“My name is Zofishan and I am studying in 6th grade. I live in a small and beautiful village Laphi [in district Chakwal, Pakistan]. I have 5 brothers and one sister. All my brothers are studying in various grades. However, my eldest sister Fatima is not going to school. I, too, was not going to school for three years before I rejoined my school with support from Bedari.
I had studied up to grade 5 in our village school. But we do not have a secondary school in our village, and the nearest secondary school is 14 kilometers away from our home. We could not afford to pay the huge amount of fare charged by the only local van available.
It was such a sad time of my life. I had to stay at home, and help my mother in household chores, or would go out with my mother to the jungle to collect wood for selling it in the local market. My father has a small herd of cattle. He takes them to jungle for grazing and spends almost the whole day there. The time was passing and I was losing hope of joining my school again. I would borrow my elder brother’s books, and study them. My brother is very loving. He would teach me as much as possible.
Anyhow, one day a volunteer from Bedari came to our village and talked to the village elders for identifying girls who wanted to study up to secondary level. When I heard that, I asked my brother to meet the Bedari volunteer and get my name registered for the scholarship. I was very excited and prayed all the time for getting selected. I heard from my brother that there were 21 girls registered for scholarships. I just did not know how many they were going to select, nor did I know how I could ensure my selection except praying to God.
And finally the good news came. I came to know that all the 21 girls were given scholarship including myself. Ohh… I was flying high…may be on cloud 9 or what do they say… Bedari has arranged a special van for us 21 girls. This van picks us up from our village in the morning and drops us back in the evening. I have 20 friends in the van and a hundred more girls in my school. I am really happy to be in school again. I love my school. I meet so many other girls, I have so many good teachers who guide us and above all – only in my school, I can play cricket with other girls. I really love my life.”