Rubina is a great role model. When I talked to the teaching team at the Holy Shepherd Grammar School in Karachi, several of them said that they had been inspired by their teacher, Rubina, to follow her example.
Samreen has now been in the school for seven years. At first she didn’t think she would stay. Yet with encouragement from the leadership team – with accolades such as ‘Teacher of the Month’ – she was persuaded to persevere. And her students are a source of encouragement too. Like Salman, the first student to get an A grade at Matric, who has now gone on to nursing. She has hopes for her students, wants to nurture their ambitions and help them on their way. It is a challenging job, but her faith is her strength. She prays for her lessons and for her students whom she describes as ‘a gift of God into my hands’.
‘How do you cope,’ I ask ‘when dealing with children, many of whom have such difficult backgrounds?’
Rahat smiles, recalling a student who never did any homework, because of his tough family circumstances.
‘I stayed behind with him after school, and helped him with his writing. He has really made progress,’ she says.
Naomi has a one year old child of her own, yet remains committed to the school where she has now taught for five years. She was inspired by Anser, now Starfish Pakistan’s National Director, who earlier worked at the Holy Shepherd Grammar School. Through his encouragement she became first a helper and then a teacher. Naomi, Samreen and Rahat all share a deep Christian faith and a fervent desire to serve their local community.
The inspiration that people like Rubina and Anser have given has already multiplied in the lives of these three teachers. How many more lives will each one of them touch?