Storytelling for a Brighter Future

ChildsPlay International is delighted to announce our new Storytelling Partnership with the Rang-Geet Art Center, benefiting vulnerable street children in Peshawar, Pakistan.

The literacy rate in Pakistan is approximately 60%, which means that around 40% of the population in Pakistan is considered illiterate.

Storytelling session for street children in Peshawar
Huma Jalwat, the founder of Rang-Geet Art Center and one of the street children she nurtures through her art program.

ChildsPlay International (CPI) has partnered with  Huma Jalwat, whose organization teaches the art of painting and drawing to vulnerable, illiterate street children in Peshawar.

Rang-Geet Art Gallery is Dedicated to Street Kids

The magnificent Huma Jalwat’s institute, Rang-Geet Art Center, is dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable children. Rang-Geet’s literal translation is “Color of Song and Dance” and their slogan is:

“Who Cares if We Can’t Read or Write. We Can Paint!

Children's slogan at CPI Storytelling program in Peshawar

Even though these children may not be able to read or write, they possess incredible painting, singing, dancing, and learning talents!

Illiteracy in Pakistan

The literacy rate in Pakistan is 60%. It means that 40% of people are illiterate. Efforts to improve literacy rates in Pakistan and ensure access to quality education for all remain crucial in addressing the challenges posed by illiteracy. 

Huma Jalwat and the Rang-Geet Art Center are engaged in a praiseworthy endeavor by nurturing vulnerable, illiterate children. We, at CPI, wholeheartedly commit to providing our support in any way possible to both the children and Huma’s Art Center.

Education is at the heart of everything we do at ChildsPlay Intl. Whether through formal programs, informal learning, or play-based initiatives, we prioritize education in all our endeavors. Our goal is to equip vulnerable children with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities necessary for them to flourish and create a better future for themselves.

Vulnerable children drawing during CPI storytelling session in Pakistan
One of the children drew a lion during CPI’s Storytelling event in June 2023.

Rang-Geet Art Gallery acts as a safe haven for scavengers, street children, and uneducated women from the tribal districts of Khyber and Peshawar. 

At the Art Center, children and women alike are provided with a precious opportunity to learn the beautiful art of painting and sketching, and now Storytelling!

Storytelling is Play-based Learning

Children attending Storytelling workshop at Rang-Geet Art Center, Peshawar.

Storytelling for children in play-based learning at its best and can bring the community together. Storytelling is a way to live in a world of imagination—and it requires no materials or reading skills!

This is one of the reasons why Huma Jalwat is excited to partner with CPI, and to who for over a decade has conducted Storytelling events in Kenya, Ghana, Haiti, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Peru just to mention some countries. After reading the  Storytelling Manual CPI produced, Huma invited a storyteller and 18 children to attend the first storytelling event. It was a success!

Drawing is Vital to CPI’s Storytelling Program 

a homeless boy attending CPI Storytelling Session in Peshawar, June 2023.


CPI’s Storytelling Manual offers effective techniques and strategies for using storytelling for children as a tool to foster creativity, imagination, and communication skills.


History and Culture come Alive through Community Storytelling

Storyteller and Huma Jalwat in front of children at Rang-Geet Art Center in Peshawar.
ChildsPlay Intl’s Nadeem Ahmad and Huma Jalwat after Storytelling event at Rang-Geet Art Center

Local history and culture come alive through storytelling for many communities. Stories and Storytelling open up a world of imagination, uniting children and their communities. CPI encourages storytelling sessions as a new way of learning that is rarely part of a school curriculum.“color of song or melody

The Importance of Local Stories

CPI champions passing down local stories. It ensures that local people are involved. It also means that the method of recording and transcribing are reproducible at the local level. This involves finding and training local apprentices in skills such as film-making. In addition, instructing local teachers to pass on to students an interest in how stories conserve culture. The students are encouraged to define their own relationship to the oral tradition. They do this by creating works of art that interpret that tradition and perpetuate it as a living practice.

Cultures and Societeis where there is no Cultural Preservation

What about societies where there is no concerted effort to collect, preserve, and study the stories that matter to their own self-definition? In these societies, elders tell stories perhaps for the last time, since the next generation – the children – are distracted by cell phones or, worse, by war. The task of preserving these stories – the whole oral tradition of a people – has fallen to individuals and organizations dedicated to that purpose.

Storyteller and children in Pesahwar

ChildsPlay is creating Storytelling Partnerships with Schools and NGOs in Pakistan, Kenya, DRC and Haiti.

CPI encourages storytelling circles as a new way of learning that is rarely part of a school curriculum.

Storytelling session Peshawar

Passing on Stories from Old to Young

Passing stories from the older generation to the younger, all at the level of creativity, is what distinguishes CPI’s methodology. Children are given tools – and the impetus – to envision this creativity as connected to previous generations. Such connection is presented as natural, and it becomes as much. In this sense, storytelling is a great leveler among societies, one skill that all children are able to share and cultivate using their own, indigenous stories. At the same time, storytelling is dynamic; it is both a way to interpret a child’s own society and a way to communicate with and understand children from other societies.

This repository of knowledge-as-art will  disappear

With the arrival of mass literacy and its technological concomitants, this repository of knowledge-as-art disappears in a generation . . . unless there are efforts to preserve it. Accordingly, an array of international initiatives has been mounted, including by UNICEF. Scholars from around the world have published numerous studies showcasing specific projects and outlining their sophisticated methodologies.

How ChildsPlay Records Local Stories

When ChildsPlay International records local stories, it ensures that local people are involved and that the methods of recording and transcribing are reproducible at the local level. This involves finding and training local apprentices in skills such as film-making and instructing local teachers to pass on to students’ interest in cultural preservation. Students are encouraged to define their own relationship to oral tradition by creating works of art – paintings, puppets, masks, plays – that interpret that tradition and perpetuate it as a living practice. These works of art are also collected and exhibited, enabling the children to see the direct connection of their own creativity to that of the past.

Girl in refugee camp drawing during Storytelling workshop
Girl in refugee camp drawing during CPI Storytelling workshop.



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