Meet Sawan. A 15-year-old boy who lives in Lahore with his five siblings. A slum dweller. A child labourer. A top position holder in school. An eternal optimist.
When Sawan was 11, he found work as sales help at a crockery shop. The 2000 rupees a month he made were neatly deposited with his father, a garment factory worker who needed all the financial support he could get to support his family of seven.
Thankfully, Sawan’s father knew the importance an education could make in eventually transforming their lives and enrolled his children in Zindagi Trust’s free primary schools for working children.
When he first started, he struggled with following the lessons as an older child in primary school. However, he was committed to working hard on his studies and was optimistic about things turning out well in the end. His teachers saw his devotion and never-say-die attitude and offered him remedial classes at home.
He made great progress and ended up with at least a B grade in all his classes, eventually finishing primary school in the top 10% of his class. Subsequently, he was sponsored by Zindagi Trust to continue his education in a private secondary school where he now studies in the 9th grade. A diligent and passionate student, ranked by his teachers as one of the best in his class, he bagged the 3rd position in the school’s last annual exams in March.
From difficult courses at school to rough days at home after his father loses out his daily wages due to political strikes, Sawan is always looking for the silver lining and providing a cheery outlook to his friends and family. Displaying an unbreakable spirit, he advises his friends that optimism can give them to courage to overcome any challenge.
In his community, there are hundreds of children in the same situation as Sawan. What makes him stand out is his positive attitude and thinking. Today, in addition to working at the crockery store, he is delighted to have started doing door-to-door sales and deliveries on Sundays to make some extra bucks. At school, he is excited to have made it to the stage where students prepare to take their first board exams which determine their college admissions.
“I never take anything for granted. Challenges have helped me improve my life.”
He looks forward to performing well in his Matriculation exams within the next two years after which he plans to continue his studies privately while getting a better part-time job, maybe in an office. His aim in life is to join the army to serve his country.
To support the secondary education of graduates of our primary school program for working children like Sawan, please check out the links below.
Studying at home