Persevering through poverty - a 12-year-old's inspirational story
By Jahanara Shiraz - Director, Academics, Non-Formal Schools
Qaisra reading from her coursework at home
Qaisra is a 5th-grader who works at a beauty salon to support her family. She is enroled in one of Zindagi Trust's schools for working children in Lahore. Her father is a laborer and earns a meagre 7000 PKR a month, which does not completely support his family of seven children.
Barely twelve years old, she wakes up early in the morning to do household chores, goes to the salon, then to school in the afternoon and then again to the salon. She learnt how to cut children's hair and has four to five assignments waiting for her at the salon every evening. She is confident in her skills and has shown maturity beyond her years by taking up the responsibility of supporting her family income.
As a student, she is regular, punctual, hardworking and has a solid understanding of math and science, always doing well in tests and exams. She is a quiet child but displays a great self-confidence in her participation in class activities. She has seen the harsh reality of growing up in poverty but she strongly believes that education will enable her to find her way out of poverty. She also wants to take on a leadership role to help girls like herself to empower themselves through education and live the lives of their choice.
Zindagi Trust sponsors not only the non-formal primary education programme that Qaisra is enrolled in, but also funds the continuing education of our best performing primary school graduates. It is a matter of great pride for us that half of our beneficiaries are girls who will one day be able to pull themselves out of poverty through education. We express our deep gratitude to our donors for their continued support in making these programs possible.
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