A Life Meant for Learning

To say that Dr Zulie Nakhooda has led an unusual life would be an understatement. In her first 35 years, she studied, got married, and then completed her MA and PhD. It was Nakhooda’s father who made her husband’s family promise that they would let her continue with her education, at a time when girls were simply married off early.

Pioneering Change Through Sponsorship

In 1950, she went to the USA to get her diploma in Social Service Administration from Denver University. After the training, she went to Geneva for a meeting with the International Union for Child Welfare, who were keen on starting a service for Indian children. Since at that time there was no free or compulsory education, many children of poor families were sent to work by their parents. A child sponsorship program would not just mean donation of funds, but identifying deserving children and supporting them through international donors providing the financial assistance for school fees, books, uniforms, and other such items.

Becoming ‘Ammi’ to a Thousand Children

Thus, Nakhooda founded the ISC in 1967 and pioneered the program, linking it with a network of global agencies and support services. As the program grew from supporting 12 to more than 1,000 children, it became her mission to empower disadvantaged children, and she provided scholarships to encourage them to attend school, helping them rise above the vicious circle of poverty.

A Legacy of Compassion

In 1967, ISC initiated a campaign for the right to education for children, and started providing their families with socio-economic support. Since then, ISC has honored Zulie’s legacy with several innovative programs for education, gender awareness, skill development and most importantly, for creating a family away from family for underprivileged children.
“What is life for, after all, if not for happiness that comes only from humanity?”

– Dr Zulie Nakhooda

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