Educating 1800 child workers in Pakistan

by Zindagi Trust
Abid at work
Abid at work

Abid is a twelve-year-old studying in the fourth grade. He is the son of a labourer who works on daily wages and struggles to earn a meager income to support Abid and his five sisters, who live in Kot Lakhpat, an urban slum in Lahore.

Abid has grown up around extreme poverty, one of the cruelest realities of big-city life. His circumstances forced him to seek a job as staff help in a general store near home, where he works in the morning. In the afternoon, Abid and three of his sisters go to the Peco Road School, established and run by Zindagi Trust under the Paid to Learn program for mainstreaming working children into primary education. 

Abid is a keen student who never misses a day of school. His teachers find him to be one of the brighter children at school – he scored above 95% on his last term exams. Showing maturity and self-introspection beyond his years, he tells us that he always questions himself before taking decisions and that this practice has helped him understand himself.

He lives by the motto that if you believe in yourself, the world can be yours. He has written his favorite Urdu saying at the entrance of the school:

‘Do what you want to do and do not limit yourself because what you believe, you can achieve’

He wants to grow up to be a pilot.

On behalf of Zindagi Trust, a big Thank You to all our supporters around the world for making it possible for Abid and other children like him to go to school, to dream, and to believe.

Abid in class
Abid in class
Abid doing homework
Abid doing homework


Huma in class
Huma in class

Huma studies in the fifth grade in one of Zindagi Trust's Pindi schools for working children from urban slums. Everyone in her family, including her four sisters and three brothers - works every day to make ends meet. Huma herself works from 7am to 12:30pm and attends school in the afternoon.

Huma is a determined and responsible young girl. Being the eldest, she tries her best to take care of the rest of her family by being content with what she has and saving the money she earns.  Every day after work and school, she spends with her siblings, helping them with their studies. Huma's brothers and sisters are in Zindagi Trust schools all thanks to her efforts.

Despite all the responsibilities on her young shoulders, Huma refuses to give up on her dreams in the face of adversity. She remains a position holder at school, topping her exams every year. Her teacher is a role model for her, inspiring her to continue struggling to get an education, on her way to making it big. She aims to study for a Bachelor of Arts degree and to become a teacher in the school she is currently enrolled in.

Huma’s parents have a played a great role in her drive to succeed. They are proud of their determined, generous and respectful daughter. Huma’s mother, specially, has always supported her education. She herself struggles every day to make ends meet and is hopeful about her children’s future. "Someday all of us would be in a better position," she says.  

Huma thanks Zindagi Trust and its supporters like you on behalf of her family for enabling her and her siblings to go to school.

Huma reading in English class
Huma reading in English class


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

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Organization Information

Zindagi Trust

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

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