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.
Nov 22, 2016

Scavenging for the stars

In class
In class

Amanullah is a 12-year-old boy who spends four hours every morning scavenging through garbage outside bakeries and dumpsters for scrap and recycleables. He sells the plastic, metal and paper to a scrap salesman for Rs 200 - about $2 - and gives the returns to his father. If he ever makes anything over Rs 200, he gets to keep it as pocket money. Everyone in his family from his father and his forefathers to his cousins worked as a scavenger. But Amanullah was a boy who dreamed of a different life.

Today he is studying in the second grade at Zindagi Trust's School for Working Children in Dhamia Rawalpindi. He considers himself lucky because there was no concept of sending children to school in his family. The school is located almost at his doorstep - until a couple of years ago, he used to stand by the boundary wall of the school every day, listening wistfully to the sound of children reading in their classrooms.

"My school is changing my life," he says. "My Urdu teacher is very kind and caring to all children."

Thanks to her, he has developed a habit of reading which is also supporting his overall academic performance. Even at work, he hunts old books from vendors for the pleasure of reading. He treasures these old story books. He feels like it was a miracle that his father enrolled him in the same school and encouraged him to concentrate on his studies. 

Amanullah says the great humanitarian, Abdul Sattar Edhi, has made a huge impact on his life. Inspired by Edhi, he wants to be an attendant in a hospital and take care of the elderly patients who are unable to perform routine tasks like eating, bathing and so on. He realizes that it will be a long, hard journey to achieve his goal but he believes that if he is passionate about doing something, nothing is out of reach. He hopes that with the support of Zindagi Trust he will be able to complete his Matriculation and qualify to work in a hospital. Please consider making a donation to continue supporting students like him in achieving their dreams.

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Sep 19, 2016

Buy a breakfast for 250 kindergarten kids in Pakistan

talking to visitors
talking to visitors

During the past 3 months, more than 250 children at a low-income school in Pakistan's biggest city were fed a nutritious breakfast through Zindagi Trust's Kindergarten Breakfast Program.The program has been running for several years at SMB Fatima Jinnah Government Girls School, as part of a larger school reform initiative and features a breakfast of milk along with wheat porridge, salad, boiled eggs, French toast, etc. depending on seasonal availability.

Earlier this month, our girls got a cute surprise when boys from Habib Public School, one of the city's most prestigious elite private schools, entered the breakfast room for a visit to talk, share and learn. Students from the two schools had breakfast together and exchanged thoughts about school and the importance of good nutrition and a good start to the day.

The teachers and management of the guest school appreciated breakfast program at SMB Fatima Jinnah School and was impressed with the procedure of serving the breakfast in a hygienic manner. The message of starting the day with a good breakfast has travelled to the community through our students and also through our direct interactions with their parents. Students who have moved to higher grades have developed a habit of having breakfast at home. They have also learned to bring homemade food items for their break in school rather than buying junk food, a message driven home through multiple meetings with parents.

Nutrition is the key to effective education for the next generation - please help us provide breakfast to our youngest students through a donation to the breakfast program!

boiled eggs and milk!
boiled eggs and milk!

Links:

Sep 15, 2016

Meet Usman - a boy juggling work, play and school

Usman at school
Usman at school

Usman is a boy who grew up in the slums of Kot Lakhpat, Lahore. He finished an accelerated course of primary education at Zindagi Trust's Paid to Learn School on Peco Road, part of our network of non-formal primary schools in Lahore. He is now studying at Bab-e-Safa School, a mainstream private secondary school, thanks to our Secondary School Sponsorship Program. He is balancing quite a few challenges - early school timings, a heavy study workload, a job his family depends on, a wide range of extracurricular activities, and finally, building a good rapport with his teachers and classmates.

Usman was not like other Paid to Learn scholarship winners. Doing well in academics did not come naturally to him. He had to work very hard to be consistent in his studies but he managed to get the required grades in his non-formal primary education course to qualify for secondary school sponsorship - a huge achievement for him. This led to him being placed in a mainstream secondary school, where his education was completely financed by the trust.

Switching from non-formal schooling to formal schooling is a challenge for the most gifted academic student. It is a unique learning experience, one which the average student never goes through. For Usman, it was doubly hard because he always had a healthy interest in extra-curriculars as well as his work. He loves playing cricket, excelling at batting and fielding. He is very serious about fitness and trains hard every day with a rigorous exercise routine. Finally, he works as an assistant cook at a street fast food joint every evening to support his family with a $12 monthly income.

Now in the 6th grade, he has quickly adapted himself to school life. His class teacher has extended her academic support to him to be in line with the class work. Usman is enormously grateful to all our donors like yourself who make it possible for us to transform the lives of Pakistan's poorest children through education. Please consider making a donation to help us put more students like Usman in secondary school!

Usman at work
Usman at work

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