I was born in Pakistan and my parents moved to West Yorkshire in 1968, Bradford when I was 6 months old. It was a time when following the partition of India and Pakistan my family had lost everything. The East India Trading company which was set up by the British Government were seeking migrant workers from South Asia and West Indies for reconstructing Britain after the 2nd World War. It was at that time that my father and uncles migrated to the UK to re-build our lives.
My father worked very hard to support our family in a new Country which was completely alien of culture and way of life. He ensured that all his children received good education and selected the best schools for us. I remember as a child growing up, I only met him few times a day, either very early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
Attending a predominantly white school, I did experience some bullying as the only Pakistani girl in the school. At the time I didn’t understand it was bullying because I didn’t identify myself as ‘the brown girl’. I used to think: “who are you calling brown?” But I was a strong minded young girl and I did not let anyone come in between me and my dreams.
From the age of 10, I already knew that I wanted to be a teacher. I used to play classroom and teachers role with my siblings. I even prepared reward charts and penalties if they did not complete their homework.
In 2004 I enrolled for an Undergraduate degree in Psychology at Abertay University. During my 2nd year I discovered the subject child psychology and was fascinated by it. I became a child practitioner for Rise & Shine childcare. I was also involved as a volunteer in a number of community work projects for about 8 years. My work revolved around supporting, recreational activities and providing education for women.
During this time I discovered my passion in education for women. I then completed my Postgraduate study in Community Learning & Development. Currently, I am working at DIWC and I absolutely love it. Growing up I witnessed how women struggled with domestic abuse, language barriers, isolation and not be able to achieve their dreams. I am glad to be a part of an organisation that help women grow and reach their potential.
Now, I am looking forward to the next stage of my children’s life. My eldest daughter is getting married in April and whilst it is really exciting I know I will miss her once she moves away.