A proud Pakistani is taking part in the New York City Marathon on Sunday in a bid to fund a Citizen’s Foundation (TCF)-run school for an entire academic year.
“With your help, I’d like to run the New York Marathon to raise enough money to fund a TCF school in need for an entire academic year. This will enable almost 200 children to be able to continue their education,” Hamna Zubair appealed on the fundraiser site Indiegogo.
The New York City Marathon 2015 prize purse totals a guaranteed $705,000, with potential time bonuses. The men’s and women’s champions will each receive $100,000.
Zubair, a former The Express Tribune staffer and currently employed with Dawn’s Images, has been training for the gruelling 26 mile run for the past six months with the aim of securing funding for a primary school located in the community of Saleh Muhammad Goth, Bin Qasim Town, Karachi.
Speaking about the school, she said, “Next year the school’s enrollment is expected to surge from 176 students to 194, all of whom will benefit from this donation. The campus has a female enrollment of 47%. This demonstrates the high level of importance given to female education by the community.”
Further, she explained that The Citizen’s Foundation was one of Pakistan’s leading non-profit organisations in the field of formal education. “As of 2015, TCF has established 1060 purpose-built school units nationwide with an enrollment of 165,000 students. TCF is recognised internationally, with chapters across the globe.”
Zubair credits her late father for inspiring her to both run and work for education. “If you are what you repeatedly do then it’s certainly true my father was a runner. In fact I can’t remember a time when my father, Zarrar Rahim Zubair, didn’t run, just as I can’t remember when his running ceased to be a habit all his own and seeped into my consciousness, impressing on me the importance of quiet discipline and persistence, signifying a commitment to something indefinably good and wholesome.”
Similarly, she wrote that education was just as important a part of her family. “My father spent over 30 years imparting management skills to fresh graduates and mid-career professionals as director of the Pakistan Institute of Management, and most recently was the president of the Textile Institute of Pakistan.”
“My mother has also worked in the education sector all for over 35 years. For us, going to school was a family affair,” she added.
Sadly, Zubair lost her father a year ago to a cardiac arrest. “In the terrible months that followed I did mostly nothing. In fact I only vaguely recollect registering for the New York Marathon, so it was a surprise to me when I was selected to run.”
However, once selected she did not look back. “I decided I’d run the marathon and try, in some small way, to contribute to education in Pakistan. My intention is to combine two of my father’s great loves: running and education… and to use one to further the other.”
She has appealed to everyone to donate to her cause in the memory of someone they love. “Every little bit helps, whether it’s $5 or $500! Please spread the word, tell your family and friends! Every dollar donated will motivate me to take that extra step towards the finish line – I’m counting on your support!”