Nabeel Arshad, 28, is head of HSE Department (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.

I had supportive parents who encouraged me to get education. They were very happy when I did matriculation. They said to me whatever I want to do, I can. I was the first in my family to complete school. Later, I did a bachelor’s 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 will try my best to gain more qualifications to grow further in this field.

I have two younger brothers and a sister, and they also studied in the CARE school. My younger 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. Our parents are very proud of us!

I am very happy to be part of the CARE alumni network to tell my story. I have learned so much because of CARE that I feel motivated to give back. I visit my school every month or so to see if there are any issues, which we can discuss and help solve, to help other students.

If our village did not have 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.

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