The story of Shabina Mustafa’s life is truly as inspirational as the school itself. She had a happy carefree childhood being the youngest among five siblings. She moved to Karachi after her marriage to Flight Lieutenant Syed Safi Mustafa who was martyred only after one year of his marriage with Shabina in 1971. Widowed at the young age of 21 with her infant son, her life practically began from that point onward.
During all the hardships and challenges of being a single parent, her resolve to impact lives of the less fortunate grew even stronger. Juggling between her job and taking care of her son she never forgot the dream of her late husband, who often talked about opening a school for the underprivileged. In 1999 when her maid’s daughter was denied admission to a school, she created a small space in her garage and started teaching children of similar background. In no time the entire garage was taken up by children from low income areas eager to learn, and The Garage School was born.
Shabina believes in a holistic approach towards education. The students of TGS students are given free meals every day, ration for their families and comprehensive health care including surgery.
“My eventual mission is to create a complete community center including school, vocational training, health care, daycare for working mothers and anything a community needs to be self sufficient” – Shabina Mustafa
Every Ramzan there is a ration drive including gifts and new clothes for all students. The school also has adult literacy and vocational training programs for the locals and serves as a community center for the area.
For Shabina Mustafa education is the most essential per-requisite for our country’s development and her five finger formula of schooling for poverty alleviation and growth “Taur (Training), Tareeqa (Approach), Tarbiat (Grooming), Taleem (Education) and Tarraqi (Progress) further emphasizes her mission.
“My basic aim is not just to give them education but to make sure they stand on their feet. I want to groom my students into becoming successful; more importantly I want to them to become responsible and constructive human beings.” – Shabina Mustafa