It was a typical Ramadan morning for most people. But for a handful of young students, it was eye-opener.
More than 10 students of Karachi’s elite NED University visited the students of HOPE’s formal school in Bhittaiabad. HOPE - an educational NGO in Pakistanprovides educational, health, and sanitation services to the disadvantaged populations in Pakistan. Dr. MubinaAgboatwalla - a child specialist in Karachiand the chairperson of HOPE leads this effort.
This HOPE primary school has expanded to have an enrollment of more than 60 students. It is one of HOPE’s 4 formal schools in Pakistan. The other three formal schools are located in Zia Colony in Karachi, Thatta, and Muzaffargarh. Located in slum areas, these schools serve poor families by providing free-of-cost education, and providing the necessary educational supplies.
To kick off the meeting, the NED students distributed snacks, juice and biscuits which they had brought for the children. As everyone munched on the refreshments, each child introduced themselves, and got comfortable with the older students. Small talk led to deep conversations and soon even the smallest, shyest children chatted excitedly with the university students. They discussed prayers, hygiene, and, of course, education.
After the icebreakers, the students played games for some time. Delighted laughter and voices filled the air as they enjoyed themselves. Later, the students of HOPE - an NGOin Pakistan proudly recited poems they knew to impress their new friends. Finally, the students of NED University gifted HOPE’s younger ones with goodie bags that contained stationery items and also donated Rs. 5000 to HOPE for books for school children, before leaving.
It is easy to throw money at different causes whereas it is much more difficult to humanize who the money is helping. Interacting with the NED students was not only enjoyable for the HOPE students, but motivating as well. For the NED students, it was a priceless meeting orchestrated by HOPE, an eye-opening experience to see how the other half lived; however, now equipped with this knowledge, this next generation of professionals will be properly equipped to take up the mantle in eradicating poverty the ultimate goal of HOPE.