The Giving Back series is an initiative undertaken by Youlin to hunt out and bring to the fore the untold stories of Pakistan’s philanthropic ventures. It documents the efforts of individuals and groups of people who have taken on the work of improving the lot of their communities and the underprivileged sectors of society. Armed only with fortitude, determination and courage of conviction, they often work with scant or no resources, fueled only by the desire to give back to the society they were born in. These are the stories of Pakistan’s unsung heroes and the miracles they work every day.
The first part of this series is the profile of a school in Pind Bhagwal, a village situated in the rural backwaters of Islamabad, deep in the heart of the Pothwar plateau. Aptly named as the House of Light, the school is the project of husband and wife, Raja and Sadia Qaiser. The area is rife with severe poverty, social discrimination, crime and a level of education that is basic at best and non-existent at worst. Families live in the harshest conditions, many deprived of even the most elementary of facilities, and earn minimum wage through menial jobs. Against this backdrop, and faced with local suspicion and opposition, the Qaisers took on the challenge of saving the region’s children from an unsavory fate by providing them free education. This article explores how they have braved enormous odds to bring about a wave of transformation in the lives of the residents of Pind Bhagwal and the surrounding areas.
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(July 07, 2017)