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Yasir Nawaz – Unfettered Hope
Yasir Nawaz – Unfettered Hope

Yasir Nawaz is a name you can give to the hundreds and thousands of children who have been burdened with the responsibility of supporting their family’s livelihood in our country. Many are orphans, while others come from families riddled with diseases, poverty, and a lack of education. HANDS aims to give structure and direction to these children’s lives by striving to give them quality education.

I am Yasir Nawaz a 12-year-old, studying in grade 4 at the Government Higher Secondary School run by HANDS in the village of Pir Essa in Sukkur. Sadly, I am not merely a student, I am also a bread-winner for my family. My father is critically ill with cancer and cannot provide for my family, which is why my brother and I had to start work in the fields.
My life is not easy – at my age, I barely get time to play – the only time I get is at school. We have the time, the space and the things that we need to play. When I get back home, I go to the field to take care of the crops and animals. Before working in the fields, I used to work with my uncle at our Kiryana store, but now I am mainly in the field, while my brother works as daily wage laborer earning 500 rupees a day. Our meagre income is barely enough to make ends meet, especially as we also have 3 younger siblings, an ill father, and a mother to look after. But we have no choice. My brother and I do what we can to make ends meet.
Despite all my struggles, I still want to continue to study. School is the only time when I can forget about the situation at home and be like other children – carefree, and happy. I come to school regularly because of my teachers who care about me, they encourage me to come, even though I have issues at home. It is also my dream to make the lives of other children better in the same way that my teachers make my life great. In
I love studying Urdu and am inspired by my Urdu teacher, who not only helps us learn the subject but also tells us about many different things in the world. My teacher makes a special effort to connect with me and to help me with my studies, because she knows all about my family background. She inspires me to learn and be better. When I grow up, I want to be a teacher just like her, so that I can also positively influence the lives of my students.

Education Of A Girl Is The Education Of Nation
Education Of A Girl Is The Education Of Nation

My name is Iqra and I belong to a small remote village Ilyas Abrejo, in district Matiari, Sindh. The total population of our village is about 2500 and most of the people in our village work either as laborer or agricultural labor to earn their living. There are 02 government primary boy’s and girl’s schools in our village but other basic facilities are not available in the village. In 2003, HANDS with the financial support of Aga Khan Foundation, started an Early Childhood Education (ECE) program for children 3 to 5 years of age as part of Early Childhood Development (ECD).

The project was named RCC – Releasing Confidence and Creativity and it was initiated in Government Primary schools in the village. A separate well equipped ECE classroom was established in each of the target school and Early Childhood Education program was started along with appointment of a trained certified teacher for ECE class. Prior to this program there was no concept of education of children of 3 – 5 years’ age group.

At the beginning of the program, about 30 children got registered in the ECE class and I was also among one of them. Due to efforts and hard work of the teacher and a good learning environment of the school, I was motivated to further continue my education. After passing the primary classes I got admission in high school in the nearby village. Keeping in view, my hard work and interest in studies, my parents encouraged me for higher education and I continued.

Now I am student of LLB part 11 and intend to continue InshAllah with same zest and fervor. Looking at my progress in education, other girls in the village were also motivated and now there are several girls who are getting higher education from different institutes. We hope that this trend will continue in future as well and the girls will keep on getting higher education in our remote villages.

I owe my success in the field of education to my parents’ prayers and HANDS. I pray that in future HANDS and other such organizations will continue to provide such services in the remote areas of not just Sindh but all over Pakistan. This will enable girls like me to work and play our role in the development of our country along with our fellow brothers.

Total 123,738 students, 3796 teachers and 5754 School Management Committee members have been benefitted through 959 schools under the best practice service models of HANDS Education & Literacy Program.

HANDS ECD Achievements

The following are major achievements of HANDS Early Childhood Education & Development Program.

  • Established 504 ECED classes in 168 Government & Community schools of Sindh
  • Trained 654 Government & Community teachers on ECED
  • Trained 168 SMCs on school management and prepared school development and improvement plans with focus on ECED implementation in the schools.
  • Established 168 play areas for students in primary schools.
  • Impact Assessment of learners/Students of Education Program.
  • During the academic session of 2018-19, the average reported attendance of students was 80%. The success rate of student’s in public schools for girls was 89.6% while for the girls and boys 72%, while in private schools, the success rate of girls was 83.5% and boys was 81.3% which was marked good progress as per compare with previous years.