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.
Sep 3, 2015

Meet Ali!

Ali reads in class
Ali reads in class

Ali Raza studies in the 5th grade at a Zindagi Trust School in Lahore. He never misses school, always scores above 90% on tests and exams, and shines at the top of his class. His father is a carpenter who struggles to support Ali and his seven sisters on an average monthly income of just over $100. After school, Ali helps sell fruit on a roadside cart to support his family. 

Ali grew up in abject poverty but remembers his earlier childhood days fondly. He believes the economic struggle of his family ended up being a great motivator for him to study, work hard and to never lose hope. His father did not prioritise educating his children, but his mother - who had been to school till the 5th grade - valued the power of education and was devoted to sending her children to school. Ali and his sisters started off studying at home with their mother, because they could not afford to enroll in school. Eventually, they all signed up to study at Zindagi Trust's free school for working children.

Ali is passionate about serving his country and wants to be a doctor when he grows up. He leaves us with a message from his mother who always consoled him when he felt down and hopeless and taught him to never lose hope because success was waiting for him at the end of the road. Here is a video of Ali talking about his journey and hopes.

The school Ali goes to is one of several "Paid to Learn" non-formal schools run by Zindagi Trust in the urban slums of Rawalpindi and Lahore. These schools do not charge any kind of fees and take in students of different age groups and integrate them into the education system by covering primary education in just over two years. Please consider making a donation to us to support the education of children like Ali!

Ali at work
Ali at work

Links:

Jun 29, 2015

A star student smiling from adversity to success

At school
At school

Meet Sawan. A 15-year-old boy who lives in Lahore with his five siblings. A slum dweller. A child labourer. A top position holder in school. An eternal optimist.

 

When Sawan was 11, he found work as sales help at a crockery shop. The 2000 rupees a month he made were neatly deposited with his father, a garment factory worker who needed all the financial support he could get to support his family of seven.

 

Thankfully, Sawan’s father knew the importance an education could make in eventually transforming their lives and enrolled his children in Zindagi Trust’s free primary schools for working children.

 

When he first started, he struggled with following the lessons as an older child in primary school. However, he was committed to working hard on his studies and was optimistic about things turning out well in the end. His teachers saw his devotion and never-say-die attitude and offered him remedial classes at home.

 

He made great progress and ended up with at least a B grade in all his classes, eventually finishing primary school in the top 10% of his class. Subsequently, he was sponsored by Zindagi Trust to continue his education in a private secondary school where he now studies in the 9th grade. A diligent and passionate student, ranked by his teachers as one of the best in his class, he bagged the 3rd position in the school’s last annual exams in March.

 

From difficult courses at school to rough days at home after his father loses out his daily wages due to political strikes, Sawan is always looking for the silver lining and providing a cheery outlook to his friends and family. Displaying an unbreakable spirit, he advises his friends that optimism can give them to courage to overcome any challenge.

 

In his community, there are hundreds of children in the same situation as Sawan. What makes him stand out is his positive attitude and thinking. Today, in addition to working at the crockery store, he is delighted to have started doing door-to-door sales and deliveries on Sundays to make some extra bucks. At school, he is excited to have made it to the stage where students prepare to take their first board exams which determine their college admissions.

 

“I never take anything for granted. Challenges have helped me improve my life.”

 

He looks forward to performing well in his Matriculation exams within the next two years after which he plans to continue his studies privately while getting a better part-time job, maybe in an office. His aim in life is to join the army to serve his country.

 

To support the secondary education of graduates of our primary school program for working children like Sawan, please check out the links below.

Studying at home
Studying at home
A work
A work

Links:

Jun 29, 2015

Breakfast for Pakistani school-children

starting the day with noodle soup
starting the day with noodle soup

Since you last heard from us, the new school year began for us in April and our kindergarten class grew from 235 smiles to 250 even brighter smiles walking in to our Breakfast Room to start the schoold day every morning.

As the winter came to a close in March, the menu was altered for the warmer months to move from eggs and chicken to a lighter package of seasonal fruits and bread and butter or jam. As usual, the crowd favourite rose-flavoured milk stayed on.

We were pleased that the parents of the newly admitted students as well as recent visitors to the school (volunteers, government monitors, etc.) expressed their appreciation and support for the breakfast programme. We hope this support will grow into the practice of the state providing school meals at all schools across the province.

Thank you for your continued support in promoting good health and nutrition in Pakistan's school children!

Links:

 
   

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