Sister Zeph is an activist from Gujranwala, she primarily advocates for girls education and women empowerment. Her journey began in 1997 when she was 13 years old and her teacher beat her in front of class. That is when she promised herself that she will never go to a school again and instead started her own school in her courtyard. Sister Zeph went door to door to ask families to send their daughters to her school. Over the years she has been responsible for the education of hundreds of young girls and has empowered many women through formal education and skills trainings.
Since leaving school in 7th grade, Sister Zeph taught herself and ensured she pursued higher education. She has two masters degrees in Political Science and History from University of Punjab. She is currently getting her Bachelors in Education from Allama Iqbal University.
Sister Zeph works primarily in Gujranwala and has students from 11 villages nearby who attend the 2 schools and skills center operated by Zephaniah Education and Empowerment Foundation. The organization provides formal education in both their schools until 12th grade to girls and until 5th grade to the boys. In the skills center, they provide various training such as: Self-defense techniques, English language, IT courses, beautician courses, stitching and sewing, financial management, health education, sports and arts etc.They have 12 full time teachers who work in the schools and center, along with that, many teachers from Europe, USA and other countries teach various courses via Skype.
Sister Zeph used that incident with her teacher to empower herself and become the change she wanted to see in the education field. She chose to break the cycle by starting a school where children are treated with love and respect and not abuse, where children are given opportunities to better themselves.She grew up seeing women suffering, who victims of violence and inequality. This is ultimately what drives Sister Zeph to work even harder, this is why she fights for women's rights every day in whatever capacity possible.
Through her work, she has seen hundreds of lives transformed. A current employee of Zephaniah Education and Empowerment Foundation, Ms. Tayyeba, had to leave her education in 9th grade to help her family financially since her father passed away. Sister Zeph convinced her to continue her education and get formal beautician training at the skills center. Ms, Tayyeba now runs her own beauty salon to earn an income to support her family, while completing her master's degree at Punjab University and also works at Zephaniah Foundation as an executive assistant.There are many other success stories from the organization- students are now in colleges and universities, working, are small business owners such as beauty salon owners, tailors, nurses, teachers etc.
When asked about her hope for Pakistan, Sister Zeph said:
"Pakistan is changing, our youth is so passionate and they are eager to bring change, they want to do progress we just have to show them a right way we have to give them opportunities and they will proof that they have potential to lead the world because they have
To Donate contact directly: Zephaniah Women's Education and Empowerment Foundation
Here is a list of the needs:
- Color printer (1)
- Teachers’ Table (5)
- Photo copier (1)
- Scanner (1)
- Security Cameras for two schools
- Railing for two schools
- Monthly salaries for twelve teachers
- Utility bills
- Internet for two schools one skill center
- UPS for two schools (Electricity back up system because we have to face a lot of electricity load shedding)
- Projector for two schools
- Affiliation with Board of Intermediate and secondary education
- Three cabinets to keep record
- Green sheets for two school for summer
- Monthly rent for two buildings