU, and Dr Huma Baqai from IBA, moderated by Kausar S Khan of AKU. The stakeholders meeting was concluded by remarks from Nilofer javaid education specialist at DFID UK in Pak who shared that minority, displaced and disable children are priority as they are most vulnerable for victim of violence.