Zuhaib stands as the second child from the left as one of the five unsponsored boys.
The world is filled with wonders, there is so much beauty in the ethereal world. The miracle of connectivity is present everywhere like how a single drop of melted glacier ends up in the salted sea is an example. Traveling millions of miles without purpose bound to the affinity of water. Such is nature. However, as beautiful as it can be it also has its dark side.
Nature is sometimes cruel towards man. It takes out its anger on humans, when we destroy it when we upset its balance. It can be in the form of natural disasters like heavy rain, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. However, in most cases of such integrity the victims are always common innocent men, women and children.
A collapse that changed history with a drop of fate turning the wheels of fortune.
In Kashmir, there once stood a home. It had four walls and a roof. A typical house. But what made it a home was a family. A family of five; a mother, a father, younger brother, an elder sister and a young hopeful child named Zuhaib. A boy full of wonders and dreams, who would play with his siblings, dream with his mother and wait all day for his father to return so he could sit on his back and cherish the earnings of his hard work.
A father provides for his children with what he can, and a mother grooms them to the best of their abilities. Both of them work hard, hand in hand for the security of their children. A memory so far fetched for Zuhaib now.
It was a cold night, there were dark clouds everywhere. Thunder was the lullaby for these children. It started to rain. Drop by drop the world around Zuhaib collapsed. The rain was so heavy that it caused the roof of their wonderful home to cave in and fall. The suddenness of it all might as well have scared the children, but the tragedy didn’t stop there.
The roof fell on Zuhaib’s father, killing him then and there. His lovely mother was also trapped inside. Her legs were stuck. There was no way out. A rainy day in Kashmir where the welfare of people is last on the government’s agenda. By the time someone came, and helped the children remove the ruble, the legs of the mother had to be amputated, they were destroyed by the rubble.
The collapse of his house drove the family to extremities and desperation. With no one to provide for the children it was a disaster. He was sent in time to Madam Noreen. She has been kind enough to provide for him a new home. Right about now Zuhaib is twelve years old. He will turn thirteen later this year. Though he has lost so much in such less time that the child does not remember his own birthday.
It has been some years since the last time he met his family. He is too young to travel alone and his mother is handicapped now, thus, unable to travel. His elder sister stayed behind to look after his mother and younger brother, who will also be joining Zuhaib here at the orphanage, when he’s a bit older and the economic conditions are much kinder. Zuhaib still has a future to look forward to.
A future brighter than the heavenly stars.
Zuhaib is almost a teenager now. He has moved brilliantly forward with a high aptitude towards studies. When we asked him about his studies, he responded with a calm intellectual manner. His favorite subject is Mathematics, I must say quite a choice for a child. He is a natural at it. His least favorite subject is social studies. He finds it a bit complicated and hates the long essay type question answers.
He is a child with clarity for his future. He knows what it feels to be alone and how it feels to be vulnerable and unprotected. When asked about what he wanted to become, he told us about his passion to join the army. His bright eyes twinkle with hope. He feels compelled to be there for the citizens of this nation and wants to protect the country and its people.
Be the guiding hand.
Children like Zuhaib are the bright futures of Pakistan. In a certain future, may the world realize that the kings of any country are its children who need to be protected and raised right. Madam Noreen has been a guardian angel for these children and she tries to be the best mother she can be for them. So, trust in her, and donate to your highest capabilities. Every cent counts; may your support nourish the life of these children.
From Afsana: While we present stories of women on our platform, we also extend this commitment of education and empowerment towards children, like Zuhaib, who suffered from the tragedy of a disaster against his home. By making a donation to the Noreen Zindagi Welfare Trust and helping to sponsor Zuhaib, you can help provide young orphans like Zuhaib 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 Zuhaib for the next six months. If you are interested in continuing to support Noreen Zindagi, find out more information here.
Written by Salman Tariq of Afsana