My name is Shah Faisal, and I’m thirteen years old. I was born in Mardan, where I lived until 2013. My father passed away in a tragic incident during a family feud, and I was moved to a Pakistan Sweet Homes centre in Mardan shortly after. I have two older sisters who are both married, and two brothers who are studying and working to support my mother.
When I first moved to the centre, I didn’t know at all what hostel life would be like. I found it very difficult to adjust. Then for 15 days, a group of us were invited to the Islamabad Sweet Homes centre. This really gave us an insight into how to live together, and really helped us come together as a family. Then in 2013, I was picked as one of the top 5 children at the centre, and was asked to move to the main centre in Islamabad.
I really love it here, but it was very difficult at the beginning. This was the first time I had properly been away from Mardan, and the adjustment was a challenge. However, it didn’t take me too long to become comfortable around other children. I really started to feel comfortable when I started school at Siddiq Public School. I’m now in 8th class and enjoying it very much! My favourite thing about Sweet Homes is the standard of education they strive to provide. Before joining Sweet Homes in 2009, I attended a government school in Mardan. Once I moved to a new school when I was in 4th class, upon assessment they placed me in the nursery class because I knew nothing! I’m really grateful I have been able to work hard and improve very much, easily.
I often think about how I used to struggle with school so much, but now I want to be a doctor. It is the wish of my family to do so, and I know I will always try my best to help people. I phone my mother once a week and she gives me a lot of courage. She tells me all the time I shouldn’t miss her, but focus on my studies. I know no matter what happens, her prayers are always with me.
People in Mardan are living in poverty, my family included. I really hope one day I am able to return and help them. It really saddens me that even in this century, people in Mardan think that educating a girl is a bad thing. This needs to change, and I am confident I can do something to bring about progress.
In Sweet Home there is every facility of clothes, food, health and best education. Every facility is present. Even as others have a father, we have one too. The girls living here are our sisters. Papa Jaani reminds us all the time this is not an orphanage. This is our home. He serves to be everything for me in the World.
If I could say something to other children living without parents, I would say: “You should never consider yourself an orphan. Always remember you have been given power from Allah. If a person tries, he is rewarded. I pray that everyone is blessed with parents.”