By Winter Johnson
Whilst 22-year-old Samreen Begum is all grown up and working as a process associate, she will never forget her studies at the HOPE foundation School in Hyderabad, the place that first gave her the dream of an education, and therefore a different life.
The daughter of a hardworking daily wage worker and a homemaker, Samreen’s options for an education were limited – she faced two options: no education at all, or no access to the English-speaking education that would open doors to higher paying administrative roles in the future.
In India, 23 million girls drop out of school every year due to reasons that include early marriage, lack of access to feminine hygiene products, and the need to stay home to help with housework and siblings. That’s why the Hyderabad School staff is committed to keeping their female students in school through parent/teacher meetings, counselling, and following up with students who have stopped coming to encourage them to return.
With dreams of holding a top position in a multinational corporation, Samreen considers her education at the HOPE foundation School in Hyderabad ‘life-changing’.
We sat down with her in a recent interview to find out why.
HOPE worldwide UK: What did your parents teach you about school before you started at the HOPE foundation School?
Samreen: I come from a family where no one has ever studied past the 9th STD, which is 14 years of age. So, my family never thought about my education that much and didn’t plan to send me to an English medium school.
At that time, the principal of the school used to visit our slum area, so she asked my father to send me to the HOPE foundation School.
My father hesitated because he was worried about how I would learn English at home. But one of the teachers convinced my father, took responsibility, and asked him not to worry.
That’s why the HOPE foundation School was life-changing for me – and two of my siblings also attended the HOPE foundation School.
HOPE worldwide UK: What did you like most about the HOPE foundation School in Hyderabad?
Samreen: First of all, I liked the education. Second, I liked all my teachers at HOPE because of the way they taught us, and the growth which I got from them.
HOPE worldwide UK: What are your dreams for the future?
Samreen: I want to become an independent woman in the next five years. For everything I am dependent on my parents’ decisions. To be independent, my first goal was to get a job, and I am doing that now, and now I want to have my own house. Second, I want to get a high-level position in my career.
After achieving these two I will become independent.
I want to see myself in a top-level position in a multinational corporation, where I can earn more than 50,000 Indian rupees per month. Being a strong independent woman means that you can find happiness on your own without having to rely on another person or society for validation.
Strong independent women have self-confidence and emotional independence and are able to have healthy relationships with others. I want to give a happy life to my parents, who have suffered a lot for our bright future. I want to become an example for all parents of girls by getting success in my life.
To donate to the HOPE foundation School in Hyderabad, click here, and look for the ‘Hyderabad School’ in the dropdown.