Dreaming of Education – Ejaz’s Story
By Adnan Raja
This story is part of a special series highlighting the experiences of Pakistani children and women who were affected by the devastating 2010 monsoon floods that struck Pakistan one year ago.
Karampur Village, Kashmore District, Sindh Province: Filmed by twice Academy Award-nominated documentary film maker, James Longley, this short film tells the poignant story of Ejaz Najum, a 12-year-old boy, who was living in Karampur, Kashmore district in northern Sindh, when the floods ravaged his entire village and surrounding communities in late July 2010. Across the country, the floods devastated rural areas, communities, schools, health facilities and basic social services, from the Himalayas to the Arabian Sea.
Having lost their home and all their belongings, Ejaz and his family were left with no choice but to move to the Selani relief camp in Sukkur City. Life at the camp was extremely difficult. But they were at least able to receive shelter, basic healthcare and nutrition, safe drinking water and sanitation services. Ejaz continued his education at a UNICEF-supported Temporary Learning Centre in Selani camp. While at the NGO-run camp, Ejaz and his family were blessed with a new sister, a singular source of joy for Ejaz during this difficult period.
Longley returned to Karampur in July 2011 to see Ejaz and his family again. He found the situation remains bleak for them. Yet Ejaz maintains hope in the face of daunting challenges ahead. Ejaz and his two brothers, Israar (14) and Insaaf (9), are back attending school. “I will study and then I will build schools…education changes everything,” Ijaz says. “I want Pakistan to be the best country.”
Among the poorest of the poor, 12-year-old Ejaz’s story is one similarly experienced by over 3.9 million children severely affected by the floods that struck Pakistan from July to September 2010. The total number of people directly affected by the floods was estimated at more than 18 million with over 2,000 casualties. One year later, the situation remains critical for millions, who are still struggling to rebuild their devastated livelihoods and communities.
UNICEF is committed to improving the lives of the millions of flood-affected children and their families, especially the most vulnerable, on their long journey of recovery and hope.