Dania is a nineteen year old raised by her mother as a single parent. She raised her daughter alone ever since she was born. Dania’s journey is a long one, but God blessed her with a very caring and supporting maternal family. Her world consists of three people in total, her grandmother, her aunt who she calls “Appi” and her mother.
Her story is all about the love and care she got from the best people in the world, it’s about her positive journey. Despite all the things she faced in her childhood, she is a happy girl. She claims to have led an ideal life that is all down to the three most perfect people in her life.
Her life started to get better with all the care she was getting from her grandmother, her support meant the world to Dania, until when her grandmother passed away in December 2015. Her Appi had to leave the city, for a girl who just started to settle in an ideal scenario it was a lot to handle. In a way, her world shattered into pieces.
She had to give up her childhood and grow up before it was time. Her family needed her, her mother needed her. She had to take so much responsibility, she became the backbone of her family. She needed to study but couldn’t concentrate on her board exams after her grandmother’s death. It hit her one day, a few days before her first paper, she sat and asked her self “what are you doing to your life Dania?”. This moment of self-realization hit her hard and things started to change after that. She understood that no matter how bad things are appearing, she can’t just give up on herself, personal life and development. She worked day and night to ace her papers. To prepare for something so big in just weeks isn’t possible, but that’s what she did, and got 87% on her boards.
Her hard work paid off and she got a scholarship at Johns Hopkins University’s summer program. She worked hard to earn university credit before even getting into a college program. This was her dream becoming true.
It was time to give back to society when she returned to Pakistan. She started taking grants from U.S. Mission in Pakistan and began conducting programs in government schools in underprivileged areas. Her goal was to provide free of cost extracurricular programming to underprivileged students. She, along with her three friends initiated this project and turned it into a non-profit organization. Her organization goes by “FUN TO LEARN”. Her idea is to teach kids in a different and fun way to will help them remember things better.
Working so hard made her sick, and she was not able to concentrate on her studies and organization. But then again her strong will come forward, asking her again “why are you giving up? Who is going to empower the kids in the Hijrat colony”? They look up to you, who is going to take care of them? And that was it!
It was her last day on bed rest. Ever since that day, she has been a runner in a marathon to achieve her goals. She started planning more projects, expanded her team and took upon collaborating with more organizations for unprivileged people. Things were different, this time she had unexplained energy that was driving her.
She picked up the studies that she gave up when she got sick. She started public speaking as well. Her extreme efforts paid off and she got nominated by the U.S. Embassy for the ‘’Emerging Young Leaders Award’’ and the U.S. Department of State selected her to receive the award. This was a huge blessing, only ten people get selected every year, she was the first female to receive it in Pakistan. To get this honor she had to leave her exam, she couldn’t reschedule, if she had, they would have given it to some other country, and she could not let that happen to her country. The two-week program changed and developed her a lot, both personally and professionally. She was even awarded a token of appreciation by the honorable Ambassador of Pakistan in the United States. At her return to her country, she was decades older, more mature and exploding with ideas that she had for people who couldn’t help themselves.
She became a learning trainer as well as started training high school, college and university students of Pakistan. She launched a campaign called ‘’Lead & Succeed’’ and trained more than 1500 students from prestigious institutions of Karachi. She covered much-needed topics like leadership & community service and was even invited by the U.S. Embassy Islamabad to speak at the Young Professionals Conference 2019.
Her baby project “Fun to Learn” is going great, all praises to Allah (Alhamdulillah). She now has 65 volunteers and 61 of them are young women! She is trying to do whatever she can to support underprivileged people of our society but also training people from the private sector to start working on community projects to help others.
She is currently building a classroom along with two libraries for students of Hijrat Colony and Lyari. She is also working as a Program Officer for a conference in Islamabad.
Inspiration can be taken from such people, who turned a horrible situation into huge blessing for herself, the underprivileged of her community and her country.