A woman has been using trash to fund the education of 5,000 children in Lahore for the last 13 years.
Rubina Shakeel, who runs the Aabroo Educational Welfare Organization, provides children free education, food, and health care facilities at her eight schools.
“The students belong to poor families,” she said while speaking on SAMAA TV programme Naya Din on Wednesday.
Parents of most children work as daily labourers, rickshaw drivers, or fruit-sellers. “The children even help out their parents after school.” They will either help them prepare food or load items in a truck, she remarked.
The organisation collects up to 21 tonnes of water every month, which makes about Rs950,000 to 100,000.
More than 7,000 houses have been registered with the organisation, each house is given a list of things that they can put in their trash cans. The list includes plastic bottles, old clothes, cooking utensils among others, she said.
“We then send our vehicles to collect the trash,” she said, adding that thousands of bags are brought to organisation’s warehouse, where they are sorted. Sometimes they find items which can they use in their schools, such as books, or good-quality clothes, or other items that can be recycled.
“It is not just trash but we also take donations and zakat,” Khalid shared, adding that more than anything people’s compassion and love has helped her the most in her mission.
On her journey, she said that it has been very difficult. “There has been nothing easy about it.”