Adjacent to a high-class neighborhood, exists Badia Rustom in G-12, Islamabad; an absolute paradox. Despite being located in such a rich neighborhood, many migrants who live there are tenants from the rural areas of Punjab and Sindh. Despite the abundance of private schools in the vicinity, low income and poverty stricken families were unable to send their kids to school because they couldn’t afford school fees; but the provision of a free-of-cost education through the Basic Education Community School (BECS) has answered their prayers.

ARC Pakistan and its partner organization’s (BECS) interventions brought a much-needed reprieve to the poor literacy rate prevalent in the community. By offering incentives including free uniforms and books, the community has become more inclined in sending children to school. These motivated parents are steadily extending their support to the school including donating a water cooler to address drinking water issues. The field team of ARC Pakistan is mobilizing the local community and parents to raise funds for the repair and maintenance of the school. These funds will be used to apply a fresh coat of paint inside the school.

Among many students, the anecdote of Suleman; a 7-year-old student motivated to acquire education is setting an example. His father works on daily wages as a laborer, which makes his family prone to various risks. Hoping to graduate one day, he is taking a keen interest in classroom lessons and changing the financial conditions of his family.
“I go to school every day and haven’t missed a single lesson. My parents are not worried about the school fee anymore including books, uniform, etc.” expressed Suleman while talking about his school and future aspirations.

Zain, a boy of age 5, studies at this school with the hopes to become an “army officer” one day. Despite only one room in the school with the extension of a vividly colored veranda, this school gives him a sense of belonging. All his friends from the community go to this school with him. He is friends with all 84 students in the school and is one of the favorite children of his teacher; Khadija Bibi.

“If not for this school he would’ve continued to work with his father as a tile-cutter in a nearby workshop, I was so happy to have him enrolled in the school because he is one of the brightest children we have.” Said Khadija Bibi

ARC Pakistan’s interventions including a donation of mats and school books have had a positive impact on the school’s enrolment. The student body has increased from 60 to 84 in three months alone, with more and more students taking an interest because the school is equipped with all basic amenities.

Majid, a 5-year-old boy, has become the life of this school. He keeps the classroom lively through talks of his village. A village where he had only dreamt of going to school. Majid, when moved to this area, felt ecstatic to see a school and enrolled himself immediately. It has been eight months for Majid that he is attending the school. He already knows how to write his name and is ambitious to learn new things every single day.

Educate A Child (EAC) is a global initiative of Education Above All (EAA) Qatar, which aims to significantly reduce the number of children worldwide who are missing out on their right to education. The program is implemented (2018-20) across Pakistan by the American Refugee Committee (ARC) in collaboration with Government of Pakistan (GoP) through the Federal Ministry of Education and Professional Training

Name: Suleman
Age: 7
Siblings and Ages: 2 sisters (ages 15 and 5)
Parents and Profession:
Mother; Stay-at-home mom
Father; Laborer
What does the child want to be when they grow up? An Army officer
What is the beneficiaries’ favorite subject at School? English

Name: Zain Ali
Age: 5
Siblings and Ages: none
Parents and Profession:
Mother; Stay-at-home mom
Father; Tile-cutter
What does the child want to be when they grow up? An Army officer
What is the beneficiaries’ favorite subject at School? English

Name: Majid
Age: 5
Siblings and Ages: 4 sisters (ages 11, 10, 9, 8)
Parents and Profession:
Mother; Stay-at-home mom
Father; Tailor
What does the child want to be when they grow up? Fighter Pilot
What is the beneficiaries’ favorite subject at School? Mathematics