The literal meaning of the word Dastoor is ‘System’. For NOWPDP, this represents a system that requires adjustment for improvement and inclusivity.
Globally, persons with disabilities (PWDs) are excluded from educational opportunities, as only 10% are able to attend school, and only 5% complete primary school. As a result, a vast majority of PWDs also remain excluded from the benefits associated with education, such as better jobs, social and economic security, and opportunities for full participation in society. It is to change this trend or the ‘system’ that reinforces this trend that the program ‘Dastoor’ was launched.
Dastoor undertakes different projects for improving access to educational opportunities for PWDs, with the eventual goal to facilitate their socio-economic inclusion. Dastoor works with the existing institutions, which are part of the system, and builds their capacity to cater to PWDs. Dastoor currently has two ongoing projects:
Dastoor builds the capacity of mainstream vocational training centers to make them inclusive of persons with disabilities, while also facilitating training of PWDs, who are of 18 years of age or older, in those institutions.
Since 2016, Dastoor has partnered with a number of different mainstream vocational training centers, including The Hunar Foundation, AMANTECH, Pakistan American Cultural Center (PACC), ZVMG Rangoonwala Trust, and Ravissant Salon, and around 40 PWDs in the following trades:
The duration of these courses vary between 3 to 12 months, and besides the vocational/technical trainings, the trainees also receive work readiness and self-employment training to prepare them further as they embark on the journey of economic empowerment.
Dastoor partners with different special schools (i.e. those that cater exclusively to persons with disabilities) to offer basic vocational/technical training courses to their students. Till date, 615 students, across 15 special education schools/institutions have benefitted from our trainings at special schools. The trainings are offered in the following trades:
These courses are taught over the course of an academic semester, and the students enrolled in them are aged 15 or above and are typically enrolled in Grade 9 or above. After the completion of the training, NOWPDP also tries to facilitate internship/apprenticeship/further training opportunities for students who excel in the courses and who show the willingness to learn/practice the skill further.