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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Apr 24, 2019

Meet Zareen: A Young Creator

13-year old Zareen’s fingers move slowly with calculated precision as she puts the finishing touches on a wooden doll she has carved herself. The cold steel blade of the scissor glints in the warm morning sunlight as she trims the doll’s hair, which she has glued on moments before. However, these moments, where she has time to indulge in her love of creating, are few and far in between. 5 minutes later, she puts down the scissors and leaves her home for a nearby warehouse where she spends her mornings packaging sports equipment, her fingers now moving mechanically at laser speed to put cricket balls in their nets. Through this job, she earns 20 USD a month, which she contributes towards her household income.

Zareen and her siblings started working 6 years ago in their home city of Lahore when their father suffered a terrible car accident and lost the use of his legs. Their mother, who works as a house help in nearby homes, could not manage alone. Now, her father has re-joined his work as a carpenter in a furniture shop, but funds are low, and Zareen’s small income is a helpful addition to the family’s total monthly income of 105 USD. Sundays are a happy time though, right now her father is helping her carve miniature furniture pieces for a doll house.

Zareen 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. Alina had stopped attending school once she started working in the warehouse. However, the Zindagi Trust team reached out to her parents who then enrolled Zareen and her siblings in the program. Now, in the equivalent of fifth grade, she spends three hours at school between her time working at the warehouse.

While she is a consistent top achiever in the subjects of Urdu Language and Mathematics, Zareen enjoys her art classes the most. ‘Playing with colours is what fascinates me the most. Painting is almost like a sport of colours to me’ says the young creator.

Your regular donations aid Zareen and students like her acquire education to fulfil their creative ambitions and passions. We hope you will continue to support young students like Zareen!

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