Jan 2, 2020

End-of-year Breakfast Program updates

Excited to start her day with boiled eggs and milk
Excited to start her day with boiled eggs and milk

Zindagi Trust’s Breakfast Program, which aims to provide students with a nutritious locally sourced meal to start the day, is continuing with fervor at our two adopted government schools. The program seeks to integrate and build awareness of health, nutrition and environment among our young students.

At Khatoon-e-Pakistan Government Girls School (KPS), breakfast is served to students of nursery, kindergarten, first grade and second grade totaling 250 students. However, due to its larger student body, SMB Fatima Jinnah Government Girls School (SMB) is currently only able to serve breakfast to their 300 kindergarten students.

New arrivals at our tiny farm

Students of the Environment Club at KPS have planted bottle gourd, ridged gourd and okra in the backyard garden and we are looking forward to them becoming an addition to our breakfast menu soon! While the early years students are not a part of the club, teachers and gardeners regularly take them to the vegetable garden and allow them to explore the process of growing food. Students walk around, spot vegetables growing at different stages and water the crops as well. We hope that such a practice allows students to develop respect and an appreciation for the earth and the food that it gives us.

What’s on the Menu?

We strive to create a menu which has the appropriate mix of whole grains, fiber, vitamins, minerals and protein. All effort is made to ensure processed foods are eliminated such as using dates as a sweetener instead of sugar, preparing bread in-house instead of using store-bought options and sourcing hormone-free fresh milk from a local farm. The focus is to provide a healthy and balanced meal without compromising on taste. This time both our decided on the same menu, which included boiled eggs, aloo parathas (flatbreads stuffed with potato) seasoned with crushed cumin, spinach omelettes with whole wheat roti, wheat cereal, black chickpea salads with potatoes. Yogurt, milk and a mix of seasonal fruits such as oranges, pomegranate melons, apples and bananas served daily.

Please continue to support this program and share any ideas you may have for affordable, local and healthy menu options to fuel the brains that will shape Pakistan's future!

Chickpea salad with potatoes, cucumber and yogurt
Chickpea salad with potatoes, cucumber and yogurt
Planting okra & gourd for the breakfast table
Planting okra & gourd for the breakfast table
Watering the vegetable garden
Watering the vegetable garden

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Dec 31, 2019

Meet Tariq, the aspiring medical entrepreneur

Meet Tariq
Meet Tariq

13-year-old Tariq wakes up diligently every morning at the crack of dawn and pulls out his textbooks to revise the lessons he was taught in school the previous day. After revising for an hour, he makes his entire family breakfast, and then heads out to his school, the Al Huda Education System, located in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital city. Upon returning back home, he changes out of his uniform and heads out yet again for tuition classes. Once done, he departs for a junk shop where he helps his elder brother with his job of collecting and selling scrap paper. Once his brother has counted his earnings for the day, which amount to less than $1, they make their way back to their one-room home.

Tariq’s brother is the only bread earner for the 11-member family, while his parents do not work, due to ill health and old age. His family’s dire financial situation has only served to motivate him more to study well, graduate, and work his way towards becoming a doctor with his own practice, so he may be able to help his parents and his siblings. His dedication is definitely reflective in his grades, as he consistently ranks amongst the top students in his Science, and Language classes. While Science remains is his favourite subject, he has developed an affinity for languages. “One of the best things about attending school has been that I can now read and write, which has helped me make more sense of what is going on around me” he says while talking about why he enjoys his Urdu and English language classes.

Prior to attending formal secondary school, Tariq used to work the whole day as a scavenger, similar to his elder brother. He soon came across the Paid to Learn Program by Zindagi Trust through which he was enrolled in the accelerated primary school program for 3 years. Upon the completion of this program Tariq then gained admission into the school he is a student at today, as a part of the Zindagi Trust’s Secondary Sponsorship Program where students are not only given support for admission into grade six at a formal school but also given a full scholarship till Grade 10.

Please continue to support Tariq in realizing his dream to become a medical practitioner and better his family’s future.

 

 

Busy in class
Busy in class

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Oct 23, 2019

Meet Zahida: An aspiring educator

Sewing clothes at a tailoring shop
Sewing clothes at a tailoring shop

13 year old Zahida sits at her station in a clothes tailoring shop, holding the wheel of the sewing machine steady for a few seconds while she adjusts the thread to finish sewing a dress her Ustaad (master tailor) will later sell. At the end of the month, Zahida earns USD 30, a sorely needed addition to her family’s monthly income of 100 USD which is barely enough to support her 10 member household. Each dress takes at least 5 hours to complete, leaving Zahida enough time in the day to attend school.

Zahida is a student at a Zindagi Trust school in Lahore, Pakistan, This school specializes in non-formal education for working children, covering basic primary education in an accelerated two year course. It was through a recruitment campaign that our Zindagi Trust team in Lahore found Zahida at the tailoring shop and encouraged her to join the program. Zahida had never been to school before because her father, a construction worker and sole earner of the family, had been unable to afford the fee. Now in the equivalent of fourth grade, Zahida spends three hours at the school every day after her shift at the shop. Upon graduation, she will be able to enroll in a secondary school to continue her education.

Her teachers regularly praise her dedication, sharp mind, and ability to learn quickly, qualities that have allowed her to excel in school, especially in her Urdu Language classes. We hope that the same qualities will allow Zahida to fulfill her two goals in life: becoming a teacher who serves Pakistan and providing her family financial support to lead comfortable life.“Getting an education has allowed me to understand the world around me. I learnt from someone and I would love if one day someone learnt from me too” she says, speaking about her ambitions to become a teacher for young children.

Thank you for helping us support Zahida’s education. Please donate to provide Zahida and other eager students like her the chance to choose their own future and realize the professional ambitions.

In her favorite Urdu Language class
In her favorite Urdu Language class

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