September, 2008 UPDATE

Iqbal's Story continues to be discovered, continues to inspire!

It is Isabel from New Zealand again!!! I have a new class (very small) of student teachers and this morning I once again used the material about Iqbal Masih and Broad Meadows Middle School. I showed a video of child labour in Pakistan and we talked about issues related to this... The students in my class have been very motivated by your (School for Iqbal) work... Very often we teach about people "over there" but the students cannot (or do not) make real connections to their own lives. I hope to move my students away from merely recognizing social issues to some action they themselves can take to make a difference.

"When I read that your students decided to build a school in Pakistan in Iqbal's name, I admit that I had the same initial reaction you did - that it was probably not possible. It amazes me that your students used their initiative and actually did something to help. I am a 20 year old trainee teacher and your kids have opened my mind as to how people can actually make a difference if they try. I had gone over numerous ideas similar to your students (building a school, raising money for a family etc). I believed that all those ideas were too big for me and would not be possible, Thank you for showing me I can make a difference if try - that it is possible to make a difference. You all are an inspiration to many."


"It is an amazing achievement of your class setting themselves a goal, believing in themselves and finally successfully building a school In Pakistan. It has really impressed me that although you initially doubted it was possible, you supported them in every possible way and believed in them. That I think is one of the most important attributes of being a teacher. Your story and your class story shows that "miracles" can result. It is an excellent example of how important it is to believe in students' dreams and I'm sure your stories will have positive impacts for a long time all over the world. By your believing in your children's dreams, the children's dream for a school in Pakistan has become true."


"I was really inspired by the story about your class raising money and setting up up a school for children in Pakistan. To continue with the message Iqbal started and to honour his life in this way, shows how important one voice is. As a student teacher I want to create this kind of world with my students in the future. For freedom"


"Today I have read about the active students within your school and their quest to fight global child labour and other youth issues. How inspiring! Isn't it amazing that young people are receptive and respond to such acts of injustice. I hope that what you and your students are doing will spread throughout the world and more people become enlightened about the small steps they can take for social justice. Sometimes we take what we have for granted and forget how harsh reality can be for other parts of the world. Thank you for your inspiration."


"I am really filled with joy and pride after reading about your actions. You have helped so many people including (importantly) children to be aware of child labour. I hope to base my style of teaching to that of influencing children to make responsible decisions and take actions about important, authentic issues in their lives and the lives of others. I am sad that I have not had the honour of meeting Iqbal Masih, and yet he too has inspired me. Children are our most valued resource and should not be so cruelly wasted."


"We think that more children around the world need to be encouraged to "STAND UP" for what they believe in as your students in your classroom do. There needs to be a promotion around schools throughout the world about helping countries like Iqbal's to get more schools built. Children around the world could fundraise as a tribute to Iqbal's memory and to other children who have the same experience. We feel that all teachers must acknowledge their students' aspirations of helping others. Teachers must help their students to have a voice and to speak up for other human beings."

Erica and Hannah

Best wishes


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