“I want to be an author, so people can enjoy reading my stories,” said Sadaqat.
A resident of Reshit, Chipurson, 13-year-old Sadaqat studies at the Diamond Jubilee (DJ) School established in 1946. The school now teaches students from pre-primary to secondary school in English. About 150 students attend the school and almost half are girls. The building has a total of 11 classrooms and offers facilities including a library and a multi-purpose hall.
“Sadaqat is very competent compared to other children. He is consistent in his studies and never takes leave from school,” said Deedar Hussain, Head of the DJ School in Reshit.
Reshit, situated in the Hunza District of Gilgit-Baltistan, is the oldest village of Chipurson, and known as the central village of Chipursan Valley. Occupying the area comprising the Northernmost part of Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan and China in the Wakhan corridor, the Chipurson Valley hosts over 500 households with an approximate population of 3,000.
Many of Reshit’s Wakhi-speaking residents rely on flocks of sheep, as well as herds of goats and yak, for sustenance. Due to extreme cold and heavy snowfall during the winter season, residents of the village stock up on household goods when life comes to a standstill.
However, as a farming community, and the only source of income for Sadaqat’s family, it was challenging for his parents to provide necessities and afford quality education for their children.
The Socio-Economic Development Programme (SEDP) is an initiative of the Ismaili Council for Pakistan, with a primary goal to improve the quality of life of remote communities in the mountainous regions of Pakistan. The aim is to uplift marginalised communities from the vicious, generational cycle of poverty and improve their overall socio-economic status by addressing issues like food and nutrition, health, education, youth development, income, and habitat.
One of the major components of SEDP is to support access to quality education, so that children like Sadaqat can achieve their dreams and empower their families. These programmes support children’s educational endeavours in public and private schools alike.
Furthermore, the sustenance support programme of the SEDP, caters to the basic requirements of marginalised families and provides them with the opportunities and prospects for a respectable life with confidence and dignity.