There’s a secret behind the gleam in her eyes….

When you meet the 18 years old Afreen, what first catches your fancy is the remarkable gleam in her eyes. She was one among the first to register for Target* – our pre-service (community) teacher training & development program.

Clad in ‘burqa’, she comes from a traditional Muslim family. She was forced to leave her studies after grade 12th because it is not considered good for girls/women in her community to go out. Today, she teaches Mathematics to grade 3 and 4 at one of our partner schools. Her students adore her.

She says, “I was made to leave school almost 2 years back. My future was already chalked out for me by my brother….until MANTRA started these classes. When I first heard about the program, I knew I wanted to be a part of this. Look, today, I am a teacher.” She pauses and then smilingly adds, “It is such a life-changing opportunity for me. I learn so much; have gained confidence and now, I can even work because my parents have no qualms about my working in the neighborhood. Honestly, now that I have discovered what bliss it is to with children, I really cannot imagine my life otherwise.

Afreen stands as a role model for many girls in her community. Over past couple of months, she convinced families of three of her friends to join MANTRA’s Target* program.
What started as a program to create a pool of effective teachers for our students in the under-privileged community has today turned into a skill-building and empowering experience for the youth in the community..!

* Target: Target stands for Talent recognition, engagement and training Program. It is a community-based, pre-service teacher training & development program.

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