by Zainab Nasir
Farheen Effendi of Kanga Kids
What drives you?(What makes you so passionate about your work)
I believe that we need to invest in our children and give them the best start in life and the best education possible to allow them to succeed. What really drives me is seeing young children enthusiastic about learning and enjoying experiences that I plan for them. Nothing beats the smiles and eyes that light up when they learn something new.
Another thing that drives me is simply the need to learn more myself so I can pass that on when I am mentoring others.
How did you get here and how long have you been in this profession (or been doing what you do)?
I started teaching O level Biology as I had a Biology degree, but I found that I did not really enjoy teaching older children and started teaching the lower grades. I realised I had a passion for the younger children so proceeded to do a Montessori Diploma and then a degree in early childhood education, all whilst working full time running and managing large early childhood centres in Australia.
I have now been in this profession for 15 years and I love it.
What has been your vision and what do you most love about your work?
My vision is to be able to share my knowledge and help others who may need my expertise and experience. I want to improve early childhood education, especially in countries like Pakistan where we have issues with literacy and young children being sent to school.
I love being able to share what I have learnt with others as well as providing enriching experiences for young children. I also love to conduct workshops and teacher training sessions as I believe as an educator I should share my knowledge and experience with other teachers so the children they teach can benefit.
What do you think is your biggest achievement throughout your professional journey?
My biggest achievement was setting up my own early childhood education consultancy, Kanga Kids.
What are your current projects and what do you plan on doing in the near future?
I am an advisory board member of VLC, Karachi so I am always doing projects with them and conducting workshops and teacher training. Besides this I have a few start up preschools who I am doing consultancy work for.
In the near future I hope to be able to set up an early childhood centre of my own in Pakistan as well as a charity school where an education can be provided to young children free of cost.
A word of advice you would like to pass on to other women struggling with their start-ups?
Believe in yourself and your product. Don’t be afraid to seek help, starting up a business is always hard so it is good to connect with others who have done so and get their advice. It is hard, but once it is done and you have your own business it will all be worth it.
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