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My Journey for girls's education in Pakistan

By Zephaniah

I was a very naught girl. I was a leader in the school, I wanted to be a lawyer, I wrote my first article on women’s rights at the age 13 in a very famous news paper called daily Jung of Pakistan, I was a dreamer and wanted to fly real high. My life style was a different one, I always wanted to explore what was different.

My mother, like every mother in my country, used to tell me that one day I would get married. I always kept thinking , that no - God has not sent me in this world only to get married. My heart always told me that it wasn’t so.

I was very sensitive, one incident changed my life forever. I left my school in 7th grade, and decided never go back to that school again. My heart felt so humiliated, I cried for many days. I wanted to die and I did not see anyone for days. I felt like my heart was dying inside me.

One day, I was delivering a speech to my class, acting like a teacher. I was standing on the teacher’s chair. When she came she started beating me for this in front of my classmates. She abused me and the all girls made fun of me. I was just crying and crying, I was hurt mentally and psychologically.

I decided to surprise them all. I decided to do something that nobody expected. At that moment I decided to leave school. All at once life changed, and all dreams were over. My parents tried to force me to join any other school but i did not.

But I never stopped studying. I started reading in my home privately, I never took any tuition. And along with this I decided to teach girls with respect, and the love and care that I was not given in my school when I volunteered. I started making home visits in my village. I made pamphlets to distribute among people. I told everyone that it will be free education; I walked even further, and went to tell about my school in the nearby villages to convince the people to send their girls to my school. I told them that I would teach them English for free. I started visiting people with my mother on every Sunday, but no one was ready.

It was funny for the people around me, no one trusted me and no one was ready to join my school because I was just 13 years old. But I kept going, I did not want any child to experience that what had happened to me. I decided that I will never use a stick in my school, and that I would make education interesting for the children.
In beginning there was only one student, I started it in open air and still there is no building, not even one room , and there was no pen, no copy machine and I only had a few books.
In summer we now sit under the sun, in winter we sit under blankets. And when it rains we have to leave the studies. Our roof is the sky that sometimes gives us normal weather so that we can study in open air, and sometimes not.
At age sixteen I did my matriculation and started a job as a receptionist in a telecom franchise, where I was being paid 15$ a month and this was the amount that I started using to by stationary and other important things for my school. Since then I have gone on working. I did masters in Political science in 2010, and now I am doing another Masters in History. All this education I got without any institution or any teacher.

Till now, I have taught about 500 girls, I have five centers now. The Women learning center: with twenty students, to teach stitching, embroidery and other soft skills.
Formal Education: with one hundred students
English language course: with 15 girls. Computer Center with ten students, and Beauty Salon Training Center with 10 students And all this I do as a volunteer and proved all services free of charge.

I am also doing a job in a bigger organization for my students and for myself, I am an Admin of World Wide women‘s community page, I admin my own page Zephaniah free Education, I write blogs for a few websites on the issues women are facing in my part of the world. I am still studying; I am learning journalism from the World Pulse and World Wide Women. And I produce theatrical info-dramas in my community to give them messages of peace and respect for women, and on importance of education.

My teams are my family, and my coworkers in my office always give me moral support to carry on. And my very kind and loving friends on the face book are giving me opportunities to explore my ideas. In my part of the world we need to work on improving education. It is just the beginning of my work I have done so far.

Here in my part of the world women have to suffer all their life, they are being tortured mentally and physically they are not being given education, they are not empowered, and child marriage and honor killing needs to be put to an end. When I look at the condition and helplessness of the women, it gives me the spirit to go ahead, to never stop, just to keep going. I know there is only one solution to all our problems, and that is education and awareness of our rights. I want every girl to be educated, empowered and protected, and for this I will keep struggling throughout my life.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Girls Transform the World Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring girls greater access to education which will transform their lives, their families, and communities. The Girls Transform Campaign elicits insightful content from young women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as women, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
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sorrows.sister's picture

You are a true inspiration!

Your story is well done and, even more, you ARE and INCREDIBLE woman and child of God. You are indeed blessed and being a blessing to your community! I do not know if you are familiar with the bird the eagle, but you are an Eagle among doves: you are strong and you are brave and you are breaking chains. God bless you, Zephaniah.

zephaniah's picture

Thanks a lot

Since when I have joined the team of world wide women on daily bases I am experiencing the love and care and support it is so amazing to work with you all . today world is listening me and admiring me that's because of you and our whole team of www thanks to to you all for making me an inspiration

You, Zephania, are an angel here on Earth. There are simply no other words to express my deepest love and support for you!
- Caryn

zephaniah's picture

Thanks for your love sister

this is just you love sister

Debra K Adams MA's picture

thank You !

Zephaniah, this is a very powerful experience, what you have had and shared with us. You are inspiring and amazing!!!!

"Be the change you want in the world." Gandhi

Debra K. Adams, MA
See my vizify bio! https://www.vizify.com/debra-k-adams-ma-pdv-cws
Survivors In Service: Self Empowerment Strategies (SiSSeS)
Consultant/Speaker/Author & Owner/Founder

Debra K Adams MA's picture

thank You !

Zephaniah, this is a very powerful experience, what you have had and shared with us. You are inspiring and amazing!!!!

"Be the change you want in the world." Gandhi

Debra K. Adams, MA
See my vizify bio! https://www.vizify.com/debra-k-adams-ma-pdv-cws
Survivors In Service: Self Empowerment Strategies (SiSSeS)
Consultant/Speaker/Author & Owner/Founder

zephaniah's picture

Thanks a lot

I am so much excited to hear such words from a lady like you .

Debra K Adams MA's picture

contact me

if you like, you may contact me at my personal email debrakadmsma@gmail.com

"Be the change you want in the world." Gandhi

Debra K. Adams, MA
See my vizify bio! https://www.vizify.com/debra-k-adams-ma-pdv-cws
Survivors In Service: Self Empowerment Strategies (SiSSeS)
Consultant/Speaker/Author & Owner/Founder

MDG's picture

oh wow!

Thank you so much zephaniah for your powerful story. Moved me to tears in wonderment.you go girl. Thank you.

MDG

zephaniah's picture

you made me imotional

I am so much thankful to you sister I did not know that I will have this much love and incouragement one day from the so many sisters of mine from the world

Stacey Rozen's picture

You inspire me too, Zephania.

You inspire me too, Zephania. You are so dedicated and touch so many girls!

Creatively,
Stacey

Aysha Ibrahim's picture

well done

kudos to you, I am feeling proud that you are from Pakistan. great work

Shamsa's picture

This is truly inspiring! you

This is truly inspiring! you are one of the people who make me want to keep going and never give up. Keep going and never stop

Much love!

zephaniah's picture

Power of sisters

thank you sister , yes we will never give up for our rights we women are not weak you know

Carlotta's picture

Awesome

I'm sorry that you got beaten, but that turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Look at how much you have achieved because of that incident. If you see the teacher who hit you, walk up to him and say, "Thank you. Your cruelty has spurred me to dizzy heights!" Well done, Sister.

Iffat Gill's picture

Girl, you rock!

Wow! this is just too amazing. This is some very powerful writing and an even more powerful personality. I am so glad to have come across your journal.

I wish you all the best in your work and future endeavours.

Kind regards.

Iffat Gill

zephaniah's picture

Thanks Iffat

Thank you so much dear Iffat this is very incouraging for me

LisaXi's picture

YOU my friend- ARE the CHANGE

YOU my friend- ARE the CHANGE I wish to see in the world. I love your creative out of the box, independent, self driven, compassionate perseverance.

You go Girl!

zephaniah's picture

Thanks a lot

Thank you so much sister

zephaniah's picture

Thanks a lot

Thank you so much sister

erinluhmann's picture

Teaching at 13

Dear Zephaniah,

Prior to reading your story, my notions of female access to education in Pakistan were largely shaped by Greg Mortenson's book Three Cups of Tea. It's so much more inspiring to hear directly from a woman who has overcome barriers to education in Pakistan. Thanks for sharing!

Also, congratulations on your achievements thus far: becoming a volunteer teacher at age 13, educating more than 500 students, and practicing journalism. This is more than many of us accomplish in a life time and I anticipate this is just the beginning for you.

I appreciate the detailed descriptions that you include in your writing. When you describe what your open air classroom looks like, it was easy for me to imagine. The more you can include details like this in your writing, the better!

Best,
Erin

turtledove100's picture

you are incredible

You are absolutely amazing Zephania! Your courage and determination in the face of huge odds is truly an inspiration to us all! The hardships you have faced and continue to face in your fight to give women freedom through education is very commendable.

I was especially touched by these words: "I know there is only one solution to all our problems, and that is education and awareness of our rights. I want every girl to be educated, empowered and protected, and for this I will keep struggling throughout my life."

Your hope for the future and your commitment to do whatever you can to empower other women and girls is a blessing to your community and your country. You are a bright light that will light the path for many to come after you. I look forward to hearing your voice in the WP community.

Kind regards,
Debbie

"Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach" (Clarissa Pinkola Estes, author and poet)

SamanthaKeller's picture

Impressive!

you are simply incredible! TO have such a dream and show such determination at age 13 is amazing! I don't think I could have accomplished such amazing things at age 13..wow!

What are you hoping for the future of you work? Obviously you have created a community of safe, supportive, education of women, are you going to try and expand? Have you thought about working with the government to change national education standards so that all girls will have access to this type of education?

Keep doing what you're doing!

Samantha

Therese kasindi's picture

S special!

I don't what i can add! You are unique and special for me. Only God will pay your love. You are more than an Angel!
Be blessed, my sister!
Love you so much!
dansciel@yahoo.fr

THERESE( Maman Shujaa, Drc)

dont_give_up's picture

You are inspiration for so many!!

Dear Zephaniah,

I just joined world pulse today, and your story has touched me greatly. You are a true leader, who is not only inspiring so many around you to get what was not easily available to you, but you are actually providing it to them. A gift of education is a life-long gift and creates the foundation of a person's life. So you are the foundation for so many girls around you.

I am so proud of your spirits and your good work. Keep it up and let me know how I can help!!

Best regards,
Dont_give_up!!

Geri's picture

How inspiring

Never give up! You have embraced the moments that have been presented to you and turned them to gold. Your life's purpose seems to be to break through barriers and inspire and educate others. The powerful chain reaction of change will create an amazing future for women. Thank you for your courage as we all heal the world together.

Geri

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