The Eisaar Trust schools for street children are promoting literacy to ensure a brighter future for these children and their communities
n a world marked by rapid transitions, a quality education system is the bedrock upon which sustainable and peaceful societies are built. As nations strive for progress, it is essential to empower every citizen with the ability to read, write and think critically. Pakistan, like other developing nations, has struggled with educational challenges. High dropout rates, insufficient infrastructure and a lack of trained teachers have hindered progress. Moreover, millions of children, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds, remain out of school due to economic hardships or living in marginalised urban areas. This situation perpetuates a cycle of poverty and social inequality.
One of the key problems feeding the growing class divide in the country is the quality of education. Those who have the means send their children to private schools while those who can’t afford to do so are left at the mercy of government schools, where quality of education is not at par with the demands of the world.
There is a third tier of children, who, in a majority of the cases, don’t have access to any option. They are street children. With the aim of providing quality education and grooming to these children, The Eisaar Trust schools are making significant strides in promoting literacy and laying the foundation for a brighter future for these children and their communities.
The Eisaar Trust aims to protect and improve human life through healthcare, social welfare activities, education and income generation programmes for less privileged communities. The organisation is the brainchild of a group of professionals, (a majority of them are from the healthcare sector), desirous of giving back to their country, and bringing about a meaningful change in less privileged communities.
Explaining why the education component was included in the Trust’s work, its president, Prof Dr Tasneem Raza says, “I used to see children of school-going age in the streets and working as domestic help. I wanted to do something for them, as I saw their potential being wasted for no fault of theirs. This is what led to The Eisaar Trust schools, where we aim to provide quality education and mentoring to these children from nursery to matriculation.”
Literacy is the cornerstone upon which all other skills and knowledge are built. In today’s world, literacy empowers individuals to make informed decisions, participate in the workforce and contribute meaningfully to their communities.
The school’s mission is to promote literacy and empower children with the tools they need to succeed in life. While TET schools provide formal education till matric, the Trust encourages and provides continuous support, including financial support, for those who want to pursue higher education or professional certifications that may lead them to financial independence.
One success story is from their school in Changla Gali. One of their female students came from an impoverished background; she didn’t have shoes when she started attending the school. After she cleared her matric, the Trust helped her complete her FA in Abbottabad. After a few years, she met Dr Raza. She said she had continued her studies after her marriage and ended up securing two master’s degrees. She is now working as a professional trainer.
Another female student from one of the schools did her home health course after completing her matriculation. After working with a few hair transplant doctors in the country, she is now working in Dubai.
The impact of The Eisaar Trust schools on the lives of street children has been transformative. By providing access to education, the school offers these children an escape from the harsh and hazardous life on the streets. They get hope, purpose and a chance to break free from the cycle of poverty that may have held their families for generations.
Like any other organisation, the TET faces a set of challenges. For its schools, the key challenge highlighted by the president is finding teachers having a balanced fit of knowledge and empathy for these students.
Promoting literacy and education, particularly among the most marginalised segments of the society, is not just a moral imperative but also a strategic investment in the nation’s future.
The Eisaar Trust School in Lahore exemplifies the potential for positive change through education. By promoting literacy and holistic development, the institution is building the foundation for a sustainable and peaceful society, one child at a time.
The writer is a communications, public relations and sustainability professional. Her X handle is @FatimaArif