Ali Raza studies in the 5th grade at a Zindagi Trust School in Lahore. He never misses school, always scores above 90% on tests and exams, and shines at the top of his class. His father is a carpenter who struggles to support Ali and his seven sisters on an average monthly income of just over $100. After school, Ali helps sell fruit on a roadside cart to support his family.
Ali grew up in abject poverty but remembers his earlier childhood days fondly. He believes the economic struggle of his family ended up being a great motivator for him to study, work hard and to never lose hope. His father did not prioritise educating his children, but his mother - who had been to school till the 5th grade - valued the power of education and was devoted to sending her children to school. Ali and his sisters started off studying at home with their mother, because they could not afford to enroll in school. Eventually, they all signed up to study at Zindagi Trust's free school for working children.
Ali is passionate about serving his country and wants to be a doctor when he grows up. He leaves us with a message from his mother who always consoled him when he felt down and hopeless and taught him to never lose hope because success was waiting for him at the end of the road. Here is a video of Ali talking about his journey and hopes.
The school Ali goes to is one of several "Paid to Learn" non-formal schools run by Zindagi Trust in the urban slums of Rawalpindi and Lahore. These schools do not charge any kind of fees and take in students of different age groups and integrate them into the education system by covering primary education in just over two years. Please consider making a donation to us to support the education of children like Ali!
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