WWF celebrated Green schools Pakistan day on Apr 22 – a day when school children across the country were encouraged to plant as many trees as possible on their school grounds. The Abruzzians pledged to plant fifteen trees – except ended up planting many more
recently several mature willow trees had been cut down due to disease, so the boys and girls replanted the area with 20 willows – three local variaties – for shade and maintaining the school biodiversity/habitat
a dozen fruit trees were planted as well
and a handful of poplars – for defining boundaries and creating angular shade.
A short video clip about plantation day at the Abruzzi School.
As of March 1st, 2013 Tahereh Sheerazie is back in Shigar to continue where volunteers Currim Suteria, Ibtesam Pooya and Hira Nabi left off and begin building the garden while connecting the work with
math and english curriculum for 6th and 7th grade students. Students have been planting fruit trees and taking some of their lessons outdoors. Spring is in the air in Shigar and there are exciting things in store for everyone involved in the garden.
This year, the Abruzzi Higher Secondary School garden project welcomes contributions by energetic and enthusiastic volunteers who are keen to interact with young students about learning from the great outdoors. This includes assisting teachers with integrating curriculum to the garden.
If you have experience in a particular field, be it Science, Mathematics, English, Urdu, or Balti language, or trees, local food growing, Art, cooking, or wildlife, this is for you. Continue reading
I met Amjad Shabbir in the summer of 2011 via a young man in Islamabad who was trying to connect me to ‘real ‘ people – who would truly help fund the Abruzzi school garden project.
I made the cold call and introduced myself, then emailed Amjad the Abruzzi school story and all else i do…he arranged to meet me almost immediately after. A few days later my first encounter with him and his assistant Aniqa Yaqoob impressed me as ‘real’ people – sincere, committed, and driven. Somehow to me his bald head was a tell tale sign of left overs from cancer…his demeanor calm and sure…with an underlying sense of humor peppered with a strong faith.
The Abruzzi School has a fabulous telescope on hand. We are looking for volunteers to introduce the children to astronomy in the summer of 2013. All those interested can apply here.
Volunteer Hira Nabi’s reflections on her time in Shigar in Summer 2012
By Tahereh Sheerazie | Posted September 19, 2012
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At 7,000 feet above sea level, in a valley between the Karakorum mountain range and the Chinese border, a teaching school garden is slowly taking form in Pakistan. I have trekked around the area several times (Nanga Parbat, Deosai Plateau, etc.), and with each visit, my attention has been captured by the remote majestic beauty of the mountains and valleys of Baltistan and the gentle people who live there. My draw to this place and its population is the driving force behind my school garden effort. Continue reading
Memoir By Hira Nabi
In the second part of her eye-opening memoir, Hira Nabi describes the lessons she learned in a co-ed “teaching garden” in the mountains of Baltistan
Up the garden path
I woke up every morning to melodious birdsong; there were no crows in Shigar. After getting ready and breakfasting in the garden on a stone bench under mulberry and plum trees, I would hoist my backpack on my shoulders and walk to school. On those July mornings, the 40-minute walk was beautiful. There was only one way to get to the school, which sits on Ashkoli Road, also otherwise known as the road to K2. Some days were sunny and brilliant, with clear blue skies and wafts of cloud floating high above. Acreage of planted fields lay next to the roads, with flourishes of mulberry, apricot, cypress and walnut. Jeeps and vans would periodically rush by, snorting out diesel exhaust fumes. I couldn’t have imagined walking on this road if it hadn’t been for the vegetation. There were other days that were cloudy, and mist would descend from mountain tops, rushing down like lava in its haste to enter the valley. Continue reading