Bringing joy to children with storytelling

Stories are powerful. We all love listening to stories. They cultivate feelings of empathy and compassion and help us connect with people, cultures and emotions. Stories also serve as a gateway for character-building and socio-emotional learning, especially for children. One of the key ways in which TCF is engaging its students amid school closures is by featuring a compelling storytelling session as part of its Distance Learning and Support TV Programme, Ilm Ka Aangan (The Learning Courtyard).

The programme airs every week on PTV Teleschool and three other TV channels, and every episode includes an exciting new story in a segment called Suno Kahani. In the segment, our dedicated volunteer and one of the finest actors of Pakistan television, Sania Saeed, also known as Kahani Aunty in the show, uses her storytelling prowess and experience and reads out these short stories to engage and delight our young listeners.

These stories have been carefully designed by TCF to cultivate literacy and socio-emotional skills in children. For example, the story ‘Kia Mai Banoon?’ (What should I become?) is about a little girl Alizeh, who has many dreams and struggles to choose one. As the story unfolds, it provides children with a much-needed reminder that their dreams are limitless and they can be anything they want to be. TCF has also partnered with Deaf Reach Pakistan to feature a sign language interpreter in the programme.

We hope that our stories bring joy to millions of children living in poverty and brighten their lives during these difficult times.

TCF Continues Education During School Closures

The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in the official suspension of face-to-face classes at all TCF Schools across Pakistan. TCF operates schools in the poorest and most vulnerable communities of the country. We understand that our students have little or no access to digital resources such as computers or internet. Therefore, we are trying to stay connected with more than 266,000 students and their families through a variety of viable distance learning methods. These include:

TCF Tele-School Initiative

We have collaborated with the Federal Ministry of Education in Pakistan and PTV Teleschool, to produce a TV show for children by the name of “Ilm Ka Aangan

The programme is structured around an ECE (early childhood education) model that TCF follows in its classrooms. Each episode contains theme-based videos, activities, a storytelling session by renowned actor Sania Saeed, a physical exercise segment and much more. You can also watch these episodes on our YouTube channel.

Edutainment Magazine

The TCF team is also putting together 2 editions of its edutainment magazine “Ilm ka Aangan” for Primary and Secondary students. These magazines include activities that aim to develop students’ literacy, numeracy and socioemotional skills. Concepts related to digital literacy are also being included in the secondary level edition.

Every two weeks, TCF students collect new copies of the magazine from their schools and drop off the completed ones for teachers’ feedback. A total of 10 issues are being planned from now till September 2020.

All these efforts have been made possible because of your generosity and support to TCF. Thank you for standing by us in these uncertain times.

Thank you for giving generously to TCF’s COVID-19 Response Appeal!

Dear TCF Family,

Thank you for your overwhelming response to TCF’s COVID-19 Response Appeal.

Launched in April 2020 to battle the devastating impact of COVID-19, the appeal has raised in excess of PKR 250 million from supporters across the world so far. These funds have enabled our committed volunteers and staff members to provide timely and essential relief to more than 45,000 households in 250 vulnerable communities all over Pakistan. Thousands more are being helped every day. We are also providing 20,000 urgently needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits to medical facilities nationwide. Your support has also helped us in our efforts to engage and continue the learning process of TCF students and millions of other children through ‘Ilm ka Aangan’ – our ground-breaking edutainment-focused TV programme and magazine.

Your generosity has made this critical and timely response to an unprecedented crisis possible.

TCF Community Offers Support with Donations of PPE

We are humbled to share that in the past three weeks, TCF has successfully delivered 4,980 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits to 3 hospitals across Pakistan which include: Indus Hospital (Muzaffargarh), Lady Reading Hospital (Peshawar) and Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences (Jamshoro).

“TCF’s donation of PPEs of 1,200 kits will help us immensely in coping with the corona crises in South Punjab,” says Dr. Irfan Javaid, Head of Campus, Recep Tayyip Erdogan Hospital, managed by The Indus Hospital while appreciating the support.

As we continue to deliver more support, we would like to send our prayers to all our frontline fighters – doctors, nurses, clinical staff and healthcare volunteers who are continuing their brave work to care for COVID-19 patients across the country, risking their own lives to save others.

Mushtaq K. Chhapra talks to VCast Online about the power of education

In an interview with VCast Online, TCF’s Co-Founder and Director, Mr. Mushtaq K. Chhapra talks about the power of education in bringing about positive social change. Today, 40,000+ TCF alumni are serving as a force of change in their communities – leading TCF’s COVID-19 response efforts on the frontlines and delivering relief to those who have been affected by this crisis.
For the past 25 years, you have supported the education of these young men and women and helped them transform into agents of positive change. Please keep up your support and match their efforts so they can continue to serve their communities, especially during this difficult time.

Relief efforts reach out to 26,000 families in 108 communities

Your Zakat, Sadqah and donations to TCF’s COVID-19 Response Appeal are reaching those in urgent need of support. We are humbled to share that your generous contribution so far has helped us put food on the table and provide relief to 26,000 families across 108 communities of Pakistan.

Zeenat rises to the challenge

In Bhai Pheru, a small industrial area in Kasur District, Punjab, all factories were at a standstill. Thousands of factory workers after having lost their daily earnings amid the coronavirus outbreak were at home, struggling to survive. Amid this situation, Zeenat Ahmad, daughter of a security guard at one of the local factories – once a TCF student, and now a teacher – stepped up to help!

Ali Rehman Khan’s star-studded virtual birthday in support of TCF

Ali Rehman Khan, Pakistani Actor and TCF’s Goodwill Ambassador dedicated his birthday this year to TCF’s COVID-19 Response Appeal! A star-studded virtual celebration, which included Hareem Farooq, Adnan Siddiqui, Marina Khan, Faisal Kapadia, Anoushey Ashraf, Ayesha Omar, Khalid Malik and Nomi Ansari, took place on 5th May, just a few hours before midnight!

The late-night live session was filled with interesting light-hearted conversations where celebrities talked about everything from their work and lifestyle to their lockdown routines. The conversation then moved on to TCF’s education and COVID-19 efforts, which were widely applauded by all the stars! Ali Rehman shed some light on TCF’s COVID-19 relief efforts and shared how support is going to the most remote areas of Pakistan, where TCF has strong networks. Finally, he appealed to everyone watching the celebration live to support TCF and help poor families suffering amid COVID-19!

The celebration ended on a high note as Ali cut his cake and the party sang a birthday song for him! He thanked everyone for joining in and supporting TCF.

Relief Update: Together we’ve made this possible!

With your support to TCF’s COVID-19 Response Appeal, we have reached out to 14,000 households in 42 communities across Pakistan! Please watch our relief update video to see the impact of your Zakat and donations.

A Letter from Surbandar

We had driven about half an hour outside of Gwadar, Balochistan, when we entered Surbandar. As my team and I slowly made our way through the slum’s small shacks, constructed out of old barks, fabric, and other scavenged material, empty eyes stared at us in wonder. We stopped in front of one of the shacks, and sought permission to enter.

The home belonged to a widowed woman, Razia whose son, Sameer, is a Grade 9 student at the TCF School in Surbandar. Until recently, after school, Sameer had a part-time job dispensing fuel at a highway gas station to bring some money home. But with the coronavirus lockdown, he lost this job. As I settled in and explained the reason for my visit to Sameer’s mother – to collect information and help TCF’s school communities survive the lockdown – Razia immediately broke down in tears.

Holding onto hope in Ramzan Kareem! ?

As the sun set behind the glorious mountains of Kingran, Muzaffarabad, both Khizra and Adnan, students of class 3 and 4 respectively, at the TCF School, Happy Hearts Campus, gathered around the radio set with their family. Anxiety filled up their hearts as they waited for news of the Ramzan moon sighting. The beginning of this blessed month had never been this uncertain for them.

Every year, as soon as the announcement for Ramzan was made, Khizra and Adnan would hustle about to begin preparations for selling samosas and pakoras (traditional fried snacks) at their little shop in the neighbourhood over the next month.

A Letter from Shaidu

When Khyber Medical University in Peshawar announced the closure of its campus and dorms due to the coronavirus outbreak, I packed my bags to return home. I said goodbye to my friends and teachers and walked across the road to catch a bus that would take me home to my village — Shaidu.

Sania Saeed urges you to support TCF COVID-19 Response Appeal

Renowned actor Sania Saeed is supporting TCF’s COVID-19 Response Appeal and urges you to do the same! Your Zakat, Sadqah and donations will help impacted communities and frontline healthcare workers.

Zia Akhtar Abbas, EVP of TCF talks about the COVID-19 Appeal on Zara Hat Kay

Zia Akhter Abbas, Executive Vice President of TCF talks about TCF’s COVID-19 Response Appeal on the show Zara Hat Kay on DawnNews

Ilm Ka Aangan, every Tuesday at 10:45 a.m. on PTV Teleschool

We are extremely excited to share that TCF is producing and presenting a 45-minute colourful and engaging show for kids by the name of “Ilm Ka Aangan” (The Learning Courtyard). The show will be aired every Tuesday at 10:45 a.m. PKT on PTV Teleschool – a dedicated TV channel for virtual learning launched by the Ministry of Federal Education Pakistan.

This programme is structured around early childhood education that TCF follows in its classrooms nationwide. Successive episodes will engage children through theme-based videos, activities, storytelling sessions by renowned actor Sania Saeed, physical exercise segments and much more.

TCF is proud to be a part of this effort being made by the Government to facilitate continuity of learning amid school closures. You can view the episodes on YouTube after they air on TV.

4,942 Families Lit Their Stoves Again

Pipri, a small village near Gambat in Sindh, lies by the side of a major highway. Life is difficult for the dwellers of Pipri and most of them have to resort to begging to survive. Before the Coronavirus outbreak, their mornings would take them to the nearby bus terminals on the highway, seeking alms from travellers. When the Government of Pakistan announced closures of all motorways and highways to suspend the country’s transportation network, they were faced with hunger and starvation.

The staff at our TCF School in Gambat identified this community for urgent assistance. Our principal, Ms. Rabail went door to door along with her team to identify 300 families in Pipri village who had eaten little or nothing for days. She collected their details for TCF’s COVID-19 Response team at the Head Office to mobilize support. Within a few days, in collaboration with JazzCash, TCF carried out successful cash transfers of Rs. 2,500 to each of these families. Representatives of the families collected their cash transfers and bought rations from stores in nearby Gambat and after many days, lit their wood stoves to cook.

Mr. Mushtaq Chhapra talks about TCF’s COVID-19 Response

TCF’s Co-Founder, Mr. Mushtaq Chhapra shares how TCF is leveraging its wide network of teachers, principals and alumni to provide economic relief to impacted communities and support to frontline healthcare workers amid the coronavirus crisis.

Asia is on the Frontline!

Donning her protective gear every morning, Asia Ashfaq musters strength for a hectic day ahead. She is a technologist at the Tehsil Head Quarter Hospital in Kamoki, Punjab. Like millions of doctors and health workers worldwide, Asia is also serving at the frontline to defeat coronavirus or COVID-19, while risking her own life.

“It is a difficult time for all of us. But we should not lose hope and do what is necessary; that includes practising social distancing and staying home for the safety of our loved ones,” says Asia.

Rations Distribution in Rehri Goth

On April 5 at 2 a.m., TCF Alumni led a team of 60 volunteers in the fishing community of Rehri Goth to distribute ration bags to 506 families in the area, who were suffering since the coronavirus lockdown.

Cash Transfers in Ibrahim Goth

Riaz Kamlani, EVP at TCF takes us through TCF’s first relief efforts in the slum area of Ibrahim Goth under its COVID-19 Response.

The Tough Get Going

TCF commenced it first school in Ibrahim Goth, one of Karachi’s largest slums, 23 years ago. Entrenched in poverty and deprivation, this community is home to hundreds and thousands of daily-wage earners, who barely make enough to feed their families for the day. It was therefore fitting that TCF should kick off its relief efforts in response to the COVID-19 crisis from this community. When the coronavirus lockdown was enforced, many faced the risk of being unable to provide for their families, until the TCF alumni of the community stepped up to help.

The Night Mission

Around 2 am on April 5, in the dark of the night, TCF alumni Mairaj Sheikh and Mansoor Ahmed led their community-based volunteer team of 60 members on a special mission. Most of them were former students of TCF like themselves. Their mission: distribute ration bags in the fishing community of Rehri Goth on the coastal belt of Karachi.

TCF leverages it current nationwide network to fight against COVID-19

Isfandyar Inayat, General Manager at TCF talks about TCF’s COVID-19 Response Appeal on SAMAA TV. Watch to learn how we are leveraging our national network of teachers and alumni to provide economic relief to impacted communities and support to frontline healthcare workers in the wake of this crisis.

Webinar: Learning without Schools? Education, Relief, and Government Partnerships during COVID-19

In this live webinar, TCF shared how it is partnering with the government to educate children at home without internet access. to launch children’s media on state television and to deliver relief, leveraging its network of infrastructure, transportation, alumni, and all-female faculty in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Panelists included Susannah Hares (Center for Global Development), Mushtaq Chhapra (TCF Co-Founder), Riaz Kamlani (TCF EVP), Paul Skidmore (Rising Academy Network). Moderated by Shashi Buluswar (UC Berkeley, Institute for Transformative Technologies)

TCF launches a Rs. 500 Million COVID-19 Response Appeal to fight the crisis

Join TCF in the fight against COVID-19

The Citizens Foundation (TCF) has launched a Rs. 500 Million COVID-19 Response Appeal to battle the devastating impact of the Coronavirus crisis in Pakistan. The organization will be dedicating 20% of all Zakat, Sadqah and donations received during this crisis towards providing essential relief to impacted communities and support to frontline healthcare professionals and volunteers, who need help urgently.