We recently received the annual results of the two mainstream secondary schools in Karachi where our top graduates from our Paid to Learn primary education programme for working children were placed. Our graduates are doing well in their new schools and showed excellent results. At the Hammad Foundation Secondary School, three of our graduates bagged a Top 3 position in their class, a tremendous achievement given that these working children, with barely two years of informal education under their belts, were now competing with students who have been in a private school all their life.
The school’s annual prize distribution ceremony was held at the Gujjar Hall in Manzoor Colony where our Academic Coordinator, Iqbal Ahmed, was invited to see the progress of our graduates and also to present awards to 35 best students, out of whom our 3 Zindagi Trust stars were as follows:
1. Anila daughter of Nadeem of Class 8 stood 2nd out of 20 students2. Samreen daughter of Abdul Razzaq of class 6 stood 3rd out of 25 students3. Attiya daughter of Shahid Ali of class 6 stood 2nd out of 25 students
At Al-Shams Grammar School too, our graduates did a great job. Khanzaib & Rashid passed class 8 with flying colours: Khanzaib stood 2nd and Rashid stood 3rd in a class of 18 students. Sana, a student of Class 7, stood 1st in her class of 20 students. All three of these students were position-holders throughout their time at Zindagi Trust’s non-formal school and we are delighted to see that they continue to flourish in the new environment at their mainstream school.
“Without education we are blind to opportunity”
“Without education we are blind to opportunity – it is education that gives us the ability to see beyond the visible path.” These are the words of Muhammad Azeem, a 15-year-old who graduated from Paid to Learn, our non-formal primary education programme for working children. His face glowed as he put the value of education into words so eloquent they belied his age.
Azeem grew up and still lives in the notorious Karachi slum of Sohrab Goth. His father is a ragman and scrap dealer and employs the services of his entire family, including Azeem and his younger siblings, works at his shop. They live together in the traditional “joint family system” – Azeem, his parents, his siblings (six brothers and five sisters) as well as his grandparents.
After completing graduating from our non-formal primary school in Dalmia, Karachi at the top of his class, he qualified for our secondary school scholarship. He was placed in Jinnah Public School in Dalmia so he could continue his secondary education, sponsored entirely by our Secondary School Scholarship for top graduates of the Paid to Learn programme.
He is currently in the seventh grade and will sit for his Annual Examinations at the end of this month. He has shown consistency in his academic performance in the past few years, continuing his good progress from our non-formal schools to the mainstream private school where he is now a student.
Azeem treasures the time he spent at Zindagi Trust’s non-formal school for working children. Going to school had always been an unfulfilled dream for him before that point, so he is grateful to God for blessing him with the opportunity to get support for his education.
It is still a hard life for him. He gets into motion at daybreak, attending school in the morning and on his way to work with an empty sack by the time the clock hits two in the afternoon. He forages the streets for valuable scrap for the next few hours and near the end of his work day, the sack is bulging with cups, bottles, cardboard packages and bits of metal. He drags this heavy sack through his father’s shop where it will be weighed and scrap dealt.
But he doesn’t see himself doing this the rest of his life and has already begun to sketch a path out of being forced to pick through garbage. Inspired by Shehzad Roy, the singer and philanthropist who founded the organization which enabled his escape to education, Azeem has made education a priority. He is committed to learning and has set for himself the practical goal of obtaining an F.A. (a local junior college equivalent) so that he can get a white-collar job.
“I want to get a good, respectable job… in an office. Then I will be treated respectfully and I will also treat people with respect,” he said.
As a 15-year-old who has the vision and self-belief to break out of the poverty-illiteracy cycle his family is stuck in, Azeem’s work also supports the education of his younger siblings. We have truckloads of respect for this child and wish him the best for the future.
Motivated & focused are the first two words I would use to describe 14-year-old Alisha. Her father, Shahid, is an electrician who makes a meager Rs. 8,500 a month which does not come close to fulfilling the needs of Alisha, her three sisters and four brothers.
From an early age, Alisha had to work to supplement her household income, working as a tailor from home. Instead of skipping school for work, she joined Zindagi Trust’s Manzoor Colony school for working children to complete an accelerated primary education course. She had a keen interest in her studies and always ended up in the “High Achievers” list of students who topped their grades. Eager to learn and grow in every way, Alisha never missed an opportunity to participate in co-curricular activities either.
As a top graduate of our Paid to Learn primary education programme for working children, Alisha qualified for our Secondary Education Scholarship through which she was placed in Nimra Academy Secondary School and guaranteed a fully-paid ride through her high school graduation.
Now in the 8th grade at Nimra Academy, she has settled in remarkably well in the mainstream private school, given her only previous educational background was a non-formal primary education programme for working children. A position holder during her primary education course, she has lived up to her potential in her secondary education too, bagging the 2nd position in her Class at Nimra Academy for two years running. More details on her academic progress can be seen in the annual report attached.
Alisha is thankful to Zindagi Trust for sponsoring her education, something she has learned to value a great deal. Her family is very supportive of her studies and she continues to work from home, stitching clothes and doing embroidery. Alisha is very close to her three sisters and four brothers, and terms them an inspiration to her life. She truly treasures the bond she shares with her siblings and contributes the Rs. 50 she makes from her work every day towards their education.
As she makes her journey beyond the possible, she does so with hope that all things are possible. It is Alisha’s hope & belief that in future her dream would become reality, where she sees herself as a doctor.
6th grade: 2nd position, 76% marks with 97% attendance
7th grade: 2nd position 82% marks with 99% attendance
Hello. This time we bring you the story of Dilber Malik, one of the star graduates from our Paid to Learn primary education programme, juggling work, school and family.
Dilber was a brilliant student at Zindagi Trust’s Naseerabad School for working children. He graduated from the primary education programme there with flying colors in 2009. His father Abdul Malik, who had served in the Pakistan army, was martyred in an ambush by terrorists leaving Dilber the only earning member of his family. After his father’s death, he started working in the main fruit and vegetable market of Islamabad to support his family. He makes Rs.5000 a month, most of which goes towards rent and the studies of his 3 younger brothers. Dilber puts in extra time, working late nights in the market to make ends meet.
After graduating in the top 10% of his primary education class, Dilber qualified for Zindagi Trust’s programme that sponsors the secondary education of the top graduates.
Through this secondary education support programme, Dilber was placed in the 6th grade at Honey Public School, Naseerabad, Rawalpindi. He is now in the 9th grade, doing well in a mainstream school, with students who don’t have to work to support their families. His teachers are very happy with him - his class teacher told us that he is an intelligent student and is a cooperative group member in the class activities. He has also been appreciated for his regularity & punctuality.
Dilber aims to continue his studies and graduate from his first year or college, before joining the service in his father’s footsteps. His favorite subject is English and he loves to play cricket whenever he has some free time.
The team at Zindagi Trust believes hard work always pays off and for us Dilber is already a deserved success. We wish him all the best for the future and hope that donors like yourself continue to help us support the continuing education of these bright young minds.
Kainat Amin graduated in the top 10% of the class from Zindagi Trust's primary education programme for working children. As a reward for her great academic performance, Zindagi Trust pledged financial support for Kainat's continuting education. She was placed in the 6th grade at the Government Girls High School of Tench Bhata, Rawalpindi where she continues to flourish sa a student.
A star student at our non-formal school for children forced to work, she has maintained her good academic record at her new school, this time competing well against "regular" children in a mainstream school. She obtained the 4th position in the Annual Examination and was promoted to the 7th grade.
Her teachers are very happy with her. Her class teacher wrote in her monthly student evaluation report that Kainat was a willing and active student who performed well in all class activities. She is doing well at Science and Mathematics and is also a good player of cricket. Kainat is confident that her hard work and eagerness will help her achieve her ambition in life: to serve her people as a doctor.
Kainat lives with her parents, one brother and three sisters in a humble neighbourhood. Her parents work on daily wages but are striving hard to make their children's dreams come true. Kainat is a practical girl - she realizes her family financial issues and is hopeful for a brighter future. She is thankful and proud of Zindagi Trust for supporting her and many other "Paid to Learn" graduates in achieving their goals in life and becoming better citizens of Pakistan.
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