Help TCF Rekindle Hope in these Dark Times

With your contribution to the TCF COVID-19 Response Appeal we will:

Provide relief to families facing extreme economic hardship. With thousands of TCF teachers and alumni guiding this effort in the most vulnerable communities, your support will reach those who need it the most.

Support frontline healthcare professionals and volunteers with the equipment, testing kits and protective gear they urgently need.

Ensure continuity of the learning process for millions of children who are currently forced to stay out of school.

TCF is committed to ensuring that the schools you have nurtured for 25 years are sustained through this unprecedented crisis. As the blessed month of Ramzan approaches, please give your Sadqah and Zakat to help make this possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the TCF COVID-19 Response Appeal?

The coronavirus pandemic is a global crisis unlike any we have witnessed before. As governments act to minimize the loss of life, we are also beginning to realize the social and economic impact of this crisis, particularly on the most vulnerable members of our global community. Lockdowns and other restrictions on routine commerce and mobility have left millions of daily-wage workers and micro entrepreneurs bereft of income or even a clear vision of their livelihood in the future.

This impact is felt most acutely in the communities we call home and, as in the past, we are committed to being there when they need us the most. TCF is therefore launching a £2.5 Million COVID-19 Response Appeal. With contributions to the TCF COVID-19 Response Appeal:

  • We will provide relief to families facing extreme economic hardship. With thousands of TCF teachers and alumni guiding this effort in the most vulnerable communities, your support will reach those who need it the most.
  • We will support frontline healthcare professionals and volunteers with the protective gear they urgently need.
  • We will ensure continuity of the learning process for millions of children who are currently forced to stay out of school.
How is TCF likely to be impacted by this crisis?

The COVID-19 crisis will stress TCF’s financial sustainability in an unprecedented manner. More than 60% of TCF’s donation revenue is received in the four months between March and June. We are apprehensive that donors may prioritize other causes over the sustainability of TCF’s program during this crisis. To exacerbate this impact, we are witnessing a massive deterioration in the incomes of the families who send their children to TCF schools. 14% of TCF’s overall income comes from the nominal fees paid by our students’ families and in the current crisis, we expect this critical income stream to be severely impacted.

TCF currently has a team of more than 18,000 staff members, most of whom are our teachers and school support staff. Their salaries account for around 62% of the organization’s monthly expenses and in this difficult situation, we simply must pay these salaries in full and on time. We are relying on the generosity of our supporters to help us ensure this.

Given the stress on financial sustainability, why has TCF decided to take it upon itself to be involved in COVID-19 relief efforts?

Through its programs, TCF has deep roots in vulnerable communities across Pakistan, and is directly connected to the lives of more than 266,000 students and their families; 12,500 teachers and principals; 40,000 alumni; and 120,000 adult literacy learners. These are our communities and, as in the past, we are committed to being there when they need us the most. We were active in providing relief and rehabilitation during the massive earthquake in northern Pakistan in 2005 as well as the floods in 2010. This crisis is bigger than all those situations and we believe that our sincerity of intent and effectiveness in reaching the most needy, will help us raise the funds necessary to sustain our core program as well as provide relief to affected communities.

How will TCF ensure that the donation is being disbursed to the right person?

As a first step, we are relying on an in-depth survey of all our TCF school communities (conducted in 2018) to ascertain communities with the highest incidence of poverty and financial need. The communities shortlisted through this process are further filtered through a detailed review by our senior Regional Management. Within these selected high-need communities, the focus of our relief efforts is on families depending on a daily income which has been severely restricted because of the lockdown currently in effect. We are leveraging our large network of alumni and local faculty living in these communities to identify such families facing hardship and obtain the data we require to provide relief to these families.

What will be TCF’s approach to providing relief and why has TCF chosen this approach?

Wherever possible, TCF will provide beneficiaries with financial support in the form of electronic cash transfers using mobile telecom networks. We have partnered with JazzCash to make this possible. Since grocery shops are still open in all localities and these shops typically serve as agent locations for mobile-enabled financial transactions, we have been able to implement the approach above without increasing the risk of COVID-19 infection or the risk of leakage due to cash handling by intermediaries. In the process, we have also made the attempt to have the beneficiaries’ mobile wallet accounts opened so that future transactions can become easier and the household benefits from financial inclusion as a whole. Using cash transfers instead of physical rations also helps sustain local shopkeepers and micro-entrepreneurs in the community. Where cash transfers are not possible (e.g. beneficiaries do not have CNICs or the mobile-enabled payments penetration is low), we are partnering with other nonprofits (such as Karachi Relief Trust) to distribute physical rations in communities.

Why is TCF distributing cash as opposed to providing food rations in these communities?

Our research on the use of unconditional cash disbursement as part of global relief efforts in the past suggests that families spend this cash wisely, especially in times of crisis. In fact, when organizations provide in-kind support, it frequently costs more to deliver that support than it would to distribute cash, and for the same or even a lesser impact.

Here are some relevant studies

How much support is TCF providing to each family and how many families will be benefitting from this relief effort?

Based on our estimates, a family living in a typical TCF school community can sustain itself for two weeks on rations costing Rs. 1,945. We are therefore planning to make cash transfers of Rs. 2,000 – 2,500 on a fortnightly basis to support beneficiary households. If relief efforts account for 60% of the total £2.5 Million we are hoping to raise under the overall TCF COVID-19 Response Appeal, we should be able to help at least 60,000 families for 30 days each.

How do we keep ourselves updated with TCF’s COVID-19 response and its related activities?

TCF will continue to update its supporters through its website. Please find the link to our LIVE updates section here. So far, TCF has successfully executed cash transfers and ration distribution across 67 communities to support 18.485 households. By the end of phase 1, we expect to reach out to 32 communities in Sindh, 43 in Punjab, 3 in KPK and 11 in Balochistan.

Are contributions to this appeal Zakat eligible?

Yes. According to our Shariah Advisor, TCF is eligible to receive Zakat to provide relief to communities adversely impacted by COVID-19. You can view the certification in Urdu and in English (PDF).

There are reports that some charities are only providing relief to Muslim families. What about TCF’s COVID-19 relief efforts?

TCF will not discriminate between beneficiaries in our communities on the basis of caste or creed. This will be ensured while adhering to all requirements for use of Sadqah and Zakat funds, according to our Shariah Advisor.

Will TCF be allowing the use of its physical infrastructure for ration storage or distribution by other stakeholders?

We are working with a wide coalition of nonprofit and governmental partners to enable relief efforts wherever possible. While maintaining the safety and security of assets funded by our supporters in the past, we will work closely with trusted partners to leverage our physical facilities for the benefit of our communities.

Is TCF waiving the fees it charges from its students’ families during this crisis?

TCF’s fee collection policy has always been extremely sensitive to the family’s financial needs and is designed primarily to ensure a minimum level of student and family engagement in the educational process. Due to school closure, no fees are being collected at the moment and even when schools reopen, our Principals will continue to exercise the same sensitivity to the family’s prevailing financial condition. A broader decision on whether fees can be waived altogether will be taken in due course in line with TCF’s mission and track record of providing education to those who can least afford it.

Will TCF accept in kind donations?

Due to severe limitations on mobility as well as the countrywide spread of our program, we are unable to receive in-kind donations at the moment. However, the organization will direct all such offers to partner organizations in relevant areas who are able to manage and credibly distribute in-kind donations aimed at community relief.

What is TCF’s response in supporting frontline health care professionals and volunteers with the protective gear?

TCF has placed an order worth PKR. 6.8 million to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to frontline health workers and volunteers. The order makes 5000 kit includes:

  • Non-woven 60GSM coverall
  • N-95 Mask
  • Latex Gloves

TCF will distribute these PPE kits across the country to locations that urgently require them. The distribution strategy is as follows:

  • 1100 kits and 1000 coveralls to Reading Hospital in Peshawar, KPK
  • 500 kits and 520 coveralls to Gadap Isolation Center, Sindh
  • 1200 kits and 480 coveralls to Dr. Bikha Ram, Sindh,
  • 1200 kits to Indus Hospital in Muzaffargarh (Punjab)
  • 1000 kits to PPHI and doctors/paramedics in Baluchistan
How are you planning to ensure continuity of the learning process for marginalized children who are currently forced to stay out of school?

TCF’s Program Design team is currently working with the Government of Pakistan, large scale broadcasters, and international nonprofits who have previously dealt with such crises, to develop programs to engage millions of children who are currently not being able to attend school.

We have produced a colorful and engaging TV show for kids by the name of “Ilm ka Aangan” (The Learning Courtyard). The programme is structured around the early childhood education program that TCF follows in its classrooms. Ilm ka Aangan episodes engage children through theme-based videos, activities, storytelling session, physical exercise segments and much more. The show airs every Sunday at 11:00 a.m. on PTV Teleschool, 12:00 p.m. on Urdu1, 1:00 p.m. on TV One and 1:30 pm pm on Aaj TV. You can also watch these episodes on our YouTube channel.

TCF is also working on publishing a magazine to serve as a vehicle of continued learning for its students. The pilot test will run in the next few days with 15,000 magazines issued in areas across Pakistan.

Why is TCF relying on TV as the primary tool for its continued learning efforts

The Government of Pakistan has launched a national broadcast education channel to mitigate the loss faced by the students. This channel is being aired across the country from 8 AM to 6 PM and TCF has been provided a regular weekly slot in this broadcast. You can watch on YouTube.

Research from Gallup Pakistan indicates that 94% of Households in Pakistan own one or more TV sets. This is the segment TCF caters to and it makes us hopeful that the information will be accessible to most of TCF’s students as well as other students belonging to similar households. At this point, this is also the safest medium of instruction with no physical movement required outside of the house.


Updated 1 Jul 2020

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