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, 2015

A child auto-mechanic on his way to becoming an aspiring engineer

Danial at work
Danial at work

Danial is an eight-grade student at Bab-e-Safa Grammar, a private school in Lahore, Pakistan's second-largest city. He shows up at school early and eager every day, neatly turned out in the navy blue sweater and tie that are part of his private school uniform. He does well in school and is a passionate student. 

 

There is not much else about him that is similar to his classmates. He grew up watching his father working two jobs - as a auto-mechanic and a driver - and struggling to make ends meet to support Danial, his brother and two sisters. Danial worked with his father as an assistant, helping to repair the engines of motorbikes so they could collectively make up to 10,000 rupees a month. This experience planted in him the seed of inquisitiveness and an interest in becoming in engineer but school was still a distant dream.

 

Luckily, our field workers found him and he was recruited to study at one of our Lahore Paid to Learn schools, enrolling in an afternoon programme specially designed for children who work. This is where he realised that he had an innate drive to learn and developed a commitment to studying hard. 

 

By excelling in the accelerated two-year primary education programme and graduating near the top of his class, he qualified for Secondary School Sponsorship, through which we fund the continuing education of our top graduates through matriculation in a mainstream private school. 

 

It has now been two years since Danial was placed in the sixth grade at Bab-e-Safa Grammar School. Competing with children who have been studying in a formal school set-up since kindergarten was not easy but Danial's passion to become an engineer pulled him through. 

 

Danial says he is struggling to make his journey beyond the possible with a hope that at the end all things would be possible. We at Zindagi Trust believe that hard work always pays off and for us Danial's is already a great success story. We wish him all the best for the future and hope that donors like you would continue to help us support the continuing education of these bright young minds.

Danial in school
Danial in school

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Dec 29, 2015

New doctor-approved menu for breakfast!

We provide breakfast to students of Kindergarten at a low-income public school in Karachi, Pakistan. The daily menu changes according to cost, availability of items and season, but typically includes some combination of the following: Bread, Butter, Jam, Eggs, Cakes, Biscuits, Fresh Fruits, Raw Vegetables, Fruit Salad, Chicken etc. Milk is a fixed part of the menu. In winter, children are given Chicken Corn Soup.

After a recent medical camp was held at the school where all Kindergarten children were examined by a team of doctors from Aga Khan Hospital, the top private hospital in the city, the breakfast menu was enhanced to add wheat porridge vegetable and chicken following the recommendations of the doctors.

This month, we would like to share with you some comments of students from the 3rd grade, who were the first class in our school with whom we piloted the breakfast program: 

Misbah, Class 3C

"I studied in KG-1, Section C. I liked the breakfast at our school, which included Custard, Milk, Boiled Egg, Biscuits, Cake and lots more. I always did my breakfast at school. There were fruits too - Oranges which were already peeled, but I loved to peel fresh bananas myself before eating them! When it started, I didn’t like to drink milk, specially every day, but soon after I become used to it!

Nimra, Class 3A

"I studied in class KG-2, Section A. Sometimes I had my breakfast at home and sometimes at school. There were lots of different things in breakfast like Noodles, Milk, Boiled Egg, Biscuits etc. but biscuits with Milk were my favorite. I think this facility should be provided to other students also."

The parents are very satisfied with the Breakfast Programme and have reported that it has created a healthy habit of breakfast at home on non-school days too. We thank you for your support and hope that you will continue donating to the programme to help us enrich the lives of our students.

A student with her wheat porridge
A student with her wheat porridge

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Dec 1, 2015

A 4th-grader finds the key to making his dreams come true!

Tayyab opens up to our field officer
Tayyab opens up to our field officer

Tayyab is a hard-working boy. A diligent student, he has also shown a remarkable commitment to his work as an artisan and to his responsibilities as an earning member of his family of four. He is just twelve years old.

Growing up in an urban slum in Pakistan's second-largest city, Lahore, he has had a difficult life. His father passed away four years ago, leaving his mother and elder brother responsible for earning a living. This left Tayyab in charge of home and, in particular, of raising his younger daughter alongside managing household chores. As an 8-year-old, he was incredibly conscientious about this added responsibility. A few years later, he also began to work in the embroidery unit of a textile factory to further support his household. 

While he is extremely skilled at his job, with incredibly nimble hands at the embroidery high machines, he wants to grow up to be a lawyer. He is currently studying in the 4th grade at a school run by Zindagi Trust for working children. At this school, he is one of the best students in his class. He is a top position holder and is also very regular about attending class. His teachers have termed him an exemplary student because of his positive attitude, great discipline and supportive nature.

Tayyab has a head-start at balancing different pressures in life, and manages his time and attention between his studies, workplace and family responsibilities very well. He has set personal goals and is working hard to achieve them. He wants to serve his family as well as his country through legal aid.

He thanks Zindagi Trust and its supporters for making his journey towards a better life possible through education. His message to all children is to "get educated as it is the key to let our dreams come true!"

Here is Tayyab in his own words. For more from Tayyab, check out his Interview Part 2 and Part 3

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