Our Paid to Learn program (which long-time donors may know as Be My Buddy) educates children who work in the urban slums of Pakistan. With nearly 1200 students in schools across Lahore and Rawalpindi, a two-year accelerated primary education course is taught to children who spend most of their days toiling in car-repair shops, street markets, cottage industries and general stores and cannot afford to go to school.
Featured Student: Aqsa
Aqsa is one such child, working in a salon to make her family's ends meet but committed to school at the same time. She has successfully finished her primary education course with us and qualified for a scholarship to finish her education at a private school, where she continues to excel. She loves Science and wants to become a doctor so she can treat the less fortunate for free.
Interview of Aqsa Zulfiqar from Zindagi Trust on Vimeo.
"Hi, I'm Aqsa Zulfiqar Ali. I come from a poor family and that used to mean I could not afford an education. When I would see other kids going to school I would think - if only I could go to school, I would study so hard and support my parents.... But all I could to was household chores. Then one day someone told my mom about Zindagi Trust (and their schools for working children). I was delighted to hear that there was a way I too could get an education!
I received my primary education at a Zindagi Trust school. I am now a Class 8 student at Allama Iqbal Public High School and the trust is still supporting the cost of my education. My favourite subject is science and I want to continue my studies beyond school.
I study in the morning and in the evenings I work in a beauty parlour to support my parents. I make a hundred rupees (about a dollar) every day. Working at a salon made me realize that education is very important in every field of life. The goal behind my drive for education is my dream of becoming a doctor. If I achieve this dream, I will treat poor patients free and make my parents and my country proud. I want to say two things about education: It is the duty of every Muslim woman and man to acquire an education. Educate yourself, even if it means you have to go to (somewhere as far as) China. Thank you Zindagi Trust!"
The program also sponsors the continuing education of top graduates who are encouraged to enroll in mainstream secondary schools. For more details on the program and its impact, check out our Paid to Learn homepage. Aqsa cherishes the support she got from Zindagi Trust's donors that enabled her to dream. Sponsor a child worker like Aqsa and change their life by making a donation today.