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.
May 14, 2012

Spring Festival, Picnics at the Park & a New Term

students show off their plants with pride
students show off their plants with pride

Spring Festival, Green Classes, Picnics at the Park & a New Term

 

We’ve been up to lots of exciting activities at our schools for children forced to pick work over school to support their families: Spring Festivals and urban gardening classes, a day at the cricket, trips to the air force museum, tableaus for Pakistan Day and school picnics at the park!

 

SPRING FESTIVAL AND GREEN CLASSES

Our students celebrated the arrival of spring by sowing seeds and planting herbs. Teachers walked them through the hands-on activity, providing them with small pots, soil, seeds and spray bottles. They explained the lifecycle of a plant to the children through colourful charts to encourage an interest in gardening. The activity was integrated into the Science and Urdu classes which helped make everyday classroom learning more interactive and relevant.

Do check out the attached pictures for the resulting healthy, plants being shown off by the proud students who were thrilled to have successfully grown sunflowers, onions, garlic, mint and coriander. They responded well to the responsibility of "owning" a plant and would get excited just taking turns to water their plants. 

 

PICNIC AT THE PARK

We took our students from all the schools for working children in Rawalpindi to the Lake View Park in Islamabad on the banks of Rawal Dam for a picnic. They felt like they had been let free to have a ball! They spent most of their time in the big play area with rucksacks, slides, a Ferris Wheel and swings.

 

Most of them had never been to the park before and were delighted just to be surrounded by the natural green beauty, remarkable pottery and famous sculptures. They also got to see electric powered buses, bicycles and cars, while enjoying live music and playing impromptu games of football and cricket. Between the frolic in the play area and lunchtime, the children sat on the sun-soaked grass and relaxed by telling jokes, play-acting, and impromptu speeches, songs and dance.

 

As most of these students work and live in the slums of a crowded city, getting away for a day and being surrounded by greenery, fresh, unpolluted air and a stunning view of the Rawal Lake proved to be an outing they could not get enough of. We hope to organize more picnics by the park in the future.

 

ALSO:

 

The students at our Lahore schools enjoyed a day at the cricket, watching the final of the Pentangular Cup and getting a chance to meet some Test stars.

 

The students from our Karachi schools saw the latest models of planes and learned about other interesting aeronautical displays on a trip to the air force museum.

 

Children at our schools across the country celebrated Pakistan Day with tableaus and skits, delivered speeches & quiz competitions to highlight the importance of the movement for independence.

 

And finally, the NEW TERM begins!

 

The new academic term for our schools started last month. The academic staff in each school welcomed the returning students as well as the new admissions, all of whom were enthusiastic about the start of the term, especially about getting new books and stationery.

The academic teams from across Pakistan reviewed student performance in the previous term. The results from the last term are encouraging, with 97% of the students having passed their classes – falling in the “Very Good” category according to our internal academic assessment. A total of 242 students who graduated successfully and more than 50 of the top graduating students were placed in the 6th grade at various schools though our continuing education support initiative.

 

Thank you for reading and for your continued support. Do check us out on Facebook or twitter for more frequent updates and discussion about our work. Also, please consider Donating to Zindagi Trust to support our programs for these wonderful, bright children in Pakistan. Have a happy day!

a student uses a spray bottle to nurture her plant
a student uses a spray bottle to nurture her plant
students, cricket bat in hand, pose by the lake
students, cricket bat in hand, pose by the lake
students enjoy the play area at the park
students enjoy the play area at the park
students singing to celebrate Pakistan day
students singing to celebrate Pakistan day
checking out the planes at the air force museum
checking out the planes at the air force museum
students enjoy a day at the cricket
students enjoy a day at the cricket

Links:

Mar 27, 2012

"Primary education totally changed my life"

At his workplace
At his workplace

This month's update comes to you from Rashid, a graduate of Zindagi Trust's Paid to Learn primary education programme for working children. Rashid used to be a child who spent all his day at work instead of at school until he joined a Zindagi Trust school providing an accelerated primary education to working children. After graduating in the top of the class in that programme, his complete secondary education at a mainstream school with children who don't have to choose between work and school was sponsored by Zindagi Trust. Here's Rashid in his own words:

 

"Hello everyone! I am Rashid Arshad presently studying in grade 7 at Nimra Academy (Campus II) secondary school. About my family background, my father works in Punjab, my mother does manual work in houses from 8 am to 6 pm & I am at Kabariya (Antique) shop earning daily wages of 50 rupees. My family consists of six members; my parents, two sisters and two brothers including me. Excluding the youngest one, the rest are all school-going children.

 

I joined a Zindagi Trust (ZT) School in 2006. The days of my primary schooling and the support of teachers at Zindagi Trust are the good memories, which will never be wiped off from my memory.

 

I am really thankful to Zindagi Trust that supports students like me to continue their secondary education.  My life in a mainstream school with regular children is totally changed from the previous one. Now I am an early bird and I get up at 5:30 am and reach school at 7:30am. My school starts at 8 am.  When I was studying at the ZT School the timings were the other way round; morning work place and afternoon school. There are three things in my life that I really love, Allah, my family & my education.

 

I want to share a little about my strength that is to adapt easily in any environment and to be a quick learner with a great passion for challenging tasks. I am happy with my mid-term grade report.

 

My spare time activities are to play with my workplace friends, to teach them thrice a week & once a while go to video shop to play games.

 

I’m keen to have my character build up and develop throughout the coming years and I am hopeful for my ambition, which is to become a computer expert.

In class
In class
At home with family
At home with family
Secondary School grade report
Secondary School grade report

Links:

Mar 26, 2012

Meet the students, more milk and self-service!

Students line up to pick up breakfast
Students line up to pick up breakfast

Hello,

Thank you for your continued support. 

Self-service

 Last time we told you about introducing the concept of "self-service" to our students at breakfast, which involved them picking up their plates and food and taking them to their seats themselves. As the students have grown bigger and stronger through the course of our nutrition enhancement programme, we have expanded on the self-service aspect so that the children now line up and walk to the breakfast room from their lesson area, pick up their breakfast themselves and once finished take their plates and cups back to the counter, all on their own. They are supervised by two kindergarten teachers throughout the exercise, but they have become independent, confident and disciplined enough to do all this mostly without needing to be prompted.

Menu updates

 Pasta has been added to the menu and the children are really enjoying it as a hearty meal in the morning. The menu now includes: bread with jam and butter, boiled eggs, milk, seasonal fruits and cooked noodles. We are also happy to report that the children are now drinking more milk, possibly because they are liking it (rosewater-flavoured milk is their favourite) or their development has boosted their appetite!

Meet the students

We wanted to bring you the student perspective on the breakfast programme so we picked some kindergarten students at random and asked them what they thought of the breakfast "class" with which they start every day at school. The popular opinion was that the breakfast at school was a success with the students because there is a good variety of food for the children to pick from.

 

Ahmed Raza, a student of KG 2, said: "I didn't like having breakfast at home - it was the same thing every day - but at school I really enjoyed breakfast because I got to eat with my friends and there was a different menu every day!"

Bakhtawar, a student of KG 1, said she liked the eggs, milk and fruits served at the school breakfast, since she did not get a chance to eat them at home. Zunaira, another student from KG 1, said she loved the sandwiches from the school breakfast.

 

Get in touch

We love hearing from you! If you have any comments on this report, a suggestion for our breakfast programme or just want to say hi, please contact us via email, Facebook, twitter or simply by commenting right here!
The final part of breakfast: bananas!
The final part of breakfast: bananas!
Students return their plates & mugs to the counter
Students return their plates & mugs to the counter
Ahmed, from KG2, says he loves breakfast at school
Ahmed, from KG2, says he loves breakfast at school
Bakhtawar & Zunaira discuss their favourite food
Bakhtawar & Zunaira discuss their favourite food

Links:

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