You don't expect to see a government school from one of Karachi's difficult neighbourhoods on top of the podium at the city's premier inter-school football competition. But earlier this month, a team from SMB Fatima Jinnah Government Girls School beat elite private schools
The Lyceum and Karachi Grammar School to win the Karachi United Football Championship 2017.
The football program at SMB Fatima Jinnah features weekly football classes for 2300 students on the expansive football ground in school, a busy calender of inter-school and inter-house competitions, as well as thematic sessions on team building, camaraderie, inter-ethnic harmony and conflict resolution integrated into play.
The school is managed by Zindagi Trust
under their School Reform project. In addition to academic and governance reform, one of the project's core features is a strong sports program aimed at introducing students to different sports to help find and hone their talents and interests and develop them into well-rounded citizens. Football is the most popular sport at the school, taught by three dedicated coaches, who are not only great footballers but also internationally trained.
Research shows that introducing sports programs in struggling schools not only helps students come to school more regularly but also improves their academic performance. This is something we have definitely observed at SMB Fatima Jinnah. Not only did our active football program bring more children to school, it has also inculcated in them a drive to excel and a belief that they can beat the best in any field, not just sports.
Please donate generously to this project to enable Zindagi Trust to create more champions from a low-income neighbourhood once rife with crime and gang violence.