A. Youth Shelter Al-Falah
Al-Falah is a Christian youth home for boys in the conservative Islamic Quetta. The house accommodates about 45 boys. During the day they go to regular public schools. After school, they find shelter in Al-Falah. Here the boys make their homework and there is room for social, societal and cultural education, elements which are rarely addressed in mainstream education. The boys have regular contact with their parents, but are staying in Al-Falah to maximize the support for study and training/ education.
The boys of Al-Falah often come from broken, underprivileged families. Their parents have often no chance to send their children to school, they are poor and are not convinced about the (cost) benefit of sending their children to a less than mediocre school or send their children out to work. The available jobs do not require training and are generally poorly paid.
Since its inception in the 70ties, some five hundred boys have benefited of the opportunities of Al-Falah. The social, societal and cultural training of Al-Falah have contributed to respectable positions of many former students
Since 2005, the Salesians of Don Bosco are responsible for the daily affairs of the youth home and early 2010 the home was moved to the Don Bosco Learning Center, which further strengthened the ties between them.
The cost for Al-Falah can be split in running costs and project costs. Under current costs are all sorts of costs such as salaries of teachers and administrative staff, cost for utilities, food, building maintenance and so on. Project cost are more incidental costs such as the expansion of the dormitories, the repair of old and purchase of new musical instruments and the development of a small technical workshop.
Regular donations of friends of Al-Falah foresee in the coverage of some of these costs. In addition, the foundation seeks donors to finance specific projects like the purchase of musical instruments, pc’s or the renovation of the building.
In recent years the youth’s home Al-Falah and the Don Bosco Learning Center faced major water problems. The private well has dried up and the town water supply is insufficient and unreliable. Previous attempts to deepen the existing well failed after protests from local residents and the municipal water system for water tanks is costly and provides no structural solution. Therefore, a strategy was designed to buy a private water tanker that will cost about € 15,000- and in spring of 2010, Friends of Al-Falah campaigned successfully for the purchase of a tanker.
B. Al-Falah without Walls
A few years before his death Otto Postma and former students of Al-Falah realized only too well the importance of the youth home. In an effort to extent the work of Al-Falah they established an organization called Najat to further develop the work. After the death of Otto the diocese decided that Najat and Al-Falah should work independently. Not discouraged by this decision the alumni have continued to search for activities in the spirit of Otto Postma and in line with what was earlier started in Al-Falah.
The Friends of Al-Falah Foundation therefore maintains good relations with these young people and supports their activities wholeheartedly. After all, these young people are shaped by Otto himself and who are in a better position to continue and expand the work of Otto Postma? Moreover, the new situation also allows to involve girls in activities and give them a more equal chance to an education. Today, the old students perform their activities under the appropriate name of “Al-Falah Without Walls”.
For several years now these former students work under the professional supervision of the Institute for Development Studies and Practices (IDSP) based in Quetta. This organization was established in 1998 by Dr. Bakhtiari Quratulain and focuses on the upbringing and development of individuals by providing theoretical education and practical exercise. The institute has an Islamic basis, with the major objective to promote tolerance and encourage inter-community dialogue.
The work of the former students focuses on the following activities:
- To motivate school dropouts to finish their education and to support them in preparing for their examinations.
- To support practical and professional training courses and help the youth to enrole and asssist in these courses.
- To financially support and motivate a few talented boys and girls in achieving a higher academic or vocational education
- To organize music and singing of theme groups and meetings.
The coming years particular attention will be given to greater financial independence and a proper organization structure that can sustain an independent Alk-Falah without Walls.