I realized it when I received the acceptance letter from Habib University this year, without any scholarship and financial aid; I gave up my dreams in a matter of seconds. However, I disclosed it to my father and I was moved when he said, “you’ll be getting into Habib University, let me play my role in making your dream come true.” I thought it would be hard for my father even to pay the enrollment and security fee, with his meager salary as a private school teacher and the only breadwinner in our family. After few days he came to me and said he has managed everything, and I should confirm my admission offer. Later I came to know that he had sold a fraction of our family-owned landholding and he had loaned from a bank. “Don’t be worried, I am only investing in you. When making an investment one shouldn’t worry about anything.”
That day I realized that hope really has a power to making things happen that seem impossible. I have been contributing to my community and I believe that helping people and doing favors for others comes around, rewarding you in an unexpected way. In 2016 I founded a non-profit youth organization to help students who do not have access to resources like books, carrier counseling sessions and opportunities that could change their lives. Since then our organization, Student Empowerment Forum (SEF) has conducted numerous carrier counseling sessions, arranged competitions and we have initiated the concept of mobile libraries. Where we are opening small libraries in the rural areas of Chitral.
Apart from that I working with My Body is My Body Program (an animated musical program to prevent child abuse) as an ambassador to create awareness about child abuse, which is a hard reality in our country. I am working with this program because I am a child abuse survivor myself, I have suffered that traumatic past. However, I disclosed it instead of letting it burn me inside and it was a path to salvation. There is still time, we can make things right for the coming generations. To instill in them the courage to talk, the courage to fight-back and the courage to protect themselves. This can be done by ‘breaking the legacy of remaining silent.’ I mustered the courage to disclose it to my friend and he understood me, appreciated me for living with it for so many years and I was healed. The younger generation who has been through molestation should disclose it, so that other can learn from it.
I am writing it with a firm determination that I will get help, because my father believes in education and he has faith in me. He could have sold his land to set up a shop for me or he could have urged me to take economics or Business Administration or Medical because they can pay back. I think my father’s decision to sold off everything to invest in his son’s liberal arts education is exemplary, because in the end he don’t want anything for himself but for the wellbeing of my community back there and this country. My father teaches in a private school with a meagre salary of PKR 30,000 which has been reduced to PKR 18,000 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is the only breadwinner in my family, bearing the educational expenses of my two younger siblings as well.
The fee, per-semester (6 months = 1 semester) at Habib University is PKR 568,750/- which is equivalent to $3437.98. My father has paid for the first semester through the loan and by selling a part of our family owned landholding. Now I need help for the second semester (January 2021), if I get through the second semester the university will probably offer me a financial aid for the next year.
https://www.facebook.com/SEForum922 (the work I have been doing)
https://www.linkedin.com/in/syed-shujauddin (my LinkedIn profile)
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