Zahoor Zahra, a teacher running tuition centre in Sialkot
"Funding support from LRC Sialkot helped me enhance the services of my Tuition Centre and confidence in me", says Zahoor Zahra
Zahoor Zahra narrates her self-employment assistance from LRC Sialkot as "I live with my parents, 3 brothers and 2 sisters in Adalat Garh, Sialkot. I was barely 13 when I lost the use of my legs after a severe attack of typhoid. It took me 2 long years to go back to school again. My parents played a very vital role in motivating me to continue my education. Slowly I learnt to adjust myself to my new circumstances.
In 2008, I passed my matriculation exam. Then I graduated in B.Com and B.Ed. While studying for my M.Com, my father, who was the only breadwinner in the family, lost his eyesight. He was struggling to provide for the family. So I gave up my studies. It was a hard time for my family then.
To our good luck, LRC (Livelihood Resource Centre) Sialkot and Safia Foundation (a networking partner organisation) identified me for their career guidance and counselling sessions. After registration and assessment, I attended their independent living training and their business management training. LRC team felt I had enough talent and confidence to achieve my goals. I knew I had good communication skills and command over the subjects I teach.
Supported by my family, I started a tuition centre at home for a couple of students with hardly any basic facilities. My income was limited. I could not save enough to equip my centre with chairs, electricity, whiteboard, fan, etc. During harsh summers and winters children stayed away and my income dropped.
I appealed to LRC-Sialkot to help me in equipping and upgrading my tuition centre with basic facilities. I told them it would increase enrolment, improve the quality of my services, and sustain my income during summer and winter.
LCDDP (Leonard Disability & Development Programme, Pakistan) provided me with financial support of PKR 5000/- to purchase material and equipment like wiring, electric fan, whiteboard, and for repair and installation. But the amount was insufficient. So LCDDP is trying to mobilize support from the community to upgrade my tuition centre. I would like to start computer education classes too if I get support from my community, or a philanthropist.
The current support has improved the condition of my centre and LRC has enhanced my skills. Over time, enrolment has increased and drop-outs reduced. My tuition centre now has 44 students generating an income of PKR.10300. I am sure the numbers will grow. It is my dream to convert my tuition centre into an academy with modern facilities one day!"
Zahra say, “I can never forget my mother’s support and encouragement. When I was coping up my problems due to locomotor disability it was she who taught me not to lose confidence, and motivated me to accept the new reality, and move on in life.”
“Thank you for your support LRC-Sialkot and LCDDP during my crucial years! I have become independent. I never imagined I would financially support my family one day. I do not accept fees from poor and needy students,” says Zahra with great pride.
Leonard Cheshire Disability works through LRCs to equip and enable differently-abled people like Zahra to become productive members of society, with the financial support of Accenture Foundation.