Held on the 22nd of March, 2019, Pakistan’s largest non-profit for education, CARE Foundation, hosted a wonderful event for its scholars at its headquarters in the city. Awarding Qarz-e-Hasna Scholarships to high-achieving CARE alumni, the non-profit introduced its scholarship program in 2001 to support students who wish to further their education after completing their matric examinations.
Since its introduction, approximately 5,000 scholarships have been awarded to CARE’s students, who have gone on to graduate from some of the country’s most well-known universities. Indeed, the program has been a life-changing initiative for countless families whose children have found their true calling in their desired fields.
Speaking at the event, Mehr Lodhi Khan, a CARE alumni and Qarz-e-Hasna Scholarship recipient currently pursuing an MBBS degree from Fatima Jinnah Medical University, stated that the scholarship program was a wonderful opportunity for those who don’t have the financial means to embark on their career-paths. “When you graduate, don’t forget what this [non-profit] has done for you, it’s like our second home,” Khan stated, full of emotion, during her speech at the ceremony, “CARE has been established with so much dedication and hard work, God knows what they must have gone through for us to be here today and reap the benefits of their tireless efforts.”
Atif Saleem, another CARE alumni and Qarz-e-Hasna Scholarship recipient, who recently completed his Chemical Engineering degree from Punjab University said that he never would have thought he’d be where he is today ten years ago. “I had no ideas how to set goals and how to achieve them.” he reveals, “I never knew what my purpose in life was; I had no self-awareness. But it was only until I got to Grade 7 that my science teacher inculcated an interest in science within me and made me aware of the fact that there was more to life out there – outside of my little bubble. This realization motivated me to top my exams in Grade 10 and to think about my future, for this first time in years.” With plans to go overseas for graduate school, Saleem hopes to return to Pakistan to help guide other students like himself in the years to come. “I wouldn’t be here without the support of CARE and I intend on paying it forward; to other children like myself who don’t yet have a roadmap to make their dreams a reality.”