Zindagi Trust

Our mission is two-part: 1) To provide non-formal primary education through a creative, well-designed curriculum to Pakistan's underprivileged working children, thus empowering them to become responsible citizens as well as readying them for vocational or secondary education. 2) To assist the Government of Pakistan in reforming state schools and curricula so as to bring them at par with the challenges of present time, so that the majority of the country's youth that studies in them can get an equal opportunity at a bright future.
Dec 2, 2014

"Learning is something nobody can steal from you"

At work
At work

 Madiha studies in the third grade at Zindagi Trust's non-formal school for working children. Her family migrated to the city of Rawalpindi from a small village in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. She was orphaned when she was only five when her father's death left her mother alone to raise her and her five siblings. Her mother found work as a maid and took her along as a helping hand. She doesn't remember her family ever doing well enough to afford more than one meal a day. Despite the tragic loss of innocence, Madiha has a positive and mature take on learning and loss:

"For me learning is anything that teaches you a lesson - we learn both from the textbooks and from our daily life experiences, whether they are good or bad. Learning is something that is totally yours - you can share with others but nobody can steal it from you."

She starts a typical day by going to work with her mother in the morning where they clean houses till the afternoon, when it's time to go to school. Right after getting back from school, she does her homework. She then helps her mother with household chores after which she spends an extra hour and a half at night preparing for the next day's classes. Her teachers are very pleased with her performance and active participation at school. 

Madiha was not always in school. At the house she helped her mother clean every morning, she saw children going to school and longed for their colourful uniforms, books and bags. She dreamed of reading books and writing neatly with colourful pens. She waited to empty the trash in the children's room just so she could collect the torn printed paper - looking at scraps of paper, trying to piece together the words and pictures drawn on them was her favourite part of the day.

She wanted to learn how to read and write and asked her mother repeatedly to let her go to school. Despite her mother's initial refusal, Madiha had faith that her mother's love would  one day send her to school. This happened when her mother found out about Zindagi Trust's free afternoon schools for working children.

Madiha remembers her first day of school fondly - bright, friendly faces and teachers urging her mother to put all her children in school, to give them the chance of a better future. Today, two of her siblings are also studying in the same school and Madiha aims to complete her studies to become a teacher. She and her mother are thankful to the support of donors like you who made the change in her life possible.

In school
In school

Links:

Sep 26, 2014

The Breakfast Bonus

Breakfast Time
Breakfast Time

"Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper."

The above quote tells us the importance of breakfast, but to a large population of school-going kids from poor areas like Lyari, Old Golimar and Garden West, this may mean nothing as they live below the poverty line and most of them come to school without having breakfast.

The toddlers of Kindergarten I and Kindergarten II of SMB Fatimah Jinnah School, thanks to your generous donations, are given regular breakfast in the morning. This includes biscuits, bread, jam, butter, chicken spread, fruit salad, fresh fruits like apples, bananas and melon, chicken corn soup in winter, instant noodles, occasional sweets, etc. Milk is always part of the daily breakfast. The school's kindergarten staff serves them with utmost dedication feels extremely fulfilled watching kids happily having breakfast.

During this past quarter, the school was off for the month of July and breakfast was served to 230 children during the months of August and September. The introduction of breakfast at the start of the day has enhanced the physical and mental energies of our students. The records show less absenteeism of toddlers since the programme was started. They love to have breakfast at school with friends and are in turn helping their parents to have breakfast culture at home by demanding breakfast on school holidays. The health room of school data also confirms that the number of sick children from KG brought to health room has decreased.

Thank you for support in making the breakfast programme a success. 

Smiles in the Breakfast Room
Smiles in the Breakfast Room

Links:

Sep 26, 2014

Haseena transforms her future

Reading
Reading

My name is Haseena. Seven years ago, my father got a job in a factory in Karachi and my family moved to the big city from a remote part of the Sindh province. A year later, I enrolled in the Zindagi Trust Primary School as a kindergarten student. Primary school was a wonderful experience that I will never forget thanks to the love, care and support I got from my teachers. They always encouraged me to look forward, aim for a brighter future and made me grow into a confident girl for which I am grateful.

 

This year I will sit for my 9th grade board exams. Secondary school is tough and a completely new environment for me, but I have worked harder and managed to get a distinction in all major subjects. I have been a class prefect every year, which is also a matter of honour for me. 

 

Growing up, when I saw my father working on daily wages, struggling to support us, I promised myself to support him like a son when I grew up. I started by helping my mother stitch clothes for a living.  I have now also joined a coaching center near my house where I teach students of Grades 3 to 8 to supplement our household income. After finishing high school, I want to go to college to continue my education and go on to get a job in a bank.

 

Most of the families from our village in rural Sindh have moved to our part of Karachi, an urban slum. I feel that it time for me to pay back to my roots. I plan to share my knowledge with the children in my community. I have full faith in myself that I will be successful in whatever I do. I am grateful to Zindagi Trust for making it possible for me to dream big and achieve my dreams!

  

Haseena is a graduate of our Paid to Learn schools for working children. As a top graduate, she was placed in a mainstream private secondary school through our Secondary School Support Project. She has made tremendous progress in settling into a private school environment from a non-formal education set-up. We are proud of her and of all our graduates who are showing brilliant results in secondary school. Please continue to support our programmes to make this change possible.

In Class
In Class
In school
In school

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