Our very own Printing Press!
On our most recent visit to Gilgit, Pakistan, shining light staff and volunteers launched one of the most exciting things in the history of the organization; the Print on Demand system to enable Shining Light to print its own curriculum and training materials. What does this mean for serving more people in Pakistan?
Over 1,250 people will directly benefit each year
As we continue to train more entrepreneurs, provide leadership mentoring and capacity building, and educate more than 1,000 students, there is a great need for resources and printed materials in large quantities. Shining Light has had to previously rely on a printing company that is in southern Pakistan, nearly a three hour flight or several days drive away. Not only is the distance great, the equipment being used limits the quality and quantity of materials they are able to produce. For many years, frequent delays in production have significantly hindered our organizations ability to move forward with important development programs.
Introducing: Shining Light’s Print on Demand System!
In 2018, over $28,000 was raised to purchase, set up, and train staff on this amazing printing system of our very own in Giglit. With this system, SLI is now able to produce materials for all programs including women’s vocational training programs in communities throughout the region, SLI-supported schools in tribal villages, adult literacy programs among the tribal Gujjar people, the Shining Light Academy (a growing elementary, middle and high school) and in training programs for teachers and entrepreneurs. Over 1,250 program participants – many the first in their families to attend school or training programs – will directly benefit each year.
One of our team members, Lorrie Drennan, is an experienced print designer and was trained in the setup, operation and maintenance of the print system. She traveled all the way to Pakistan with our team to set up, begin printing, and train our local operators, Shaloom and Kashif. who have been serving Shining Light for many years and are now studying business and graphic design at a local college. This training will be videotaped as a long-term resource for the team in Pakistan.
“The young men I trained in Gilgit were excited with each step of the process,” explains Lorrie. “It was like watching someone receive the best gift of their life. They understood the importance of being able to print crucial materials without having to face opposition. I really believe this is bigger than we even understand. It was such a blessing to watch these young men take ownership of the POD system and think of new ideas of how they could use the system to make a bigger impact for their nation.” – Lorrie
This print-on-demand system will give SLI program participants – including school-age students, adults learning to read and write for the first time, and women taking classes to learn how to run small businesses – access to printed resources that they didn’t have before; materials that are of high quality and that have been quickly adapted to their specific needs. In remote communities with limited access to the internet, books and teachers, these printed materials will serve as invaluable, permanent resources that improve the long-term impact of training and education.