This is part of a limited series, “14 Days, 14 Stories”, about ordinary Pakistanis who are doing extraordinary things in order to give back to Pakistan.
While most of you are spending these last few days of summer vacation in a bid to binge watch all your favorite TV shows and quickly get in all late night partying before your schools and colleges open up again, there are young Pakistanis just like you, who, instead of making themselves the focus of their lives, are hard at work, helping those who cannot afford the luxury of privileged education.
Jasir Shahbaz is one of them.
Started merely as a Facebook page, Dream to Education for All is a remarkable initiative perceived and started by a current LUMS student – Jasir Shahbaz.
Jasir started teaching his house helper’s son a few years back, informally but when he began his initiative, in earnest, he faced problems.
Seeing the kid learn and read on his own made him so ecstatic that thought of extending his services to the down-trodden of our society. However, at the outset, Jasir did not really know how to go about extending the idea. He created a Facebook page and began disseminating his message through it. Two of his close friends, Yousaf Noor and Ahmed Mujasha, showed interest in whatever Jasir wanted to do and they joined in on his mission.
According to Jasir, the first real problem arose when they visited a Girls degree college in Samanabad, Lahore. They met four girls at the college who told them that they were about to be dropped out of the college because they could not afford the fee. That is when Jasir realized that collecting funds for the underprivileged children was what he needed to do in order to make his organization formally function.
Since then, Dream To Education For All has been all about teaching underprivileged children, launching new and innovative summer camps, searching volunteers and establishing a school called the Qadam Community School.
While talking about the problems, Jasir and his team had to face during the process, he told us that he was almost 16 when he started Dream To Education For All. People, or the schools, he visited for the purposes of collaboration, all showed interest in what he was doing but nobody really wanted to come out and help him as he was just a kid. As has been the norm in Pakistan, Jasir and his team, despite the good work they were doing, were turned down by a number of potential donors and contributors because of their young age.
Jasir had to wait till he was 18, to get his organization registered.
Currently, Jasir and his friend Talha are handling an innovative summer camp at the Qadam community school, along with their team of volunteers.
The summer camp aims to bridge the gap between the privileged and underprivileged people of the society by striving to provide the latter with the same opportunities.
Qadam Community School is expanding with every passing day. Seeing the good will rapidly spreading, people have started donating them essentials for their school including the recent donation – the water cooler for the kids.
They are students themselves but they are spending all their free time to help those students who weren’t born into privileged families.
They spend all their summer/spring, or any kind of university break for that matter, at the school, trying to equip the kids with the basics of a privileged education. While this sounds remarkably amazing, executing all of this requires much more than mere determination. Jasir and his team have been an epitome of passion, patience and determination simultaneously.
If you wish to donate to this noble cause or want to volunteer, you can contact them at their Facebook page here.
For more stories from our series about extraordinary Pakistanis check out ‘14 Days, 14 Stories‘.
Cover Image Via: Dream To Education For All Via: Facebook