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Young heroes: Meet the teenagers running street schools in Karachi

KARACHI, AUG 14 (DNA) – Nelson Mandela once said that education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. This lesson has unfortunately been largely ignored by a majority of policymakers in Pakistan. But while the government has not yet made much of an effort in improving education across the country, there are numerous dedicated individuals that have started small scale initiatives to impart knowledge to those who cannot afford it.

One such initiative is The Street School in Karachi, where a brother-sister team of Hasan and Shireen have been helping poor child vendors gain an education.

the teenage founders of the initiative share their inspiration to start the school, the threats they faced from those who exploit child labor and how they manage to balance their own studies alongside the responsibilities of running a rapidly expanding organisation.

Hasan and Shireen say that they got the idea for the initiative when a young street girl came up to them. Only instead of asking for money as most street children do, she asked them to help her study. “She said, ‘Kya aap mujhay parhain gey?’ [Will you teach me?]. And that is how it all began.”

This inspired the brother and sister to open up a school on an empty plot where they could teach the girl as well as others like her. At first The Street School had only two pupils, but as time went on their numbers rapidly expanded and now the school teaches around 200 children.

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