Meet Fahim - Afghan war refugee, child labourer, star student
By Jahanara Shiraz - Manager, Academics, Non Formal Education
Fahim is a 5th-grader from an Afghan refugee family living in a Rawalpindi slum. His parents decide to move their family of 10 from the small town of Banda in Laghmaan Province to Pakistan due to the uncertain situation in their war-torn country. His father had experience selling fruits and vegetables and started work in a market close to their new home in Fauji Colony, Rawalpindi.
Since his early childhood, Fahim would wake up and help his father sell produce in the morning. Today he still starts his day by going to the market with his father and their fruit and vegetable cart. In the afternoon, he goes to Zindagi Trust's primary school for working children where he is now in his final term. After school, lunch and revision, he goes back to work his second job - selling books on the road to passersby near traffic signals.
He is regular at school and studies diligently, having bagged a top positition in every grade from Kindergarten to 4th grade. He is motivated by the aim of becoming a general physician when he grows up. He's also very proud of Mr Shehzad, who sponsored his education and mentored him through our Be My Buddy program.
He is thankful to the donors who have sponsored his education so far and hopes that through them Zindagi Trust will continue to support his studies until he is ready to support himself. The trust runs several schools under the Paid to Learn program which offers an accelerated course in primary education to children who are forced to work. The key to the success of the program is the inclusive student recruitment process, where our field workers get approval from both the parents and employers of the children. We hope you will continue to support the education of these children with a donation!
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