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Send 50 Pakistani child workers to high school

by Zindagi Trust
Send 50 Pakistani child workers to high school
Send 50 Pakistani child workers to high school
Send 50 Pakistani child workers to high school
Send 50 Pakistani child workers to high school
Send 50 Pakistani child workers to high school
Send 50 Pakistani child workers to high school
Send 50 Pakistani child workers to high school
Send 50 Pakistani child workers to high school
Send 50 Pakistani child workers to high school
Send 50 Pakistani child workers to high school
Send 50 Pakistani child workers to high school
Send 50 Pakistani child workers to high school
Send 50 Pakistani child workers to high school
Send 50 Pakistani child workers to high school
Meet Tariq
Meet Tariq

12-year-old Tariq wakes up diligently every morning at the crack of dawn and pulls out his textbooks to revise the lessons he was taught in school the previous day. After revising for an hour, he makes his entire family breakfast, and then heads out to his school, the Al Huda Education System, located next to Pakistan’s capital city. Upon returning back home, he changes out of his uniform and heads out yet again for tuition classes. Once done, he departs for a junk shop where he helps his elder brother with his job of collecting and selling scrap paper. Once his brother has counted his earnings for the day, which amount to less than $1, they make their way back to their one-room home.

Tariq’s brother is the only bread earner for the 11-member family, while his parents do not work, due to ill health and old age. His family’s dire financial situation has only served to motivate him more to study well, graduate, and work his way towards becoming a doctor with his own practice, so he may be able to help his parents and his siblings. His dedication is definitely reflective in his grades, as he consistently ranks amongst the top students in his Science, and Language classes. While Science remains is his favourite subject, he has developed an affinity for languages. “One of the best things about attending school has been that I can now read and write, which has helped me make more sense of what is going on around me says the sixth grader, while talking about why he enjoys his Urdu and English language classes.

Prior to attending formal secondary school, Tariq used to work the whole day as a scavenger, similar to his elder brother. He came across the Paid to Learn Program by Zindagi Trust through which he was enrolled in the accelerated primary school program for 3 years. Upon the completion of this program Tariq then gained admission into the school he is a student at today, as a part of the Zindagi Trust’s Secondary Sponsorship Program where students are not only given support for admission into grade 6 at a formal school but also given a full scholarship till Grade 10.

Please continue to support Tariq in realizing his dream to become a medical practitioner and better his family’s future. 

Busy in class
Busy in class

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Muskan, defiant in the face of adversity
Muskan, defiant in the face of adversity

 

“I want to keep studying because I love doing so. It was my Papa’s dream to see me and my siblings get educated, and become successful in life. Every time I would wear my eye glasses he would call me ‘Doctor’. I want to keep his dream alive and this is why I try to give my best every single day!’ says the inspirational 15 year old Muskan Arshad from Lahore, Pakistan. Muskan’s father, a sweeper, passed away very early on in her life, leaving behind his family of 6 in both an emotional and financial crisis. Her mother, who is now the only breadwinner of the family works at a school as a cleaner to support the education of 4 out of her 5 children, with an income of only 65 USD per month.

 

Muskan contributes to her family income by helping her mother tailor clothes in the evenings, after school. Her mother has a simple set up at home, where she stitches outfits given to her by neighbouring families in the colony. Through this labour, Muskan is able to give her mother USD 14 every month so her siblings may be able to attend school. Muskan’s aim every month is to stitch as many extra clothes as possible so that she may be able to earn an extra 3 USD, which she uses to pay for evening tuition classes held at her school.

 

Muskan dropped out of school in first grade because of her family’s inability to afford her education. Muskan found herself completely unsatisfied with life since she wanted to resume her studies. 6 months passed before she came across, Paid to Learn Program by Zindagi Trust a non-formal 2 year accelerated primary school program. Upon successful completion of this program, Muskan was then admitted to Allama Iqbal Public High School in Lahore, Pakistan, as a part of the Zindagi Trust’s Secondary Sponsorship Program where students are not only given support for admission into grade six at a formal school but also given a full scholarship till Grade 10.

 

Muskaan’s passion for learning is immediately palpable as well as her curiosity and fascination with life. “I like science because through that I get to learn about the world, learning about force, pressure, chemicals… I love stories and I love history! When my papa was alive I used to ask him to tell me stories about partition and people from the villages,” She recalls.

 

Muskan wants to become a doctor who treats patients regardless of their ability to pay. “I want to become a doctor and have my own practice. I do not want to work under anyone, so that I can practise however I want and treat those who cannot afford treatment” she says, ever the aspiring entrepreneur.

 

Please continue to support our Secondary Sponsorship Program! Your donations will continue to help Muskan, and others like her, in realizing their professional ambitions, and one day fulfilling their dreams.

Hard at work cutting clothes
Hard at work cutting clothes
Studying is her passion
Studying is her passion
At the sewing machine
At the sewing machine

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Ahsan sowing car seats at a car workshop
Ahsan sowing car seats at a car workshop

‘My teachers often ask me who I want to be when I grow up, and everyday my answer changes. Sometimes I want to be an Computer Engineer, and sometimes I want to be a Mathematician; but whichever path I choose, I know I want to be someone whom my family and my country can be proud of’ says Ahsan, as he smiles at us. The sweat drips off his brow, and it is difficult to hear him over the whirring of the aged sowing machine. Ahsan uses the sowing machine to make car seat covers in a dimly lit workshop located in a marginalized area of the city.

Such ambitions may seem strange coming from a twelve year old child who spends his evening toiling in a mechanic’s workshop, but Ahsan’s story is unlike others. He is also a student of Grade 8 at a private school in Rawalpindi (a city located adjacent to Pakistan’s federal capital), where his studies are financially supported by Zindagi Trust’s Secondary Sponsorship Program. The SSP is preceded by a two-year accelerated primary schooling program which is taught to those children who have not had the opportunity to go to school in their early years. After successful completion of the accelerated program, students are not only given support for admission into grade six at a formal school but also given a full scholarship till Grade 10.

Ahsan is the first amongst his siblings to receive an education. His elder brother is a construction laborer. Ahsan tells us he could not attend school before age 10, because he had to help out in his father’s workshop, and going to school would have meant leaving his father to attend to the busy shop singlehandedly. Luckily, Zindagi Trust’s field team convinced his father to let him attend the Trust’s schools in the evening. After his father saw Ahsan’s performance during his time in the accelerated primary course, he enrolled Ahsan’s younger siblings in school as well.

Now, during the day Ahsan attends high school where his favorite subjects are Computer and Mathematics, subjects in which he received second position this year amongst his entire class. After school he immediately runs home to take care of his younger siblings till his mother, who works as a domestic helper in nearby houses, returns home. When his mother is back, Ahsan is off to the workshop where he works till midnight, sowing car seats and fitting them onto the frames of the cars brought in by clients. However, his most treasured part of the day remains his Computer class, where he especially enjoys learning about the different components of hardware and software, and how the two interact together.

Unknown to Ahsan, he is already making his family proud by exhibiting such dedication to his education and his family. We are confident that with such dedication he will make his nation proud of him in no time. Your donations will keep on supporting his professional and personal aspirations in life.

Ahsan recites a paragraph from his textbook
Ahsan recites a paragraph from his textbook
All smiles during Computer Class
All smiles during Computer Class

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Urooj at her school
Urooj at her school

Urooj speaks softly but confidently. “I just gave my board examinations for ninth grade, praise be to Allah. And in grade eight I came in second in my whole class.”

Urooj is currently a student in the Secondary Sponsorship Program which is part of the I am Paid to Learn initiative. It is preceded by a two-year accelerated primary schooling program which is taught to those children who have not had the opportunity to go to school in their early years. After successful completion of the accelerated program, students are not only given support for admission into grade six at a formal school but also given a full scholarship till Grade 10. Urooj is one such diligent student who is getting an education through this sponsorship.

Urooj used to live in Wazirabad with her family where in fact she did go to school till the second grade. However, her family’s financial situation was not ideal. Her father’s difficulty in finding a stable income and her mother’s poor health, forced them to make the difficult decision of leaving their hometown Wazirabad for a city that could promise more economic opportunities: Lahore.

In Lahore, as her father struggled to make ends meet, she didn’t go to school for a few years. Instead she worked from home. “I used to make artificial jewelery. I would bring the material home from the factory. I would put together the metal parts and then at the factory stones were set into the base I created. I was paid 30 rupees for every 500 grams. But I missed going to school. I wanted to study more but in Lahore my parents couldn’t afford it. It’s expensive you know. But then I learnt about the Paid to Learn program from a friend. And I’m just so grateful…” Shortly after, Urooj stopped working so that she could focus solely on her education. Over the years her family’s financial situation has stabilized and her father now has his own automobile workshop.

As for her mother, Urooj tells us that she remains ill as a result of a liver condition that she developed several years back. Being the eldest sibling a lot of the responsibility of managing the house falls on Urooj. However, she is an optimistic and precocious young girl. She didn’t complain about her difficulties at all. Whenever she started describing a personal problem she was quick to end it with “but it’s okay.” When asked how they manage their mother’s treatment as it must be expensive, Urooj hesitated to reply and then merely said, “we do our best, with the help of Allah”.

School serves as a haven for Urooj where she continues to outperform her peers. She tells us “I love what Paid to Learn does. They give an opportunity to those who can’t afford it otherwise. I only wish that they could continue to sponsor me after my secondary education too. I would really love to become a doctor if given the opportunity.”

Having seen her parents ill health, Urooj believes health care should be free for all. As such, she aspires to be a physician. Please continue to donate so that Urooj and children like her can get closer to making that dream a reality!

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Saif is a 12-year-old boy who lives in Pakistan's second-biggest city, Lahore. Three years ago, he was spending his days binding school textbooks and workbooks, something children in Pakistan get excited about before the start of every new school term. Unfortunately, Saif wouldn't get to read these books. He was doing this to make some much-needed cash to help his father who was struggling to support Saif's sister and three brothers on his uncertain earnings of barely a $100 a month as a labourer.

Our field team was lucky to find Saif and told him and his family about Paid to Learn, our accelrated primary school program for working children like him. They agreed to enroll him and today, after two years of hard work, Saif is a regular student at the Knowledge Inn School System, a private school near his house where he is shining in the 6th grade.

His passion for books and quest for knowledge meant he graduated at the top of his class after two years in our non-formal primary education program. This meant he qualified for our secondary school sponsorship program, through which he got placed in a mainstream private school where he continues to flourish in his studies.

Saif feels good about the fact that he is able to work and support his family alongside his studies. He wants to grow up to be a doctor so that he can treat the poor for free, showing he has an impressive commitment to service at a tender age. He is thankful to the trust's donors like yourself because of whom he is able to study in school. Please continue to support the education of budding superstars like Saif by donating to and spreading the word about this Paid to Learn program.

At work - book binding
At work - book binding

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Organization Information

Zindagi Trust

Location: Karachi, Sindh - Pakistan
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @zindagitrust
Project Leader:
Abdul Haque
CEO
Karachi, Sindh Pakistan

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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