Educating 1800 child workers in Pakistan

by Zindagi Trust
Javeria at work
Javeria at work

Javeria is studying in the 5th grade in Zindagi Trust's Paid to Learn School for working children in Manzoor Colony. During her primary schooling here, she has consciously worked hard and showed remarkable academic progress. At a very young age, Javera has realized the value of hard work in enabling one to succeed and charms her teachers with statements such as "there is no substitute for hard work!"


Javeria belongs to a Punjabi family. Her father is a rickshaw driver. The eldest in her family, she coaches her siblings and her neighbors in the evenings. Apart from teaching, she wants to teach personal skills to groom the children of her community - most of whom are street children. Learning from her teachers, she interacts with her own "students" by using polite words like ‘Please’ ‘Thank You’ to teach them how to be polite and soft-spoken.

Javeria has a clear passion for education and takes her studies seriously. She has maintained an excellent record at school, a summary of which is as follows:


  •          Kindergarten:  2nd Position by 97% and attendance was 80% in her class.
  •          Class One: 2nd Position by 96% and attendance was 76% in her class.
  •          Class Two: 1stPosition by 98% and attendance was 81% in her class.
  •          Class Three: 1st Position by 94% and attendance 72%  in her class.
  •          Class Four:  1stPosition by 91% and attendance 84% in her class.   

Javeria also loves to read and her favourite kind of book is one which helps her travel the world through words and stories. Her future plans involve teaching at the same  Zindagi Trust school where she is studying now. She also wants to examine the basis of children learning, an impressive research goal for a fifth-grader.

She spends some time at home every day doing embroidery till the wee hours, to help with the household income. She never takes things granted. A committed and dedicated student, she takes pride of being the first child in her family to go to school and later opened the door for rest of the children of her family to receive an education. It is also a great  achievement of Zindagi Trust’s academic team who motivated her  family to send their daughters and sons to Zindagi Trust school.  We wish her all the best and hope that Javeria and other bright young children like her continue to get such opportunities through your support.

Javeria in school
Javeria in school
Javeria's School Report


A volunteer visits a Paid to Learn school
A volunteer visits a Paid to Learn school

Sanaullah is a 12 year-old boy with a passion to serve Pakistanis as a doctor. He lives with his parents, four brothers and three sisters in a rented house. His father is a rickshaw driver who never went to school. His older brother is a mechanic. Both of them work hard every day, struggling to support the household.


Sanaullah’s admission to a Zindagi Trust School is an interesting story. One day Sanaullah’s father was waiting in his rickshaw for a passenger. He happened to be standing outside Zindagi Trust’s Chah Sultan School in Rawalpindi. Upon questioning he learned that a non-profit by the name of Zindagi Trust worked in his slum to educate working children at no cost to their parents or employers. He had always wanted to educate his children but simply could not afford it. When he learned that the trust also provided free books and stationery, paid regular students a stipend upon graduation, and finances top graduates through matriculation, he became convinced that he must admit his son Sanaullah to the trust’s school.


Sanaullah joined the school in 2012 and is now studying in grade 4. He is a promising student and his strength is his confidence. He sticks to whatever decision he takes, displaying a maturity beyond his years. He is positive and makes you believe he will make his dream come true.


Since his childhood, Sanaullah was told that: Everything can be had, but for a price”Yes, you can have everything for a price but not confidence,” is his response. His self-belief is his biggest asset and his message to all working children like himself is a simple yet powerful one: “Believe in yourself and you will do your best!”


He urges his fellow students to work hard from the very first day of their academic term. The best thing Sanaullah likes about the ZT School is that it practices on-going assessment & at the end of the term final assessment.


 A bright student, Sanaullah always gets good news when the term’s academic results are announced. As the first child from his family to go to school, a major part of his commitment to his studies comes from the fact that he wants to prove his mettle to his family. He tells us that when he is rewarded at the end of each academic term, all his relatives get together at his house and bring sweets to celebrate his success.


Sanaullah was excited to share with us that his cousins are also studying in a Zindagi Trust School now. His family feels proud when he goes to a relative’s house to read letters for them. Sanaullah and family are a success story for their ready acceptance of Zindagi Trust’s opportunities for a better life through education. 



Natalia joined Zindagi Trust in March 2011. Excluding class 3; she bagged the 1st position every term during her entire primary education at the Zindagi Trust Manzoor Colony School for working children. She graduated in May 2013 at the top of her class and we are pleased to share her stellar record with you.


With the support of Zindagi Trust she continued her education after finishing the non-formal primary education programme for working children. She has been enrolled in Hammad Foundation School, one of the cooperative schools of Zindagi Trust.


Natalia is very much motivated with the work of Zindagi Trust & deeply thanks her teachers for being so supportive during her initial schooling. She pays tribute to her teachers & all those who are associated with Zindagi Trust.


Natalia has a friendly nature and enjoys a good friends’ circle. The secret she shared about her studies is that she studies daily according to her schedule & never wastes time in chatting or watching TV. In her spare time she helps her siblings with their homework. She helps her mother in cooking but is not interested in cooking. She wants to grow up to be a model. She is very much concerned about her studies & wants to be a position holder in her secondary school as well.

Zindagi Trust wishes her all the best for her future! 


Student Name:             Natalia

Father’s Name:            Ejaz Tabbasum

Father Job:                   Estate Agency

Father Income:            Monthly; Rs 12,000

Student’s Job              Embroidery

Religion:                   Christian 

Sibling:                      Sister 1: Brothers 4

Date of Admission:   21. 3. 2011

School’s Name:         Manzoor colony


Natlia's Academic Results:

Class KG  1st  Position  , Result  (99% ) Attendance 79%

Class One  1st  Position  Result  (  96% ) Attendance 77 %

Class Two   1st  Position  Result (96%)  Attendance 81%

Class Three 2nd Position Result (  97% ) Attendance 76 % 

Class Four 1st Position Result (97%) Attendance 81%

 Class Five 1st Position Result (92%) Attendance 71 %

Natalia demonstrating an answer on the board
Natalia demonstrating an answer on the board
Natalia working on an assignment in class
Natalia working on an assignment in class
A student plants a seed to celebrate spring
A student plants a seed to celebrate spring

Hello and Happy Spring!

Here's what we've been up to over the last few months:

Planting for Spring

Students in our schools for working children celebrated spring through a Plantation Week of sowing seeds, looking after baby plants, and learning about the ecosystem through a combination of lectures and hands-on activities. This activity is held across our schools every spring to create environmental awareness among children who spend most of their days on the street or at work. The children were motivated through a competition which awarded a special prize to students who looked after their plants best until they flowered.

Shiny New Uniforms

New uniforms and shoes were distributed to all the students of our Peco Road School for Working Children, thanks to a kind donor, Nadia Azam. Family poverty has forced the children frequenting this school into the rigours of working life from a cruelly early age. New, clean clothes and shoes remain an unaffordable luxury for them despite the hard hours they put in at work before and after attending our school. They were delighted at their gifts and conveyed their thanks to the Azam’s by making posters and posing with them for photographs.

Eye Exams and Care

The Layton Rahmatulla Benevolent Trust (LRBT) team conducted training sessions in our schools in Karachi and Lahore for our teachers to learn how to examine students eyes to screen for common eye diseases (such as red eye, cataract, glaucoma, refractive error, Vitamin A deficiency and eye injury). Our trained teachers conducted eye exams in all our schools for working children across Karachi and Lahore and identified 197 students as needing follow-up examination and treatment. Eye doctors from the LRBT visited our schools to examine and treat the pre-screened students who were given prescription eyeglasses, prescriptions for medication or referred to specialists in  the LRBT hospitals for further treatment as needed. 

Thank you for your continued support which lets us bring these programmes to the working children in Pakistan's urban slums.

A teacher conducts an eye exam for a student
A teacher conducts an eye exam for a student
Students pose in their shiny new uniforms
Students pose in their shiny new uniforms


Top students receive awards on Results Day
Top students receive awards on Results Day

Here’s a quick snapshot of what’s been going on at our schools for children forced into labour:

GRADUATION   A total of 234 students graduated from our primary schools for working children in Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi. Our academic team is striving hard to get the successful graduates admitted into mainstream secondary schools. It is expected that around 200 of these graduates will be placed in a private or public secondary school by the April term.

 PARTNERSHIPS   We are proud to announce a partnership with SPARC, a non-profit working in the Pirwadahi area of Rawalpindi, where one of our schools (School #8) for working children is located. The good folks at SPARC will help us with an education awareness campaign for the parents of street children forced into labour, in which the parents will be educated about the benefits of sending their children to school. We are hopeful that the new SPARC-Zindagi Trust team will result in a greater number of children being enrolled in our schools for working children in Rawalpindi.

CULTURAL DAYS   The schools across the country organized celebrations for Iqbal Day and for Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s birthday, with student performances of poetry, music and speeches to pay homage to Poet of the East as well as to the Father of the Nation.

ART COMPETITION   Five of our students from the schools in Rawalpindi participated in an Art Competition featuring students from NGO-run schools from all over the city and did quite well to be recognized. Two of them won top prizes – Javeria and Hisbullah winning the 1st and the 4th prize respectively.  

END OF TERM   The term ended with a Results and Awards Ceremony in all our schools across Pakistan where academic reports of the students were announced and the top students, teachers and schools recognized. Overall, 97.5% of the students at each level passed their assessments, a result that qualified for the top internal rating of “Very Good,” which was an improvement over the previous term’s assessment of “Good.” 

Students deliver speeches and poetry performances
Students deliver speeches and poetry performances
Star students are awarded stars on Results Day!
Star students are awarded stars on Results Day!



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Organization Information

Zindagi Trust

Location: Karachi, Sindh - Pakistan
Website: http:/​/​
Zindagi Trust
Project Leader:
Abdul Haque
Karachi, Pakistan

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