Sister Zeph is a women’s education expert, empowerment and environmental leader, children’s rights activist, published writer, international speaker, and community leader committed to fostering interfaith harmony. She is also the Founder and Chairperson of Zephaniah Women Education and Empowerment Foundation (ZWEE), and Zeph Sunday Schools Ministry. For her work and dedication to uplifting the most disadvantaged communities, she has been awarded the Outstanding Performance award by Eternal Life Ministry of Pakistan International, and Bioneers Change Makers Award. Zeph won the Lynn Syms Global prize from the World Pulse, and the film Flight of the Falcons was produced to emphasize her life and work by Channel News Asia Singapore. The film won a gold medal from the New York film festival in 2016, She was awarded a Gold medal as a Book of Humanity from kar-E-Khair Pakistan in 2021 and an Excellent performance award from Victory Church of Pakistan in 2021.
Sister Zeph completed her two Masters degrees from the University of Punjab Pakistan. One in History and the second in political science
Sister Zeph is an alumnus of the Swedish Institute of Sweden, She completed her cross-cultural program by Ifa a project of the Federal Government of Germany, She is an alumnus of the network for religious and traditional peacemakers, and Inclusivity-Steering-Committee member at The Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers.
She has been a World Pulse Ambassador for the year 2019 and 2020, and ambassador for the World Literacy Foundation of Australia for the year 2021.
Sister Zeph is an alumnus of the Asian center for women’s studies EWHA women’s university of South Korea.
She has also been a world Pulse global change maker for the year 2016 to 2018.
In May-2022 Sister Zeph has become the first among Pakistani minorities to be a kaiciid graduate
(The King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue)
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
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
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
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.
Sister Zeph was awarded a Gold medal at an International Book Competition as a ” Living Book of Humanity” by Kar-E-Khair Pakistan
I was a very, very naughty child in my growing years. But I was also a leader at school – very sure of what I wanted to do. You see, I had plans of becoming a lawyer. I was thirteen when my first article on Women’s Rights appeared in a very famous newspaper in Pakistan, called Jung. I was always a dreamer and wanted to fly real high. My lifestyle, though, was a different one – though I had everything everyone else did, I always wanted to explore everything that was different.
My mother, like every mother in my country, used to tell me that one day, I would get married. This was what I was brought up on. I remember having always thought to myself, “No! God has not sent me in this world only to get married!” I was sure I had to do much more in life. My heart always told me that it wasn’t so.
As a child, I was very sensitive. In the course of my growing years, one incident changed my life forever – I left my school when I was in Grade Seven. What’s different about that? I decided never go back to that school again. I was so humiliated by what happened. One day while at school, I delivered a speech to my class, acting like a teacher. I was standing on the teacher’s chair. When our teacher came into class, she lost her temper andstarted beating me for my little tirade, in front of my classmates. She abused me and all the other girls made fun of me. I was just crying and crying, I was hurt mentally and psychologically. This was not the right way to teach a child who was just being a child.
In my state of mind then, I just surprised them all by leaving school then and there – and all at once, my life changed. All my dreams were over. While my parents tried to force me to join other schools, I stayed staunch and simply did not give in. But I never stopped studying. I started my own studies in the comfort of my home, privately. I taught myself – I never took any tuitions. Along with this, I decided to teach other girls – but with respect, love and care that I was not given in my school. I volunteered to have girls over – I started making home visits in my village. I made pamphlets to distribute among people. I told everyone that it will be free education. I walked even further, and went to tell people about my school in the nearby villages to convince them to send their girls. I told them that I would teach them English for free. I started visiting people with my mother on every Sunday, but no one was ready at first.
It was funny for the people around me – no one trusted me and no one was ready to join my school because I was just 13 years old. But I kept going simply because I did not want any child to experience what had happened to me. I decided that I would never use a stick in my school, and that I would make education interesting for the children.
In the beginning, there was only one student, I started it in open air. When I started, there was no pen, no notebook and I only had a few books. In the summer, we would sit under the sun, in winter we would sit under blankets made as tents. When it rains, we would have a leave from school. Our roof was the sky. Our limit was the sky.
At sixteen, I did my matriculation after training myself for it. I started a job as a receptionist in a telecom franchise, where I was being paid $15 a month. This was the amount I started using to buy stationery and other supplies for my school. Since then, I have continued working. I did my Master’s degree in Political science in 2010, and another Master’s degree in history in 2013. All this education, I continue to pursue without any institution’s help or the involvement of any teacher.
Up until now, I have taught thousands of girls and empowered even more along with teaching girls and myself and I have been working in a bigger organization for my students and for myself for 18 years. I have been the Administrator of the World Wide Women‘s Community Page, on Facebook for three year I am Women Education & Empowerment Activist , Writer, Speaker, Teacher, Entrepreneur. I write blogs for a few websites on women’s issues in my part of the world. I am still studying. I am learning journalism from World Pulse and World Wide Women. I produce theatrical info-dramas in my community to give them messages of peace and respect for women, and on the importance of education.
I have recently launched Zeph Institute of Brainy Women as a Social entrepreneur where not only more jobs are going to be produced but we will change more lives through education and skills.
My support system is my family, Malee Kenworthy from USA the development director of our organization and all my friends on social media, they give me support to carry on. Of course, my very kind and loving friends all over the world give me opportunities to explore options and ideas. In my part of the world, we need to work on improving education. It is just the beginning of my work.
Here in my part of the world, women have to suffer all their life. They are tortured mentally and physically. They are not given education. They are not empowered. Child marriage and honor killings continue to thrive, and needs to be put to an end. When I look at the condition and helplessness of many women around me, it gives me the spirit to go ahead, to never stop, and to just keep going. I know there is only one solution to all our problems: and that is education and awareness. I want every girl to be educated, empowered and protected, and for this I will keep working throughout my life.