Over 6000 students and 77 teachers across 40 primary schools in northern Pakistan are benefitting from this unique collaboration following a Volvo Group donation of 100,000 USD to make the Pippi Longstocking book available to young children. The gift, which was originally planned for Christmas 2018, was unfortunately delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The aim of the project was to address the lack of interactive and participatory teaching and learning materials in the targeted schools, and to promote reading as a fun activity. For this purpose, the popular children’s book Pippi Longstocking, the story of a brave and curious girl written by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren, was translated into Urdu, and introduced as additional reading material. The books were distributed to schools in two districts of Gilgit-Baltistan, in the mountainous north of Pakistan.
Ms. Patricia McPhillips, Director UNESCO Islamabad welcomed the contribution made by Volvo Group and stressed the need to scale up the project in other parts of Pakistan. “The provision of storybooks and other learning aids enhanced students’ access to interactive and empowering reading materials, especially of non-conventional gender roles, which are very limited in many public schools in Pakistan,” she said.
“A child’s education and upbringing play a crucial role in our future, which is the reason we have decided to take this project forward as Volvo Group’s annual seasonal gift dedicated to supporting causes. The annual seasonal gift is also a donation on behalf of all the Volvo Group employees aiming to make a difference in our local communities. We would like to thank everyone at Volvo Group, UNESCO and the Embassy of Sweden for their efforts and help in aiding teachers, students and communities in Pakistan have a better future,” said Farida Timsiet, Marketing & Communication Manager, Renault Trucks Greater Middle East, who was instrumental in making the project come to life.