Nabeel Arshad, 28, is head of a Health Safety & Environmental department at a chicken processing plant in Pakistan.

I grew up in a very rural, old-fashioned family. My mother is a housewife, and my father grows crops and looks after the fields. There was no education.

In my village, Chatti Nali. PO Bhikhi, there was no school for the older children after primary school. Then the CARE Foundation came and changed that. Before then, many families had transportation issues, so they couldn’t send their children to far away schools – especially their girls. So, when CARE came to the village, all those issues and barriers went, and the parents could send their girls to school.

My parents wanted to spend money on me for my education. They were very happy when I did my matriculation. They said to me whatever I want to do, I can. I was the first in my family to complete school.

I have two little brothers and a sister, and they also studied in the CARE school. My little brother is now becoming a lawyer – he did a Master’s degree in political science, and my youngest brother studied mechanical engineering. My sister is still studying.

After completing school, I did a Bachelor in Arts and after that, I completed various health and safety certifications. I got a job as an officer at a chicken processing plant, where I am now head of the health and safety department. I’ve been here almost seven years.

I am very happy to be part of the CARE alumni network to tell my story. In our community, there are big challenges in these poor areas. Families don’t want their girls to go to co-ed schools. But once their children go to a CARE school, there is better understanding that co-education is not such a big deal, it is a good education for their girls, especially.

Obviously, if our village did not get a CARE school, my siblings and I would have ended up working in the fields, growing crops with my parents. Life would be very different from how it is now. I have learned many things because of CARE. I feel motivated to give back – I visit the CARE school every month or so to see if there are any issues, which we can discuss and help solve, to help other students.

I am now in a very good profession, so I will try my best to learn more in this field and gain more qualifications, and try and enhance my position here.

My parents are very proud of their children. I got married in 2020, and I have one daughter, who is two years old. I feel very positive about my children’s future. I feel very lucky in life as from home, my school was just 1km away, and now my job is only 1km from my home.

My older cousins did not get any school qualifications and are growing crops in the fields. I have learned many things, to live a different way of life. All this is because of CARE, so I try my best to help CARE and their students, and help support the next generation and their futures.

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