Our governments would never make education their priority number one and when we think of poor children living in slums whose parents bring them to the world for making them a money making machines, its seems like an idea far from reality.
But who cares about government when there people who are willing to sacrifice their everything for the cause. Ufone has just announced that it will support one such soul this Ramadan who has devoted her life for the spread of education among these street childrens.
Ufone will purchase the space on various TV channels and digital media sites for highlighting the efforts of Syeda Anfas Ali Shah. The donation from Ufone is this promotional activity meant to spread her message across the country.
Anfas is running 7 footpath schools in Karachi and interior Sindh, with the aim of imparting education to those underprivileged children who belong to extremely poor families and mainly do street labor.
Anfas is doing her Masters in International Relations and was previously also running a construction business. But now she has completely devoted herself to teaching children. Though she had to sacrifice her own comfortable life for this, she is happy as she gets indescribable self-satisfaction by helping the helpless.
She teaches children ranging from the ages of 5 to 17 years and devotes about 12 hours a day with related activities. By now she has 7 branches out of which 4 are in interior Sindh, and 3 are in Defence. The reason she has chosen Defence is that this area is surrounded by slums where a great number of children have no means to get the education.
She got her NGO, Ocean Welfare Organisation, registered as the umbrella organization for her schools.
Some 1,500 children are getting educated in these schools, out of whom 250 are located in a remote area of interior Sindh, Sandhri. Earlier, there was no school in the area.
These street children are taught in a way that they pay back to the society. For example her fifth graders teach children at their early level of education. Moreover, her strength lies in the fact that she teaches self-respect, which is scarce in the situation the children are brought up in. She therefore promotes self-respect and earning acquired by the sweat of one’s brow, rather than the concept of alms. Children get rewarded on the basis of performance rather than given charity even though they are fed, clothed, and groomed on a daily basis. Anfas also pays Rs 50 to each child daily as a reward, even though her finances are tight.
But the sustainability of the project is a huge challenge that she is facing, even though her determination and persistence are unwavering and are the foundation of her resilience.
She dreams of having these children enrolled in universities someday so that they graduate and acquire degrees.
Pakistanis are among the top most compassionate and generous people on the planet. If the people are made aware of this good work, they will come forward in tens if not hundreds of thousands to support such noble causes.