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 29, 2014

Fighting hardship with hope

Fareeda reading in class
Fareeda reading in class

Fareeda is a 10th-grade student who lives with her mother and two siblings. Unfortunately, she saw hardships in her childhood that no child should suffer. When her father abandoned the family, Fareeda's mother struggled to support them, not being able to put her children through school or afford access to water and electricity.

Eventually, with support from some kind neighbours, her mother established a vocational training centre where girls learned to do embroidery. Fareeda and her sister helped out at this centre and their brother worked at a garage. They kept at it for three years until their financial situation stabilised, but the children were still out of school.

One of her neighbour's was a teacher at a Zindagi Trust school for working children. When she found out that Fareeda was interested in school, she helped her get admitted to a Paid to Learn school for working children. From the very beginning, Fareeda was a great student and continued to do well from kindergarten to the 5th grade. As a successful graduate, she qualified for Zindagi Trust's secondary school placement programme and was admitted into a mainstream private school. She passed with flying colours in her 9th-grade board exams and is now in her final year of Pakistani school, waiting to sit for the 10th-grade board exams.

Fareeda's teachers report that she is an exceptional student who has the ability to grasp whatever is taught in class. Keeping a positive outlook on life, she considers the hardships and struggles of her early childhood as the foundation of her journey of learning. Most importantly, she has made her family proud. 

Fareeda is passionate about becoming a writer and also a teacher so that she can share her knowledge with others in what she considers to be true service to the country. Please support our program to ensure that outstanding graduates of our non-formal primary education programme like Fareeda continue to get placed in good schools that promise them a brighter future.

Links:

Dec 29, 2014

A breakfast boost for Pakistani kindergarteners

slurping soup
slurping soup

Breakfast was served to 235 children during in the last three months as part of our kindergarten project where the school day begins with breakfast. These children are students of Kindergarten at a school for underprivileged children in Karachi, Pakistan. Their parents appreciate the initiative that provides a regular meal and milk to their children. The program will continue over next quarter with the new menu selected from the following items:

Eggs, Biscuits, Slice, Jam and Butter, Fruit Salad, Seasonal Fruits like Banana, Apple, Guava, and Melon, instant noodles, Sandwiches, Cake etc. Milk is given daily, occasionally with a fortifying drink like Horlick's or with popular local flavours like rosewater. Occasionally, chicken corn soup, sheer khorma (a popular local sweet dish) and seasonal raw vegetables are also served in winter.

We hope to continue this programme with your support!

Links:

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

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