Indefatigable Passion Committed to Promote Education – Nusrat Shaheen – Village Danyor, Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan

Indefatigable Passion Committed to Promote Education – Nusrat Shaheen Village Danyor in Gilgit district is an underdeveloped area which lacks in basic facilities such as hospital, school or proper metaled roads. Communities’ income streams are low as their main source of earning is agriculture. However, the agricultural economy and resultantly the livelihoods of the communities in the area are mainly dependent upon the climatic conditions.

There is no educational facility in the village, which makes it really difficult for the children, particularly the girls, to get education as the public or private schools are in the periphery of over two kilometers form the village.

Besides distance, another major issue hindering the education of the children of Danyor village was the poor financial conditions of their parents as they could hardly meet their both ends meet.

In March 2020, Alight’s Literacy Mobilizers visited village Danyor and found that local girl Nusrat Shaheen had been running an Early Childhood Development (ECD) centre with the support of her husband since 2019. Nusrat Shaheen wanted to enroll out-of-school children but her financial constraints hindered her aspirations. The Alight’s LMs discussed the proposition to convert the ECD into a non-formal school and she agreed to the idea immediately.

A Village Education Committee (VEC) was formed, which identified the OOSC in the village in collaboration with National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) – the implementing partner of Alight. Through its donor Central Asia Institute, Alight has been helping more children and particularly girls to attend school while working with the government and local communities to create child-friendly schools in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Nusrat Shaheen, who holds a Graduate Degree, daily commutes on feet for over two kilometers from her village Danyor to teach around 25 boys and girls who have enrolled in the school. Nusrat Shaheen says that there is no public transport available but she is happy she is transforming the lives of the future generation. “I am really happy to teach the children in a safe, healthy environment, especially girls,” she says, adding that Alight’s Muallim Radio programme also proved to be very helpful in awareness creation about education among the local communities.

She says that she has been putting in sincere efforts to help students learn and develops their confidence, make schools happier and safer place for the children to learn. She says that she intends to avail of Alight’s online teachers training programme to impart teaching to the students more effectively. Nusrat Shaheen says that she also meets with the women of the community and tells them how education can open up the world for their daughters by teaching them skills that will help them earn an income, avoid being exploited and encourage them to keep their daughters at school.

“Besides teaching, I have been actively encouraging communities to change their thinking about the value of educating girls as they are the future mothers,” Nusrat Shaheen says, adding that school supplies for the children is also an excellent incentive as most of the communities’ member hardly make both ends meet. She said that the communities are thankful to Alight and its partner NCHD for establishing educational facility in their village.