This week, we want to highlight a volunteer in Canada who stays up late one night, every week, just to tell stories to children over Skype early morning in Islamabad. Shereen Sufyan Khan first began volunteering with the Alight STAR School in Shah Allah Ditta in August 2019. By day, she is a database analyst in a property management company in Canada. By night, she transforms into a volunteer for 34 children between classes 1-4, but this is no surprise because Shereen is also on the Board of Directors at a non-profit organisation in Canada.

Her motivation began when she realized the opportunities that children don’t have simply because they were born in economically-disadvantaged families and communities. She saw the gap firmly in her experience in Canada and decided she could do something to help educate better children in her home country.

Shereen’s idea for the interactive storytelling came from thinking about growing up in a small town with no access to libraries. With storytelling, she essentially brings to these children a library in their classroom. They have exposure to different interesting and informative books every week through her.

For this young advocate, building free child-friendly libraries in every neighborhood of Pakistan would be a dream, libraries where kids from all the status and class can visit without any hesitation and get their hands on all the books their hearts desire.

Shereen says, ‘Educating others is a great feeling and watching young kids learn and seeing them excited about books makes me forget that I am up till late night. I also wanted to pay back the country where I was born and bred so this was the best way to connect with young children and spend time with them.’