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Zeph-AcademyPhoto: Zephaniah ©

By Zephaniah - Founder, Zephaniah Free Academy, Pakistan

Hina is a young woman of 24 years old. She got married at the age of 22, and is mother of a beautiful baby girl.

One year before, her mother died of cancer – and since then she has been living in her father’s home with her young 16-year-old sister; their father and brother are out at work much of the time and it is not safe to for her sister to live alone at home.

Her husband and in-laws are very cooperative, in that they do not object on her staying there.

She completed her education till matriculation and then she could not carry on due to her mother’s illness. She had to leave her school for her mother because there was no one else to take care of her.

They moved to my village a few months before, because they had sold their home in the city for their mother to get her treatment, but still she could not survive. And they are now in this village as this place is not very expensive; they have bought a smaller house here in my village.

When she saw for the first time so many girls and women in my school, studying and learning skills, she told me that she wanted to be a higher educated woman.

I encouraged her to come to my free school and I am committed to teach her. It has been a month that she has been coming and preparing for the exams of high secondary classes. Last week she did not come for two days, so I went to her home and asked the reason why she was not coming?

She said, “Because you have so many students, so I do not think you can give me that much time that I require to complete my syllabus.”

I asked her to come at night, when all students will be gone, and I will teach her only and will give her a separate time. Now she is coming again; she is intelligent and learns the lessons very fast.

She wants a good future for her kids; she wants to be a mother for whom her children can be proud. She told me that they have spent their life in very difficult circumstances due to her mother’s illness and their poverty; even now, their home is not secure – their rooms are without doors, and they are living without the basic necessities of life.

Still, she is a rich woman because she has a wealth of awareness.

She knows that she can study and by getting an education, her future will be safe and the future of her kids will be brighter.

She comes to me even on Sunday, because on Sunday, I can give her more time and attention. She is a beautician, too, and she thinks that she should be able to speak better English and should be aware of manners, so that she can deal with her customers in a more respectable way, and will be able to learn more about the beauty business from the internet.

These things will promote her business of a beauty salon – that is her dream: to have one day her own beauty salon.

And all of this is possible if she will be educated.

Sometimes she gets tired, because she has so many responsibilities, but every time, I give her encouragement and try to keep her standing for her cause to be a higher educated woman.

Every time she gets tired, I hold her hand and urge her to keep going.

Her younger sister is learning stitching in my learning center; both of them are fulfilling their dreams at Zephaniah Free Education School.

I will help them to make their dreams come true, by making them empowered and educated.

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Disclaimer: Views here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent an official standpoint of Safe World for Women, as an organisation.