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British Council Pakistan wins International Development Award for ILMPOSSIBLE

London: March 1, 2018. (PCP) The British Council has won 'The Collaboration Award' at the Bond International Development Awards 2018 for its ILMPOSSIBLE: Take a Child to School programme at a ceremony in London.

The Bond International Development Award 2018- an internationally recognised award- recognises and celebrates inspiring humanitarian and development work. The Collaboration Award recognises effective relationships and collaborations within and across sectors and disciplines to tackle difficult issues. Out of ten submissions for this category, the British Council, the Institute of Development Studies and the Stars Foundation were shortlisted as finalists.

Through ILMPOSSIBLE, over 225,000 children have enrolled at school across 65 districts of Pakistan. 15,000 young volunteers have been trained to run door-to-door awareness campaigns and work with parents to facilitate vulnerable out of school children's enrolment and retention. There are over 3,000 community members who sit on ‘mohalla’ (neighbourhood) committees and collaborate with schools, the local education department and the communities to address barriers to school enrolment and retention through advocacy and self-help initiatives. This was achieved through the combined efforts of the British Council working with Educate a Child and a network of 28 local community-based partners across Pakistan.

While accepting the award, James Hampson, Deputy Director of the British Council in Pakistan said: “Congratulations to my colleagues in Pakistan whose great work helped 225,000 children into the classroom out of which 40 per cent were girls. The success of ILMPOSSIBLE: Take a Child to School was made possible due to the efforts made by parents, youth volunteers, teachers, community influencers, local NGOs and support from Educate a Child. Continuing our efforts we have started work on the second phase of ILMPOSSIBLE: Take a Child to School that aims to take more children to school.”

The second phase of ILMPOSSIBLE: Take a Child to School aims to enrol 200,000 out of school children, enable positive learning in 400 new public schools through life skills and sports. The project will also train 500 teachers to play a leadership role in their communities and aims to establish 550 more ‘mohalla’ committees to enable better coordination between local education departments, schools, and communities.

These efforts are made to bring sustainable change for children living in rural and marginalised communities by creating an awareness and appreciation on the importance of education in the development of young people.