A Review of 2019 at Zindagi Trust!

Happy New Year! With your support, we have been able to achieve lots over the past year. Please enjoy a snapshot of our activities at the schools and beyond from the past 12 months.

Skip to: Art Showcase | #MoreThanMyMarks | Student Stories | New Website Launch | Protecting Our Children | Shangla Summer Fellowship | Summer Camps | Environmental Activism | School Visits | Student Achievements | Robotics Camp | Message from our CEO

Our adopted government schools hosted the annual student art show featuring artwork inspired by Sadequain, Frida Kahlo and PostSecret, exercises in pointillism and portraits; mathematical models of a Dream City and an eye-catching installation. A Creatives' Roundtable of leading artists and educators participated in an engaging discussion on the role of the arts in girls’ education. The event attracted more than a 100 visitors including parents, government officials, celebrities, journalists, art educators, bloggers, students from other schools and colleges and the general public. To get a taste of the event, you can watch an archive of the Creatives' Roundtable Discussion here. More coverage of the show here.

We launched a campaign called #MoreThanMyMarks to redefine the value of education beyond grades, with the goal of encouraging children and youth to pursue their passions and believe in the possibilities that exist for them outside traditional fields like medicine, engineering or teaching. The initiative featured video and photo stories of students and young mentors who had excelled in non-traditional fields ranging from football and art to theatre and comedy. We got an amazing response from celebrities, influencers and parents who endorsed our message and shared the moment they themselves realized they were more than their marks. Check out the campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for stories from our featured students, stars like Shahid Afridi, Fahad Mustafa and Mehwish Hayat, as well as people like YOU.

9th-grader Sawaira takes you through a day in her life as a government school student taking classes in chemistry, music, chess, cricket, life skills + more.

10th-grader Aisha shows you how her government school brought colour, laughter and ambition into her life.

We upgraded our website this summer – do check it out if you haven’t yet and share your feedback, specially about our new donation portal!

We brought together Pakistan's leading artists, athletes and activists to push for sustainable action to prevent child abuse in a press conference after the brutal rape and murder of a 10-year-old child; articulated our demands from the state and made progress in the biggest province with the formation of a high-powered taskforce to address the issue of child abuse in Punjab which most recently led to the Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board approving "Meri Hifazat (My Safety)" - a children's book on personal safety by our partners Sahil - as a supplementary reading material to be used in all Punjab schools.

10 change makers from 5 cities across Pakistan taught Art, Sports, Environment Activism and Storytelling to 250 students at our community school located in a remote village in the mountains of gorgeous Shangla, three hours from Swat. Later, some of them shared their experience and learnings with the public at a showcase held in Karachi which you can view here. Look out for the announcement for next year's fellowship on our website and social media for a chance to make magic in the mountains!

300 students from our adopted government schools in Karachi attended a 2-week Summer Camp led by 40 volunteers from ages 15 to 70+ who delivered workshops on environmental activism, entrepreneurship, cyber-safety, self-defense, creative writing, improv theater, ceramics, functional fitness, yoga and more. Students also went on field trips to the zoo, art shows, parks, public gyms and heritage buildings, learning to explore and love their city. Share the opportunity with a friend or write to us if you are interested in volunteering this summer!

2019 was the year children took charge of taking action against Climate Change across the world and students at our government schools were active participants in the movement. We taught a weekly Environment Club period at KPS through which our students learned about environmental pollution and climate change, the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, how to grow their own food and also did a waste audit. Students from SMB addressed the audience through speech and slogans at the Climate March, making an impassioned call for action against climate change. Students in Shangla during our summer fellowship led a campaign against single-use plastic in a market in rural KP. Write to us to volunteer to teach a workshop to our Environment Clubs!

We showcased our work in school reform to the top political leadership - Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood, Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas, Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reforms Asad Umar, Governor Sindh Imran Ismail; Pakistan sports stars former captains Sana Mir and Sarfaraz Ahmed, coach Azhar Mahmood and squash player Noorena Shams; cultural icons musician Bilal Maqsood of Strings, artist Imran Qureshi, actors Fahad Mustafa and Ahsan Khan; leaders in education like Karachi Grammar School Principal Simon Glasson, St Joseph's Convent School Headmistress Naseema Kapadia, Heads of Department from Karachi University and Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture Tazeen Hussain, Adeela Sulaiman and Durriya Kazi; bureaucrats like Sindh Education Secretaries Qazi Pervaiz and Ahsan Mangi, Punjab Education Secretary Captain Mahmood; and many others who took the time to visit our adopted government schools, learn about our work and pledge their support. Schedule a school visit today!

14-yr-old Alishba Saif from Khatoon-e-Pakistan Government School (KPS) won the #GirlsTakeCharge video challenge to be the British Deputy High Commissioner for the day.

A team from KPS also won First Prize in the Children’s Literature Festival poster competition with a banner that read: "I pray heaven is a library."

Students from SMB Fatima Jinnah Government Girls School were selected to meet and play cricket with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge William and Kate at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.

SMB students won the Pakistan Rangers Open Chess Championship against top private schools, colleges and universities. MSAP has taken our chess program to TCF schools where 2019 alumna Maliha Ali is coaching the teachers!

We conducted a Robotics Camp for 3rd and 4th graders at Khatoon-e-Pakistan Government School over winter break thanks to high school volunteers from Stem Seed Canada. Our students and 4 government teachers learned how to apply basic science and engineering concepts through Lego WeDo brick sets to solve practical problems like scarcity of energy and clean water in a 6-day workshop that ended in a project showcase. Many thanks to Sobia, Zain, Ali, Zaynah, Adil, Carolina and Sanna for their hard work, passion and, of course, fundraising worth 25,000CAD to make our "Robotics at a Government School" dream a reality!

Thank you to Lucky Cement for their continued support of our School Reform program over the years. Over the past year, we are also thankful to Pakistan State Oil, UBL, IDRF and TIKA for supporting various initiatives at our schools.

Donations to Zindagi Trust are tax-exempt in the United States and Pakistan. For details, visit zindagitrust.org/donate