Jul 24, 2019

Meet Sara: A budding linguist

12 year old Sara
12 year old Sara

12 year old Sara loves waking up in the morning to the sound of birds chirping and singing, it instills a sort of calm in her before diving into a hectic routine. After morning prayers, she assists her mother in daily tasks such as cleaning the house and washing dishes. All day she waits for her favorite part of the day—going to school! She loves meeting her friends there but above all she loves studying English and Urdu more than anything. “Studying language has enabled me to read newspapers and billboards which I could not have done before. This gives me immense pleasure and when I go to the bazaar (market) I like to read everything I see around me, be it writings on buildings, cars or anywhere else”  she says.

Sara had never attened school before, and had recently relocated to Rawalpindi, one of Pakistan’s major cities, with her family. Her father, a carpenter and the sole earner of the family, was not able to support her education on a meager monthly wage of 130 USD. However, upon learning of Zindagi Trust’s Paid-to-Learn Program from neighbours, her parents instantly admitted all six of their children. This school where Sara is studying specializes in non-formal education, covering basic primary education in an accelerated two-year course. Now, she is in the equivalent of fourth grade and upon graduation will be able to enroll in a secondary school to continue her education.

She’s one of the most active students I’ve come across, who is eager to learn as much she can in the limited time that she has in class”, says Irum, her English teacher at the school. Sara adores reading and is willing to read anything that appears in front of her eyes. She is particularly fond of reading newspapers, especially fiction stories and the news updates section.

Sara’s doting passion for learning makes her friends want to study and learn from her, and this is precisely how Sara spends most of her time with them. They spend hours writing, reading and sometimes even doodling together. In the future, she is looking forward to teaching young children from low income communities who do not have anyone else to teach them. In her words “I learnt from someone and I would love if one day someone learnt from me too”.

Thank you for helping us support confident students like Sara! We urge you to continue donating so that together we can support more students like her, who are eager to learn but whose financial constraints prevents them from realizing their untapped potential.

During a group activity in class
During a group activity in class

Links:

Jul 2, 2019

Send 50 Pakistani child workers to high school (#5529)

Meet Muskan
“I want to keep studying because I love doing so. It was my Papa’s dream to see me and my siblings get educated, and become successful in life. Every time I would wear my eye glasses he would call me ‘Doctor’. I want to keep his dream alive and this is why I try to give my best every single day!’ says the inspirational 15 year old Muskan Arshad from Lahore, Pakistan. Muskan’s father, a sweeper, passed away very early on in her life, leaving behind his family of 6 in both an emotional and financial crisis. Her mother, who is now the only breadwinner of the family works at a school as a cleaner to support the education of 4 out of her 5 children, with an income of only 65 USD per month.

Muskan contributes to her family income by helping her mother tailor clothes in the evenings, after school. Her mother has a simple set up at home, where she stitches outfits given to her by neighbouring families in the colony. Through this labour, Muskan is able to give her mother USD 14 every month so her siblings may be able to attend school. Muskan’s aim every month is to stitch as many extra clothes as possible so that she may be able to earn an extra 3 USD, which she uses to pay for evening tuition classes held at her school.

Muskan dropped out of school in first grade because of her family’s inability to afford her education. Muskan found herself completely unsatisfied with life since she wanted to resume her studies. 6 months passed before she came across, Paid to Learn Program by Zindagi Trust a non-formal 2 year accelerated primary school program. Upon successful completion of this program, Muskan was then admitted to Allama Iqbal Public High School in Lahore, Pakistan, 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.

Muskaan’s passion for learning is immediately palpable as well as her curiosity and fascination with life. “I like science because through that I get to learn about the world, learning about force, pressure, chemicals… I love stories and I love history! When my papa was alive I used to ask him to tell me stories about partition and people from the villages,” She recalls.
Muskan wants to become a doctor who treats patients regardless of their ability to pay. “I want to become a doctor and have my own practice. I do not want to work under anyone, so that I can practise however I want and treat those who cannot afford treatment” she says, ever the aspiring entrepreneur.

Please continue to support our Secondary Sponsorship Program! Your donations will continue to help Muskan, and others like her, in realizing their professional ambitions, and one day fulfilling their dreams.
Madiha Rashid Siddiqui
Program Officer
Zindagi Trust
p: +92 021 111-111-439 
a: 94-C Haji Abdul Razzak Janoo Street Faran Housing Society Karachi
e: madiha.siddiqui@zindagitrust.org
Jun 3, 2019

What's for breakfast?

A kindergartener polishing off a boiled egg
A kindergartener polishing off a boiled egg

About the Program

Zindagi Trust’s Breakfast Program aims to provide students with a nutritious locally sourced meal to start the day. 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) in Karachi, breakfast was served this year to students of Kindergarten, first grade and second grade totalling 217 students. However, due to its larger student body, SMB Fatima Jinnah Government Girls School (SMB) was only able to serve breakfast to their 280 kindergarten students.

Our vision for the breakfast program is about inculcating healthy living habits in our students and we like to take this value beyond the breakfast room. We do not see the breakfast program in isolation from the rest of a students' intellectual development. As such, for long term impact, we have involved the school nurse, the gardeners, science teachers, canteen management and parents in the process of implementing the breakfast program.

The Breakfast program has been tremendously successful. It has brought about a heartening improvement in the development and health of our young students. Teachers and staff report a decrease in absenteeism, fainting due to malnutrition, yawning during the class, and diminished concentration in studies and sports. Moreover, it has significantly boosted student admissions in the Early Childhood Development grades (ECD) at SMB.

Donate today to support 500 plus young children get a nutritious boost to start the day.

The weekly menu. All items are free from additives
The weekly menu. All items are free from additives
Drinking milk from steel mugs, instead of plastic
Drinking milk from steel mugs, instead of plastic
The chefs: constantly innovating healthy recipes
The chefs: constantly innovating healthy recipes
Having a meal together has improved social skills
Having a meal together has improved social skills
Ridged Gourd: From the school garden to the table
Ridged Gourd: From the school garden to the table

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