For the 19-year-old Nadeem Hussain, who belongs to a slum area near Karachi, doing his bachelor’s in Computer Sciences from the Institute for Business Administration was like a dream coming true. Similarly, Saqib Shaukat could not have imagined studying at Aitchison College in Lahore. The 13-year-old TCF student from Bhai Pheru, is studying at the prestigious institution on a scholarship.
Both studied at The Citizens Foundation (TCF), established in 1995, a network of schools for underprivileged children which is supported by a network of volunteers.
The non-profit organisation has established 770 purpose-built school units across the country with an enrollment of 102,000.
Around 50% of these students are females. It has also provided 7,000 jobs to women in communities where it operates as TCF only hires female teachers. The efforts of this organisation are also bearing fruit as was evident in the 2010-2011 Matriculation result in which 84% of the TCF students attained first division scoring A+, A and B grades. More than 70% of students in TCF students pursued education at Intermediate level.
Referring to a recent fundraising event–’Ladies only tea party’–Vice President TCF Asma Khan said the raffle prizes were generous donations by supporters including a painting from Nomad Art Gallery. Khan said the funds raised through the event would help reduce the annual education cost of education a child which is only Rs10,000. Many ambassadors’ wives attended the event in which Sohail Jehnagir sung selected ghazals by Jagjit Singh.
“These contributions are a big a motivation for us, they not only help us in raising funds for the underprivileged children but also serve as a medium for raising awareness for education,” said Khan.
While taking to The Express Tribune, she said that all TCF fundraisers support a cultural cause and various artists have helped the school in this regard. Shabana Azmi and Naseeuruddin Shah from Indian have also performed at its events and the noted historian William Dalrymple also lend his services for TCF schools.
The next fundraising event is going to be a concert by Zeb and Haniya which is going to be held in December this year.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 12th, 2011.