These street children live a life of hardship and sadness as they scavenge for food, try to make what money they can and sleep wherever they can find a relatively safe spot. Others have simply been sent out to work by their own families to earn money instead of attending school. Many have to spend their days working as maids or in other jobs when they should be instead be getting an education to prepare them for life.
Syeda Zaidi, a local businesswoman in the city, has taken major steps to address this problem with little or no school furniture.
Opening up the free Ocean Welfare Organisation school under a busy flyover and just opposite a popular shrine where many of these vulnerable children live and work, she provides the security and comfort many wouldn't otherwise have. Instead of working on the busy, dangerous streets of Karachi, the children are given free lunch, 50 cents a day and school clothes to make up for they would have earned on the streets. They are also given an education they otherwise wouldn't have had and this only bodes well for their own future as well as that of Pakistan as a whole. Open and accessible education to all is the very foundation of a functioning society and schools such as these go a long way towards addressing this issue in Pakistan.
The statistics around education for children in Pakistan are stark - currently, around 20 million children are not attending school regularly. It's not the children's fault as they would love to learn all the basics of reading and writing like millions of others across the world. Sometimes it's not the families' faults either - maybe one or both parents have died and the remaining children have to work to be able to survive. The steps taken by the Ocean Welfare Organisation go a long way to addressing these issues within the country and allow the poor street children to access the free education they deserve.
Although they currently have no proper school building, school chairs or even a school desk for each child, the commitment shown by Syeda Zaidi and her wonderful staff is simply superb and a lesson to us all.
At Edu-Quip, our priority is making sure that children have the right classroom learning environment, wherever they are. Browse our website today to view our range of school furniture and if you can't find what you are looking for or need help to plan a new or replan an existing study space give us a call.
Image credits: @alishahzaidi5, thenews.com.pk