ABOUT » President’s Message
Zindagi Trust was established in 2002 with the vision of providing quality education to the underprivileged children of Pakistan. We started with the “I am Paid to Learn” program in which we paid working children to come to school. To date, we have over 3000 students in these schools in various locations all over Pakistan.

Over the years, I realized that I wouldn't be able to bring all the street children into the “I am Paid to learn schools” and this initiative even at its best would be a drop in the ocean. Unless there are drastic interventions to reform the government schools that the majority of Pakistani children attend, the situation is unlikely to improve. Children in these public schools are rote-learning their lessons from outdated textbooks, without developing critical thinking skills. They can't even write a letter in Urdu, their mother tongue.

In 2007, we took over the management of a government school called SMB Fatima Jinnah Government Girls School. The objective was to turn it into a centre of excellence with the hope that the government would replicate the model all over Pakistan.
For the first time in Pakistan, we replaced decades-old government textbooks with imaginative, thought-provoking textbooks and continue to update our curriculum. We introduced innovative learning modules like sports, art and pottery and continue to offer new courses for our students to explore their talents, the most recent one being chess. We built an art room, computer labs, an A/V room, a library to facilitate the children in discovering their individual skills. We set up a system of accountability and teacher development through on-the-job training and monitoring by academic coordinators in each subject.
The performance of our students speaks for itself. I am very proud to report that students from the Fatima Jinnah School have won bronze in taekwondo at the national games, the top 3 prizes in a city-wide chess competition, as well as second prize in a national netball tournament, when some of these activities were introduced hardly a year ago. A team of students from the school won 3rd prize in a city-wide World Space Week competition, the first for the school in a science-related activity. The nature of these tournaments means that our students from a humble government school were edging out competition from schools such as St Patrickís and the Lyceum and ending up on top. When we first started out with this project, one of our students won the art prize in the International Olympiad (ISEO) Competition. The point is that there are Sadeqains and Iqbals in our slums and on the streets, but they will only emerge if there are equal opportunities for all.
The school continues to grow everyday. I am also happy to report that we have successfully lobbied for School Consolidation Policy with Govt. of Sindh that aims to merge adjoining and nearby schools in one campus under one administration. The Sindh Education Secretary has approved the school Consolidation Policy and issued a notification for implementation in Karachi.
Zindagi Trustís achievements are a result of the support and contribution from people like you. Your help makes it possible for us to make a difference to the future of thousands of children of our country.

Shehzad Roy
Zindagi Trust

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