Pehli Kiran literally means “the first ray of light”

The Pehli Kiran Schools began with a single young child who was selling “paapars” on the streets of Islamabad. He told PKSS founder Sabira Qureshi that while he would love to be in school, he needed to support himself and his family.

Upon seeing that this child represented so many other impoverished children who are stuck in a cycle of poverty, Sabira decided to act. The conversation inspired her to follow her vision that all children, particularly the most underserved, need and deserve an education. That was how the first ‘open air’ school was started under the shade of a tree in the posh F-10 sector of Islamabad, where a small group of 10 street children from neighboring “katchi abadis” (informal settlements) began attending regular classes. Today, the Pehli Kiran Schools provide quality primary education (Pre K – 5th Grade) to over 1800 children every year, through a network of 8 non-formal community based schools.

Although founded in 1996, the Pehli Kiran Schools were registered under the JAQ trust in 2000 in loving memory of the late Jamshed Akhtar Qureshi who strongly believed that PKS could change the future of Pakistan’s most vulnerable children.

PKS was officially incorporated as a 501(c)3 in the United States in February 2015.