In the outskirts of Islamabad, a popular Sufi shrine Bari Imam is situated. Thousands of people come to pay their respects at the shrine but what they don’t know is that there is an extremely vulnerable community nearby. Jab Chajjar is a small colony right behind Bari Imam. The residents of this colony are awfully deprived and vulnerable. Lack of education of girls is one of the major issues of this community. There are no government schools in the proximity of this area and most of the children work with their parents. The girls work as housemaids with their mothers and the boys work in small shops. The thought of education for children is too far-fetched for the parents of this area.
PAGE created STAR school Jab Chajjar in October 2018, to impart education to the highly deprived children of the community. A total of 30 students go to this school, out of which 16 are boys and 14 are girls. The school not only provides education but also raises awareness of the importance of Girls Education. PAGE team members during their visit shared that the owner of the STAR school building didn’t send his 13-year-old daughter to school because of a conservative mindset. The father insisted upon getting his daughter married at the age of 13.
PAGE team made the family aware of the importance of girls’ education and the father agreed to send his daughter to school. Now, she comes to school regularly. The teacher of the STAR school shared that most of the girls were shy at first but with constant awareness-raising and training, the girls actively participate in the classroom. The girls who initially had no goals and motivation in life are now passionate about doing something productive. Some girls want to become doctors, some want to pursue teaching as a profession, and some even dream of becoming a pilot. One of the boys that come to STAR school sells hard-boiled eggs in the streets to support his poverty-stricken family.