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By Zephaniah - Founder, Zephaniah Free Academy, Pakistan

I have just finished my today’s class and now thinking that not one of my students is without a problem.

A girl’s mother has cancer; three children’s father has left them alone and they are living in an aunt’s home with their mother; one girl’s father has got married four times to have a son, but he never had a son – her mother has been divorced and now she is living with her latest mother.

One girl is the first one in her family who could reach ninth standard – girls' education was not allowed in her family before, yet still she has to face many difficulties to get an education. Another girl has to stitch footballs to support to her family along with her studies; one girl’s father is a drug addicted so he beats her mother and to her, too.

And one girl's mother has gone mad due to stress given by the in-laws and they think it is due to some magic power.

And so on. Every child has her own story, but they are studying, and showing results.

When they come to me during first few months, I feel they are not very bright students; most of them keep thinking about something, and they get impressed by small things very soon. They do not show much interest in studies, and they did not have any future plan in the past, before coming to Zephaniah Free Education (ZFE).

They are lazy and not punctual; they like to visit uncles and aunts, because when they go somewhere for some time as a guest, they get a nice treatment and food there for a few days.

Good food and nice clothes are their biggest dreams.

So, to give them self confidence, what I do is to give them freedom: I give them love, care, and call them with their names.

I give them respect and appreciation for their efforts in all that they do and make.

This is how they like to come to my school – they laugh without any fear, and they start to love studying.

We all want love; we all want appreciation and care. Many of us do not give it to others. Many of us have made categories of people and then decide, that “because I like that group of people so they deserve love and respect and because I do not like the other group of people, so they do not deserve to be respected.”

Sometimes I feel we all are responsible for wars, and hate for each other, because we teach our children to love only those who love them; we do not teach them to love everyone, and we do not teach them to respect everyone.

Change is possible, peace is possible, but it has a fee and the name of the fee is to spread love, care, and appreciation as much as you can.

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More blogs by Zephaniah on the Safe World website


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