and Achievements

Pakistani teacher Sister Zeph, who founded her own school for underprivileged children in the courtyard of her home at just 13, has been named the winner of the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2023, organised in collaboration with UNESCO and in strategic partnership with Dubai Cares, a UAE-based global philanthropic organisation. 




Sister Zeph’s win was announced on 8th November 2023, at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France.

Sister Zeph founded her own school in the courtyard of her home at just 13 for children whose parents cannot pay fees. She worked eight-hour days to fund the school, then taught students for another four hours, and then stayed up at night teaching herself. Twenty-six years later, the school, now housed in a brand-new building, provides free education for more than 200 underprivileged children. From a young age she faced adversity, and emerged as a beacon of hope for underprivileged children in her wider community. Many of her students from humble background have gone to work for her education and empowerment foundation while others have gone on to very successful professional careers.

As well as running the school, she runs self-defence classes for girls, having herself been attacked and threatened. She also provides financial assistance to families choosing between educating their children and paying their bills, and runs a vocational centre that has helped more than 6,000 women gain skills in ICT, textiles, and the English language.

Her dedication to education and empowerment has touched countless lives and earned her numerous awards, recognizing her as a true change-maker and advocate for women’s rights and children’s education around the world.

With the Global Teacher Prize funds, Sister Zeph plans to build a school on 10 acres where children from the poorest families in the country can be educated without discrimination. She would also like to create a shelter for orphans, where food would be grown on the property and teachers from all parts of the world would be invited to instruct them in a range of subjects. 

“Teaching is not just a profession; it’s a vocation, a calling to inspire, nurture, and empower the next generation. Let us work together to ensure that every child has the chance to learn, dream, and make a positive impact on our world.”

“This recognition is a reminder that when we work together, we can overcome the obstacles. It is a call to action, a call for us to redouble our efforts, and a call for the world to unite in our commitment to ensuring that every child, regardless of their background or circumstances, has access to a quality education.”

“I will use this platform to advocate for quality education, gender equality, and the empowerment of every child, especially those in marginalised communities. We must continue to innovate, collaborate, and invest in education to shape a brighter future for all.”

Sister Zeph
Global Teacher Prize Winner 2023

Excerpts from Sister Zeph’s acceptance speech, 8 November 2023

Other Awards

and Achievements

In April of 2023 Sister Zeph won Three medals; Gold, Silver, and Bronze for her community services, educational impact and overall impact from “Women Changing the World Awards” a global organization that recognizes women change-makers in the world based in Australia. 

The Book of Humanity Gold Medal Award, December 2021 

Sister Zeph was awarded a Gold medal at an International Book Competition as a ” Living Book of Humanity” by Kar-E-Khair Pakistan

Victory Church of Pakistan, December 2021 

We congratulate Sister Zeph on receiving an award from Victory Church of Pakistan in recognition of her excellent work to promote religious tolerance,her services as an educationist, women and children’s rights advocacy, as an environmental activist, international speaker and a humanitarian.

 Excellent Performance award 2018

Eternal life ministries of Pakistan international and Isaac TV awarded us with Excellent performance award for our services to educate and empower women in Pakistan since two decades



Bioneers Change maker Award 2015

Sister Zeph gave her first international speech at Bioneers Conference in USA with founder and CEO of World Pulse the Jensine Larsen where she was awarded Bioneers Chanage maker award

Lynn Syms Global Prize 2014

World Pulse had a partnership with sculptor and philanthropist Lynn Syms to announce the inaugural Lynn Syms Prize. In 2014, the prize is to award to an outstanding grassroots woman and visionary voice using digital tools to effect change and advance her community work