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.