Saim stands as the first child from the left as one of the five unsponsored boys.
Children. A beautiful word with so many meanings than what one is accustomed to. A homonym of sorts for cute, curious, interesting, entertaining, funny or dramatic. They are like bright stars twinkling in the night sky called life. As much as children are an essence of hope, they are also difficult at times. Such is nature, imperfections combined to be marvels. Since imperfections are a part of being human, therefore, ten-year-old Saim is simply human.
One could call it clever, smart, even deem him an evil genius having used such abilities to his advantage but the truth is not as comical as one would prefer it to be. It is meant to be bitter, to hurt, to sadden even and this young boy is no exception. In fact, he is a role model here, the perfect example of innocent ignorance.
After all, how could he have known better when there was no one to teach him otherwise?
Parents are not just a child’s guardians: They are a source of light, guidance, and success. They set a child straight and draw the line between right and wrong for him, the only line in life that is black and white, not grey though if only temporarily. They are the concrete necessary to build a solid foundation. No concrete, no foundation and so, for an orphan to build such a foundation is the greatest challenge of all especially for someone as energetic as Saim.
After the death of his parents, the responsibility of manufacturing this concrete lay on the shoulders of his aunt. Knowing his predicament, situation, and behavior, the first step one must prepare himself for is patience. One would assume that his aunt will treat Saim as she would treat her own child but that was something Saim could only imagine. A regular child can take a good amount of patience, but Saim needed ten times of it, maybe even more. Yes, every human has his limits but that still does not justify locking a child and deploring him of his meal all because he could not behave well. Saim’s aunt never taught him -- she only punished him, and it grew to such intensity that Saim hurt himself, begging not to go back with his Aunt. Could you imagine a child deplored by his family, a child who simply wanted to be himself? It takes effort to raise a child, and to raise them properly is the duty of any guardian. Saim’s actions may have been something his aunt could not handle, but her actions are dirt upon the existence of humanity.
Discipline has its place, but that place is no excuse for cruelty.
At least, this is what Lubna Noreen believed when she took Saim into her care two years ago. But problems rarely ever stopped so easily and this time, they were more for her than him. What else could one expect? Running away from studying Urdu because it’s too difficult, a fight here, an argument there, complaints everywhere. And this is just scratching the surface, the tip of a very giant iceberg. Energetic children are often hard to control, even for their own blood parents. Some might call them hyper-active too, but is that not a good thing? It is a positive essence of his being -- it simply is the child being more active than those around him.
After all, this energy can be used for goals and dreams. Saim has shown this aspect over time. As he grew friendlier and friendlier, he has grown slowly not only as a child but as a person with his own aspirations. He has shown a deep desire to join the Army. His goal? To protect his country. With men like Saim, surely the families of Pakistan may feel safer at night.
So let us direct this energy, this drive towards positivity. Let us help Saim realize his true potential, to be something far greater because, with the strong foundation of childhood he has already established for himself, he is destined for something greater.
From Afsana: While we present stories of women on our platform, we also extend this commitment of education and empowerment towards children, like Saim, who have been robbed of opportunities, love, and safety. By making a donation to the Noreen Zindagi Welfare Trust and helping to sponsor Saim, you can help provide young orphans like Saim the opportunity for a home with food, shelter, and education. You can learn more about our fundraiser for the Noreen Zindagi and donate here.
Update: We are pleased to share that we have reached our fundraiser's goal from above -- your support and funds will sponsor Saim for the next six months. If you are interested in continuing to support Noreen Zindagi, find out more information here.
Written by Muhammad Hamza Suleman of Afsana