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The Second Chapter- Incubating Mini-Startups

For the past three years, Khud Initiative has been tackling Pakistan's education crises via self-learning and project based learning. So far we have transformed the lives of over 400 underprivileged children. And by the end of 2019, we plan to have another 500 underprivileged kids graduate from our digital program. Now our team is focusing on enabling these kids by incubating their ideas and mini-startups.

In our first effort, we had a group of young women who had zero digital literacy. That went on to successfully build a Pakistani fashion website, garnering about 150,000 page views.

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So far, Khud has launched 2 mini-startups. First, a group of 5 young women are building an automation blog that aggregates the best stories on Artificial Intelligence, Data and Robotics. They have amassed 2400 twitter followers and the website has received 13,000 page views.

Our second startup has 6 young women who are working towards establishing their own digital design agency. With a revenue of $750, they are close to breaking even.

We are very excited to see what these "mini-startups" can achieve and help Khud become a sustainable non-profit!

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Khud - Demo Day ( Special Guest - LUMS VC )

In the last 3 years we have touched and transformed many lives ...

We were honored to host Dr. Ahmed Arshad, the Vice Chancellor of LUMS, for Demo Day. Children from our edtech programs across the 4 schools in Lahore showcased their efforts in cutting edge digital areas. Starting with younger children who were beginning their journey in digital literacy to young women entrepreneurs.

Four years into our journey, Khud’s vision of end to end digital literacy is now taking shape:

Introduction to Computer: learning how to type and operate a computer

Presentation and Storytelling: learning a new topics (e.g. Artificial Intelligence) and developing a presentation

Video Editing: creating and editing videos (this can easily lead to vocational work as emphasis on video content is ever increasing)

Software Programming (starting with Scratch and moving onto Python)

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Future Comic Artist

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Very recently we discovered a talented student silently doodling on a side. In-fact they were not just any doodles. This 8th grade student, Tayyab, had a number of exceptional sketches and comics to share with us. His talent yet remains untapped because of shortage of opportunity.

This is where our duty comes in. We have started Launchgood campaign this Ramzan to help brilliant yet underprivileged students like Tayyab who have a pool of aptitude and need the right prospect to outshine.

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Please visit our crowdfunding campaign and donate to help us take this journey to completion. You can make change happen. You can help Tayyab show world the gift he has and the heights this gift can take him. Let’s join hands to give this brilliant kid wings to fly!

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Power Of Keyboard

If you know how to use a keyboard, the world (of information) is all yours…

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The journey of a typical student in Khud’s Digital Program starts with the keyboard. They start off with Intro to Computer class and progress over the course of 3 years, to acquire a digital skill of their interest for e.g, Video-Editing, Graphic Design or Programming.

Haider, a recently enrolled student, has successfully completed step one of our program by learning to type! Let’s help him continue his digital literacy journey...

Please visit our crowdfunding campaign and donate to help us take this journey to completion. You can make change happen. Let’s join hands to give these brilliant kids a fair chance to live the life they deserve!

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Zain – Our upcoming video editing star!

Video editing is not just a skill - it is an art! And it requires patience and a lot of hard work to perfect. One of our Grade 9 students, Zain, has shown great promise at a very young age.

He not only grasped the basics very quickly but he has also started making some interesting videos of his own. Zain is often to be found in the computer lab working on his videos, even after school timings. He now wants to master advanced skills so that we could create professional videos and help support his family, right from the comfort of his village.

There are many more eager students like Zain, who have an appetite to learn. All they need is the right opportunity…

Please visit our crowdfunding campaign and donate to help us take this journey to completion. You can make change happen. Let’s join hands to give these brilliant kids a fair chance to live the life they deserve!

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A Day at LUMS- our students making us proud!

On the 12th April 2019, our students visited LUMS to present their projects to the School of Education. The students reached LUMS around the afternoon and their visit started at the infamous PDC - LUMS cafeteria. They were extremely intrigued by the fact that students were not bound to wear any uniform and were not carrying any school bags.

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The students went on to present their respective projects and that resulted in quite a round of applause from everyone present in the room. They couldn’t believe that students from underprivileged schools in Pakistan could come up with such brilliant projects.

Post the presentations, students attended an informative talk on Automation by Salahuddin Khawaja at National Incubation Center Lahore, LUMS followed by a quick visit to the Milky Way Galaxy lab, under construction for future experimentation. This particular episode was by far their favorite part of the day. They were appreciated by the entire LUMS crowd for their questions and efforts. Their day of adventure ended with a quick cup of tea and cookies.

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TECHJUICE CEO's VISIT TO KHUD MINI-INCUBATORS FOR WOMEN

Fatima Rizwan visits Autome.me

Fatima Rizwan visits Autome.me

Khud Initiative is currently supporting local young women entrepreneurs at two of its collaborating institutions to empower them and help them master soft skills for their startups. Motivating these underprivileged yet talented women to come everyday fighting against all odds can prove to be quite a challenge. For this, we try to keep up the spirit through motivational videos and various other activities.

Fatima Rizwan visits TechCloud9

Fatima Rizwan visits TechCloud9

This time around we wanted to show these young women, a live example of how far hard work and courage can take a woman, even in an under-represented (tech) space of Pakistan. We invited Fatima Rizwan, founder & CEO of TechJuice- Pakistan’s leading technology and startup related platform. Fatima was kind enough to accept the invitation and managed to visit both our collaborating institutions, despite Lahore’s menacing traffic.

Fatima had an interactive session with all the girls. She reassured them that hard work is always rewarded one way or the other. She explained how her own journey started with small freelance projects and discussed the available platforms these girls can benefit from by creating their portfolios and finding projects. She was very impressed with the work done by these girls- despite the challenges they face. The girls opened up about their daily difficulties, while Fatima offered them tips that could help make the journey a little easier.

The girls also had their own set of interesting questions regarding Fatima’s journey and her startup, after which the session concluded. The session ended on a very high morale and discussions on future possibilities of collaborations between Khud Initiative and TechJuice.

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LUMS Vice Chancellor’s Visit to Khud EdTech School

We were honored to host Dr. Ahmed Arshad, the Vice Chancellor of LUMS, for Demo Day. Children from our edtech programs across the 4 schools in Lahore showcased their efforts in cutting edge digital areas. Starting with younger children who were beginning their journey in digital literacy to young women entrepreneurs.

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Dr. Arshad appreciated Khud’s “tremendous vision” of trying to tackle Pakistan’s education crises in a disruptive way. Given his background in Educational Psychology, he was particularly impressed how young children were able to confidently present what they had learned via Khud’s edtech programs. Dr. Arshad and other guests noted how university students and in some cases professionals, can’t present with such confidence!

 
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The children in our programs are disadvantaged with limited, if any, access to technology. But, they are just like other children in that they have the curiosity and an eagerness to learn. Tapping into that is the fuel that propels the children through Khud’s edtech program towards digital literacy.

Four years into our journey, Khud’s vision of end to end digital literacy is now taking shape:

  • Introduction to Computer: learning how to type and operate a computer

  • Presentation and Storytelling: learning a new topics (e.g. Artificial Intelligence) and developing a presentation

  • Video Editing: creating and editing videos (this can easily lead to vocational work as emphasis on video content is ever increasing)

  • Software Programming (starting with Scratch and moving onto Python)

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After acquiring digital skills, children can self-learn other more advanced areas and uplift themselves and their families out of poverty. In that spirit, Khud is establishing “mini-startups” to facilitate the journey. A group of young women, who had never heard the concept of a blog, are now running an automation blog: Autome.me. We are wishing them success!

In the Q&A session, the students were extremely excited to ask Dr. Arshad about possible future collaborations with LUMS. Students of Grade 7 and 8 inquired the best approach in to get admitted to LUMS as well as other leading universities in Pakistan. Dr. Arshad explained how National Outreach Program caters to such underprivileged yet brilliant students of Pakistan. The children appreciated that there is a path for them to also get a world class education.

Note from the VC:

“LUMS alum Salah Khawaja, Class of BSc 97 gives new meaning to giving back. Despite a trailblazing career and a prominent role at the Bank of America, he started Khud - an EdTech initiative focused on giving underprivileged children digital literacy. With a bit of help from his uncle (Naseem Iqbal - a successful businessman based in Lahore) children have taught themselves python programming, design skills and tool based applications. I saw 6 presentations under a makeshift tent projected on a broken brick wall. It was all surreal but frankly incredible 21st century learning. It’s the kind of giving with a multiplier effect that is infinite. Thank you Salah. We need more role models like you.”

Four years into Khud’s journey, we are now very excited to formalize our edtech programs and scale. We need all the help - please volunteer with or support us financially.

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Girl Tech Power

Despite lack of opportunities, our women have been able to achieve beyond expectations. For socio-economic welfare of any country, it is vital to empower women by providing them with the needed opportunities. Future is all about digitalization and the women of Pakistan have a significant part to play in it, if we ought to succeed as a nation.

A couple of years ago, Khud provided a platform in one of our collaborating schools for girls from low-income communities. The girls not only learned the relevant digital skills but practically implemented those by developing a fashion news aggregator website, called Aletere. The website was a huge success, garnering about 150,000-page views. However, due to some logistical issues, the project could not be continued for long. We took that as a learning experience and were back at it, with renewed optimism and an enhanced plan.

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EdTech via Project-driven learning

“If your plan is for one-year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees. If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children.” ― Confucius.

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Pakistan’s education system is in crises- marred by several issues- from lack of schools to the deficit of teachers. Wherever there are schools and teachers, the absence of basic infrastructure and quality of teachers hinder any real progress.

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Despite many challenges, Khud is marching ahead with its vision. We have equipped around 500 marginalized students with digital education and introduced them to the latest technologies. EdTech has always been the core of our vision, while importance has always been laid on its delivery. We have departed from lecture-based pedagogy towards project-based learning. The problem with the old approach is that most students rote-learn instead of grasping the actual concepts. When it comes to executing those concepts, the students usually forget what had been taught altogether. We have achieved great results with the new approach, which was practically exhibited on the demo day.

Currently, we are working on improving and tailoring our digital curricula to satisfy our students’ needs. Our goal is to develop these self-executable digital curricula, bypassing the need of technical teachers, and making it public by 15th August 2019, so that other schools can benefit as well.

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