“Art introduced me to Revolution”- Albert Einstein
Dream, believe, achieve is the theme we carry; and in order to do that, it is very important to imagine and dream. Children learn best when they use their imagination, so this time around Charter for Compassion, along with English Biscuit Manufacturers brought forward Children Artists ranging from 6 years to 16 years to participate in an arts competition, which allowed them to dream and draw a compassionate world.
Topics ranging from random acts of kindness to courage – allowing children to draw, paint and color their imaginations, dreams and emotions. With 9 schools participating and over 400 young artists coming forward, the competition was held on January 30, 2014 at Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Park.
The event started off with an interactive story telling session about Compassion, by trainer & consultant Zohair Allibhoy, covering all nine skills on the CfC Curriculum; Courage, Empathy, Gratitude, Forgiveness, Humility, Self Compassion, Altruism, Mindfulness & Integrity. Anushe Hussain, the project lead, then announced the rules of competition and kicked off the one hour thirty minute draw, color, paint time. The teachers were not allowed to help the students and all art work created was students and students themselves.
“No matter who gets the first position, every one of you is a winner today” said Amin Hashwani, President of Charter for Compassion Pakistan, addressing the students, right before the beginning of the competition. Out of hundreds of schools and thousands of students, four hundred taking an initiative to come out and draw a better tomorrow, are definitely winners.
The students enjoyed the outdoor environment and were absorbed in their art works. More than winning, the idea of presenting their thoughts about a compassionate world seemed to appeal to them. And most students, even though finished their drawings earlier than the given time, spent a time refining their art and adding colors to their canvas.
During this time, an interactive talk took place with the teachers, where they were asked about the event, changes after Compassionate School Network and the importance of compassion.
“Education is Compassion,” Said one teacher, “the world we are living in possessive little display of compassion, the Compassionate School Network has helped my students develop the courage to display compassion not only towards fellow class mates but people, animals and other living things in general.”
“Compassion is an important skill, it is not only to develop Mindfulness and a sense of Altruism in our future generations, but an important part of character building for our students, making them better human beings” Said another teacher.
Bridging the gap between character and education this competition provided a brilliant opportunity for students and teachers to interact and reflect on their ideas of a compassionate world, where students were divided into three categories; grade one to three, four to six and seven to ten, displayed it in form of their artwork, and teachers learned more about their students.
Volunteers from different universities also came together, actively learning from the young students and helping them with charts, water for painting and time checks.
After an hour and a half of the drawing time, judges, Nafisa Rizvi, Nurayah Nabi Sheikh, Rabeya Jalil, Arshad Faruqi, Scheherzade Junejo and Samar Hussain took rounds to select winners. Going through a complicated decision making process of forty five minutes.
Multiple print & electronic media came in to cover the event, motivating the students further to display their work.
All in all, nine winners were selected from the three categories at first, second and third positions from each category where, Ashra Adeel from Dawood Public School, M. Hassam Bhayat from Jaffar Public School, and Mohib Zafar from Beaconhouse Jubilee Campus took first positions in categories grade one to three, four to six and seven to ten, respectively.
The Navy School for Special children also participated in the competition; interesting it was to see that they managed to reach the venue a little later into the competition and finished before everyone else, producing amazing ideas and thoughts about a compassionate world. Everyone received the first prize from that school as became the unanimous decision by the judges.
The event closed on a high note, where students and teachers endorsed the idea of more events like these on a larger scale, attempting to make Karachi a Compassionate city.