Noreen Zindagi Welfare Trust is a registered non-profit organization founded in 2019 working to make a change in the lives of as many orphans as they can accommodate. Tayyaba is one of the children pictured as the last child to the right in the front row.
Responsibilities come with age, with time, and with experiences. They come and are embraced once one is ready but they are never enforced, least of all on an eight-year-old girl who has yet to see the extent of this world, the joys of innocence, the vices of studies, and the depths of her dreams.
Sadly, the world had other intentions for Tayyaba, at least in the eyes of her aunt or, in Pakistan, phuppo.
When one walks in a field, the flower he always picks is the most beautiful one. The flower in this girl’s field was the most important man in her life: her father. When he had left, Tayyaba, alongside her mother, moved in with her willing uncle. After all, it is a brother’s responsibility to take care of his sister in times of need and so, he did just that without a second thought.
But little did he know that the life of an orphan is never rid of trouble.
Tayyaba did not face what she faced just because she lost her greatest support. True, it did trigger the drastic turn of events, but it was never the direct cause. Death is but a door for growth and the dead leave little influence in one’s life save for the will they pass on. No, it is those who remain that determines the course of one’s life and it all depends on luck.
Tayyaba was not so lucky.
A child is meant to learn, to grow, to run, to play, to laugh, and to be free as only a happy childhood can be the solid foundation on which to stand and face the world ahead. Every building without a proper foundation falls apart, and once that happens, lives are lost. A human is just another building who, too, can just as easily fall apart.
Tayyaba was not allowed to grow, to be herself even. Her aunt treated her like an unpaid servant and, at times, even a slave. When she should have been playing, she was wiping the floors, when she should have been learning ABC, she was cleaning the dishes and when she should have been loved, she was stricken into doing the laundry of everyone in the house. To make matters worse, Tayyaba was not even six at that time so mistakes were bound to be made but patience was not quick to follow, not with her aunt whatsoever.
Conflict ensued and no one can ever tell what went through the little girl as it did. At best, it is just another forgotten memory or at worst, her confidence is forever tainted. Both possibilities are equally likely, but that should never have been the case in the first place. Her uncle knew, but his hands were mostly tied, having to go out and earn. It was why he could not keep an eye on the entire situation and so, a point came, crossing all lines, when Tayyaba just could not stay here anymore for her own sake.
Separated from her mother, the little girl found her way onto Madam Noreen’s doorstep where she has been living ever since, at the very least, as a child rather than a laborer, a child who loves to study, a child thinks of everyone as her best friend, a child who fights with no one despite karate having packed her a deadly punch for lunch, and a child with a clear dream.
Each child lives in a world of their own that instills desires in their heart, desires that drive them forward.
Tayyaba is full of desires: pizza, burger, ice-cream, and the cartoon Mecard where children have little cards which transform into giant fighting robots. But her greatest desire of all is one with a passion that an adult does not expect from a child. Despite being so little, Tayyaba has a heart of gold and so, it fuels her goal to help other people for she wants them to continue teaching others the values of goodness. After all, she loves listening to such things herself. It is for this very reason she wants to become a doctor even though, ironically, science is her least-favorite subject. Too many facts to memorize and that is partially true and it would remain true for Tayyaba as long as this goal lives within her.
In life, the path only gets tougher. It is a fact and an inevitable outcome. Dreams offer their own hurdle, and the dream of being a doctor is a hurdle in itself, not just in Pakistan but everywhere in the world. Tests, merit, competition, failure. This will follow. We had our mothers and fathers with us but Tayyaba?
Tayyaba is all on her own.
So let us give her the support she needs, the support she deserves for if not this little one, then who?
From Afsana: Tayyaba is a girl with dreams -- she is also currently an unsponsored orphan at the Noreen Zindagi Welfare Trust orphanage. By making a donation to the Noreen Zindagi Welfare Trust and helping to sponsor her, you can help provide young orphans like Tayyaba the opportunity for a home with food, shelter, and education. You can learn more about our fundraiser for the Noreen Zindagi here.
Update: We are pleased to share that we have reached our fundraiser's goal from above -- your support and funds will sponsor Tayyaba 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