Citizens walk at Ilmathon 2020 in support of Education

Ilmathon, a walk for education, was hosted by Young Education Supporters (YES) to help raise support for The Citizens Foundation to educate the less privileged children in Pakistan. The event brought together more than 1,500 students, teachers, parents, and community members, who participated in the walk to show their support for education at Greenwich University on Sunday, 9 February, 2020.

Sponsored by Engro Foundation, Ilmathon 2020 was a celebration of 25 years of The Citizens Foundation’s mission to bring quality education to the less privileged children in Pakistan. The walk was followed by an exciting mela and performance by Kashmir – The Band and Ali Tariq. Citizens from all walks of life put their best foot forward and marched in support of education for the less privileged.

An approximated 22.8 million children – more than half of whom are girls – are out of school in Pakistan. TCF is a non-profit organization set up in 1995 by a group of citizens who wanted to bring about positive social change through education. 25 years later, TCF is now one of Pakistan’s leading organizations in the field of education for the less privileged, educating 252,000 students across 1,567 schools in Pakistan.

TCF and Islamabad United to work together for girls’ education

The Citizens Foundation (TCF), a Pakistani non-profit organization educating the less privileged, and Islamabad United (IU), a franchise of Pakistan Super League (PSL), signed a MoU, whereby the latter will provide goodwill support to TCF to create awareness for girls’ education.

Collaboration between The Citizens Foundation and Islamabad United will primarily center on furthering the cause of TCF to bring about positive social change through education and highlight the importance of girls’ education in Pakistan. Islamabad United will also engage its players and current ambassadors to visit TCF schools and highlight the cause of education at their various platforms.

On behalf of TCF, Mr. Mushtaq Chhapra, Co-Founder and Director of TCF signed the MoU while Mr. Ali Naqvi, owner of Islamabad United team signed the MoU on behalf of his organization.

On this occasion, Mr. Chhapra, said, “Islamabad United has been a longstanding supporter of TCF and this initiative will further help us bring education to more girls living in less privileged communities and give them a chance to build a better life. Education is the best chance we can give to our youth to become independent, self-sufficient and productive members of the society. All of us here at TCF are very excited about the game and our students are already praying for the team’s victory!”

Ali Naqvi, the owner of the franchise said, “We have always believed that our duty and responsibility to this country goes beyond our immediate work. TCF is one of the most admirable organizations in the country – the work they’ve done over the past two decades, the lives they’ve changed, is there for all to see. Our players have visited TCF Schools over the past couple of years and this has only emboldened our partnership. Their belief in youth empowerment and education is something that they share with us, and it’s something that we have tried to inculcate even in our players and staff. Thus, this is a natural fit for us and we feel proud to continue our association with TCF.”

On the occasion, Rumman Raees, Pakistani cricketer, said, “As a Pakistani I feel it is my duty to fight for Pakistan, both on the field and off the field. That is exactly what TCF does too. They fight for the most vulnerable Pakistanis and give them a better life. So I’m proud to be associated with them.”

TCF pays tribute to teachers at 14th Annual TCF Awards

The Citizens Foundation (TCF) held the final 14th Annual Awards ceremony to honor the year-long achievements and performance of its teachers and principals. Various award ceremonies were held in the major cities of Pakistan, with the final awards ceremony in Karachi. More than 2,000 teachers and principals of Karachi and interior Sindh along with the head office staff and senior management participated the event. The awards were presented by the CEO and other senior management to the teachers with the best competency this year.

The awards were presented to teachers for extraordinary performance this year in the following categories:

  1. Service and Attendance awards
  2. Teacher Competency awards
  3. Whole School Index (WSI) Awards – Performance on overall school KPIs
  4. Board / Matric awards

Awards were also presented to the students with exceptional performance in the matric board exams.

TCF is the largest private employer of women in the private sector with more than 12,000 female teachers and principals throughout the country-wide network of 1,567 school units in Pakistan, from Karachi to Kashmir. These teachers and principals are an integral part of TCF’s education movement who strive to provide quality education to more than 220,000 students every day, nurturing them become agents of positive change. These teachers take the journey of enlightenment every day to TCF schools in remotest areas, making quality education possible for the children in these less privileged communities.

“A good teacher can build a future of a child and change his/ her life forever. A good principal can run a school with discipline and empathy, guiding the teachers and students in the right direction. The success of TCF is, to a very extent, due to our teachers. All the principals and teachers are personally invested in the intellectuals, moral and spiritual development of their students. They take ownership of their students and nurture them as their own children. The improving results of our students and their success in professional life is a testament of the dedication of our teachers,” said CEO & President of TCF Syed Asaad Ayub Ahmad.

TCF understands that specialized principals’ and teachers’ training is a prerequisite for imparting quality education in all its schools. While teachers have a direct impact on students in classrooms, principals affect all students in the school. Our training team, therefore, aligns an extensive teacher and principal training programme every year. For teachers, the modules are designed based on their training needs assessment ranging from Classroom Management to Motivating Learners to Usage of Visual Aids. Principals on the other hand receive training for effective school leadership. Their training includes courses like Communication Skills, Conflict Management, Delegation, Prioritizing and Taking Action. The objective is to produce and sustain a positive learning environment that generates strong learning outcomes in classrooms, ensuring students’ academic success. For more engaged learning, TCF has also rolled out e-Learning AV rooms at different school locations. Teachers have been trained to utilize these AV rooms for their training and also to teach students in a more interactive.

TCF believes that good teachers are its greatest asset and will continue to invest in them for the best education outcomes. Teachers at TCF, with their ambition and commitment, enable the children to learn and understand this curriculum based on the learning needs of the children who represent different ethnic backgrounds.

KIPS Education System to facilitate TCF alumni in entry-test preparations

The Citizens Foundation and KIPS Education System sign an agreement to facilitate TCF alumni in entry-test preparations for tertiary education at a subsidized rate.

The Citizens Foundation (TCF) and KIPS, an academic institution that provides a complete career path to students, right from Pre-School to professional education, signed an agreement to help TCF students in pursuit of tertiary education prepare for university admission tests.

The agreement was signed by Asaad Ayub Ahmad – CEO, TCF and Abid Wazir Khan – CEO KIPS, during a ceremony held at Pearl Continental in Lahore. Under the agreement, KIPS will provide TCF graduates university entry-test preparatory classes at a discounted rate to help them secure admissions in their desired universities.

TCF has over 3,000+ students successfully completing their Matriculation every year whom TCF continues to support in their endeavour for higher education. The collaboration was forged to enable TCF graduates pursue tertiary education and promote quality education across the nation.

From Beggary to School

A decade ago, we visited a small home in the village of Salehpat, Sindh. There, on a charpoy (woven bed), sat a shy little girl in her TCF School uniform and her feeble old grandmother. Five-year-old Madiha had just been brought into school by her Principal, Madam Saima Memon, who had seen her begging alongside her grandmother in the busy marketplace.

Barefoot under the blazing sun, Madiha was wading through throngs of busy shoppers with a begging bowl in her hand when Ms. Saima saw her for the first time.

“She held out the palm of her hand,” Ms. Saima recalls with a bright smile. “I saw a strange gleam of hope in her eyes when she looked at me. I took her little hand in mine and asked, ‘Dhee (daughter), would you like to be in school instead?’ Her face lit up instantly!”

Fast forward 10 years, we met Madiha again! This time we saw her as a confident young girl who was preparing for her Board Exams. “She is the brightest student in the class, with 100% attendance,” her teacher said.

Madiha’s self-confidence was shining through. A little girl who was on the verge of losing her future to beggary was saved. “I want to end this social problem of beggary and do not want to see any boy or girl spending their childhood begging on the streets,” said Madiha, somberly.

On this International Children’s Day, we urge you to take responsibility for supporting one child’s education. With your Donations, Zakat or Sadqah, you can keep a child in school. Please join the movement to turn lives around through the power of education.

The Power of a Father’s Dream

It’s 7:00 am. Amjad, while sitting cross legged on the floor, in a small room of his home in Korangi, is having breakfast with his wife and six daughters, all clustered around the food mat. It’s time for an animated family chat before everyone sets off for a long day. Amjad is a rickshaw driver who drives along the winding roads of the city, looking for passengers all day, barely making ends meet. “Work is tough these days. It’s hard to tell how many passengers I may get in a day,” he says.

While Amjad strives to make a living wage, his daughters, on the other hand have begun to follow their dreams, carving their own paths to a better future. After studying from TCF Schools, three of Amjad’s daughters are pursuing their tertiary education in some of the best institutions of the country. The eldest one, Amina is enrolled in the Pharmacy Programme at the Dow University of Health Sciences; second in line, Armina, is studying in the BBA Programme at Szabist (Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology), while the third one, Muskan made it to IBA, a premier institute of the country to study Computer Science.

The younger three include Mansha who studies at the TCF College while Jaweria and Alisha still attend their TCF School as first and eighth graders.

Amjad with his daughter Muskan in their home in Korangi.

“What good would it do to educate your daughters? You should worry about their marriage and dowry instead.” Amjad recounts while sharing some hurtful comments that he is used to of hearing. Relentless in his pursuit to give his daughters the best education possible, Amjad pays little heed to them.

“I couldn’t complete my education, and it’s why I am still struggling to earn a living. But I don’t want the same for my daughters. They should have a firm standing in society,” says Amjad.

Muskan, who studies on a full scholarship at IBA, is absolutely proud of her father who remains as their pillar of strength. She can’t wait to complete her degree and support her parents financially.

“There came a time when we lost everything, including our home. That’s when I asked baba (father) to let me work and support the family. He instantly refused, reminding me that only education would change our lives so I must focus on that,” shares Muskan.

Amjad believes that better days are ahead. “I’m very proud of my daughters. I see them working so hard every day. I know that education will change their lives in many ways,” he reaffirms.

A Mother’s Prayer

The house is sparkling. There is not a speck of dust to be seen, I observe as Rabia, a student of TCF School, Chamankotli Campus in Muzaffarabad, quickly leads me into her small courtyard where her mother is waiting on a charpoy (woven bed).

After introducing myself, I sit down at the edge of the charpoy, while Rabia settles by her mother’s side. “I’m suffering from breast cancer,” Rabia’s mother, Sakeena, discloses matter-of-factly, with no hint of anxiety.

“As a result, a lot of responsibility has landed on to Rabia’s shoulders. Along with breeding livestock, she cleans the house, cooks for the family, and takes care of me. And after doing all this, she also goes to school in the afternoon.” She turns to look at Rabia with a proud smile.

Sakeena is in the final stages of cancer, the deadly cells having spread to her brain. The doctors have been preparing the family for her last days. “Look at Rabia’s report card,” she excitedly continues, grabbing it off Rabia’s hands and passing it down to me. “She always secures first position in her class. My daughter is very hard working.” She tells me.

As I flip through the report, I ask Sakeena what she wants Rabia and her other children to become in the future. “I want them to study hard,” she mutters, “I want my Rabia to become a doctor, but I know I won’t be here to see that.” Her eyes are shining bright with love when I look up to meet them.

Having spent a long morning completing chores,
Rabia is now headed to school.

Sakeena is in the final stages of cancer, the deadly cells having spread to her brain. The doctors have been preparing the family for her last days. “Look at Rabia’s report card,” she excitedly continues, grabbing it off Rabia’s hands and passing it down to me. “She always secures first position in her class. My daughter is very hard working.” She tells me.
As I flip through the report, I ask Sakeena what she wants Rabia and her other children to become in the future. “I want them to study hard,” she mutters, “I want my Rabia to become a doctor, but I know I won’t be here to see that.” Her eyes are shining bright with love when I look up to meet them.

The above account was shared by Ahmed Zakaria. Ahmed is a digital storyteller and a TCF volunteer.

A Nurse on Duty

In the twilight of dawn each day, Adnan wakes up to the incessant chirping of crickets. He puts on a crisp white uniform, and clips a badge onto its pocket labelled, Assistant Nurse, The Aga Khan Hospital. As he steps into the hospital’s red brick structure, moments before the chaos of the emergency room engulfs him, Adnan braces himself for the day that is yet to unfold, like a soldier preparing for battle.

“As a child, I always imagined myself in plain yellow Khakis, serving my country as a soldier,” he recounts. “But I tell myself now that there are more than one ways to serve. I chose this field because I have witnessed my loved ones struggling in times of emergencies because of the dearth of medical professionals. What disappoints me however, is the violence healthcare professionals in Pakistan face despite the hard work they put in.”

Adnan reporting to duty at the Aga Khan University Hospital,
Karachi

Back at home, sitting atop a charpoy beside Adnan is Nazira Bibi, his mother, beaming with pride. “When the kids were younger, it was a struggle to pay for the doctors’ fee and medicines. We often wished for one of our children to grow up and pursue the field of medicine,” she recalls.

15 years ago, Nazira Bibi and her husband, Mukhtar Ahmed, migrated to Karachi from a small village in Multan to build a better future for their children. But as they began settling into the city life, Mukhtar, a carpenter, struggled to provide for the family. To aid the meager family income, Nazira Bibi began stitching clothes at home. Adnan, who was seven years old then, was admitted to the TCF school close to their home in Ittehad Town, where many children in the neighborhood studied. Today, Adnan is a role model for the children in his community.

“There are two attributes that help you most during an emergency situation: focus and courage,” Adnan says. “I developed these attributes at my school. A strong base of education coupled with a culture of trust and empathy have helped me build the strength required for nursing.”

“If I get a chance, I would like to join the Pakistan Army as a military nurse to live my dream of serving in the army,” says Adnan as he breaks into a smile.

On the Spinning Wheel

As temperatures peak at midday, Aslam, a student of class 3 in the TCF School in Naushahro Feroze, Sindh, returns home. Without a moment’s delay, eight-year-old Aslam changes into his home attire before taking his place behind the spinning wheel. He then grabs a blob of wet clay and throws it onto the head of the spinning wheel – bending it skillfully between his finger joints. While doing this, he steadily kicks the wheel with his legs with enough force to keep it spinning in circular motions.

“Abu (father) taught me that the secret to good pottery is well-kneaded dough. What I create out of mere mud provides so much use, especially in keeping the water cool during the summer heat,” shares Aslam as he deftly moves his hands in upward motions to thin the walls of the pot. Using his thumb, he then hollows out the centre of the pot, carving a narrow rim.

“Pottery is a craft that was handed down to us by our ancestors. But today, it has become a means of survival for us,” says Abdul Latif, Aslam’s father, a man enfeebled by age. “As my health grew worse over the past few years, Aslam took over the responsibility of making the pots. Not only is he a high achiever in school, but because of him we are able to earn our bread.”

Eight-year-old Aslam deftly molds a pot into shape.

All of Abdul Latif’s children study at the TCF school except for Ashraf, the eldest one, who works at a dry cleaning shop in Karachi. “Ashraf had to drop out of school in fourth grade and sacrifice his dreams to support the family, but I want the rest of my children to study and have a good life, unlike ours,” says Aslam’s mother with a hint of sadness. “Aslam is a very obedient child who spends most of his time after school either in pottery or doing his homework,” she shares proudly.

For the next few hours as Aslam wipes off the small beads of sweat on his forehead, the molding and shaping continues until he has readied several pots for baking. Once enough pots are baked, his father travels to the nearby town of Moro to sell them for Rs. 50 each.

Aslam loves studying Math. “I enjoy practicing geometry the most because it involves a lot of shapes and figures,” he shares as he molds a delicate oil lamp.

He then adds shyly, “I dream to become an engineer when I grow up so I can develop my city.”

The Child Bride

As the sun came up in Jhangesar, a small fishing village in Sindh, anxiety started creeping up on ten-year-old Shaheen. The strong scent of rose and henna filled the air. In a few hours from now, her relatives would start arriving at their home. Shaheen’s parents have found her a husband who is a year younger than her; it is their Nikkah (marriage) today. Shaheen sits in a small room, amidst traditional song and dance, with a sinking heart. When the moment arrives, her grandfather recites some verses from the Noble Quran and solemnizes her Nikkah in the presence of two witnesses.

“It is not uncommon for girls in our village to be married at a very young age. It is a long-standing custom that often means end of education for them,” recounts Shaheen, who is 20 years old now. “Soon after my Nikkah, my relatives started persuading my father to arrange my Rukhsati so I could move in with my husband. My parents were about to give in to the pressure but I stood up for myself; I wanted to continue my studies and become a teacher,” she says.

Every year Shaheen’s parents would insist that she quit school. Each time her school began a new academic year, she was told it would be her last. That would have been true if it wasn’t for Shaheen’s tenacity and support from Ms. Farzana, her principal at the TCF School, who convinced Shaheen’s parents each time to let her stay a little longer.

Despite the opposition, Shaheen continued to work hard. When she aced her Board exams, it was Ms. Farzana who encouraged her to begin preparation for college and appear as a private candidate. “There was no college in our village, so she helped me study. She even paid my exam fees,” shares Shaheen.

Today, Shaheen is pursuing a Bachelors in Arts. Her marriage was formalized along the way and she now lives with her husband who is also a TCF school graduate and stands by her side to support her dreams. For the last three years, Shaheen has also been teaching at the same TCF school – helping other girls pursue their dreams.

“I want to be a pillar of support for my students just like Ms. Farzana was for me,” she says. “My struggle is not just for myself, but for all the girls in my community who have the right to learn and become what they want to be,” reaffirms Shaheen.

A Will Unshaken

“What is there to learn in a classroom? Most girls your age are married already. Instead of burying your head in books, you should be learning household chores.”

Throughout her childhood, Ms. Shaheen witnessed hurtful comments from her family and community. When she was just 10 years old, her parents arranged her Nikkah (marriage) ceremony. But this is not uncommon for young girls in Jhangesar – a small fishing village on the Indus Delta, where child marriage is the norm.

Soon after, people in her community began pressurizing her father, a fisherman, to arrange the wedding ceremony so that she can move into her in-laws’ house. Each time her school began a new academic year, Shaheen was told it would be her last. And that would have been true if it wasn’t for her stubborn refusal to give up her right to learn, and support from Ms. Farzana, the principal at the TCF school who convinced Shaheen’s parents each time to let her stay a little longer.

“Deep-rooted cultural factors discourage parents from letting their daughters continue their education; they give in to societal pressure, worrying about what the community will say,” shares Ms. Farzana, who has been serving as a principal in the school since 2004.

Amidst the pressure, it was Ms. Farzana’s constant support that gave Shaheen the strength to stay determined. When she aced her board exams, she began preparation for college and appeared as a private candidate since there is no college in their village.

Today, Shaheen is teaching at the same TCF school where she first started – helping other girls learn and stay in school, just like her principal once did for her. She is also preparing for university entrance exams.

Shaheen’s marriage was formalized along the way and she now lives with her husband – who is also a TCF graduate and stands firmly by her side to support her dreams.

“My struggle is not just for myself, but for all the girls in my community who have the right to learn and fulfill their dreams,” she says.

To our teachers; they deserve to be celebrated!

Happy Teachers’ Day!

TCF & LUMS sign an agreement to facilitate admissions of TCF Alumni in tertiary institutions

The Citizens Foundation and the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) Centre for Business & Society (CBS), which is a part of the Suleman Dawood School of Business (SDSB), signed an agreement to facilitate TCF Alumni in seeking admissions in undergraduate programmes.

Through education, research, and experiential learning at the grassroots level, CBS works with the broader community to develop novel and innovative solutions to complex social problems, and inculcates within its graduates a strong commitment to social responsibility. TCF and LUMS signed an agreement to facilitate the TCF Alumni in seeking admissions in undergraduate programs.

The agreement was signed by Riaz Kamlani, Executive Vice President of TCF and The Vice Chancellor of LUMS, Dr Arshad Ahmad, at the LUMS University, Lahore. The ceremony was attended by members of LUMS and the TCF management.

TCF and CBS LUMS have agreed to collaborate to facilitate the admission of meritorious TCF Alumni in tertiary institutions. This will ensure that maximum efforts are put in every year to help prepare a good number of meritorious TCF Alumni for admission in various undergraduate degree programmes, including LUMS.

The project entails setting up TCF Ambassadors at LUMS, a body of student volunteers under the supervision of the CBS team which will conduct information sessions and preparatory classes for the TCF students to prepare them for the tertiary universities including LUMS.

On this occasion, Riaz Kamlani, said, “Through collaborations like these, TCF Alumni can have a great exposure and can build a better future for themselves. Only by working together, we can resolve the educational crisis’. “I would like to thank LUMS for joining hands with us and furthering our mission to educate the children of Pakistan”, he added.

Regarding the collaboration, Dr. Alnoor Bhimani said, “Good education empowers good education. The TCF-CBS partnership opens up educational possibilities to those who lack access. In doing so, this allows for the cultivation of a learning environment where all key players not only benefit from each other, but also help each other grow in unprecedented ways.”

Approximately 23% of TCF Alumni is able to seek admissions at the tertiary institutions. This percentage will increase with the help of Alumni Development Program which is on field teaching initiative designed to help TCF alumni secure admission in the best universities in Pakistan and abroad. This collaboration will help TCF students get access to the universities and the preparation required in order to avail the admission in the under graduate programs.

Celebrating International Literacy Day

On this day, two years ago, TCF’s adult literacy programme, Aagahi, was awarded the UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy. It was an important acknowledgement of our efforts to help the women of Pakistan read and write.

To shine a light on how Aagahi is empowering our women and changing lives, we would like to share with you the story of Gulshan – one of our 93,000 learners, who has reaffirmed our belief in the power of literacy.

“As a little girl, I used to stare at the newspaper photos – curious about the letters and symbols written underneath them, wondering what they said. Then, I would eagerly wait for my brothers to return from school so they could read and explain it to me. One day, even my brother said to me: had you known how to read yourself, you wouldn’t be so dependent on others,” recalls twenty-five-year-old Gulshan, a resident of a small village in Kasur, Punjab.

To date, more than 93,000 Aagahi learners – living in urban slums and rural areas around TCF schools – have benefited from the programme.

Years later when Gulshan was married and had children, she visited a TCF school nearby her home for their admission. There she caught a glimpse of women – just like her – with books and pencils, reading something aloud. Gulshan was struck by their confidence.

When the principal at the school encouraged Gulshan to join Aagahi, she jumped at the opportunity. “My in-laws weren’t convinced; they couldn’t understand the need for me to learn at this age. But my husband was supportive,” she tells. After 3 months as an Aagahi Learner, Gulshan was able to read and write. Today, she actively follows her children’s progress at school.

“I can’t believe I have spent so much of my life in ignorance. I feel so happy that today when I pick up the newspaper I can actually read and understand it, instead of just staring at the pictures!” she exclaims.

Taare – The Song for Education

The future of Pakistan is tied to the fate of its children – millions of whom are still deprived of a chance to go to school.

31 artists join hands for ‘Music for a Cause’ campaign to promote the cause of education. Composed and produced by Kashan Admani, this beautiful song offers hope for the resilient children of Pakistan and celebrates their firm commitment to achieve their dreams!

Join us in illuminating the lives of these children with the power of education. Become a card-carrying member of TCF by at least sending one child to school.

The Citizens Foundation & PAC join hands to provide scholarships to TCF Alumni

The Professionals Academy of Commerce (PAC) has partnered with The Citizens Foundation (TCF) to assist deserving TCF Alumni pursue a career in accountancy. PAC will help TCF Alumni undertake studies in the field of accountancy by providing financial aid up to Rs 5 million, the scholarship will cover the tuition fee as well as cost of the books. Under the partnership, PAC will provide admission to five TCF alumni every year for a complete course of Chartered Accountancy, says a Press release.

In 2018-19, TCF revealed its latest fact sheet where the number of students that have successfully completed their matric stands at 28,876. Eighty-eight percent of TCF alumni have gone to college and 71% are gainfully employed. “TCF wants to help more alumni to have an opportunity of gaining tertiary education in their field of choice. Our partnership with The Professionals Academy of Commerce will help aspiring accountants from TCF get a step closer to their dreams. We are humbled by PAC’s readiness in supporting TCF alumni. And I am certain that this initiative will bring a truly meaningful positive difference on the community level. In many ways, it will create a level playing field and lead to a more balanced society,” said Riaz Kamlani, EVP, TCF.

Pakistan is the world’s sixth largest populous country and has the second-highest number of out-of-school children in the world. Out-of-school-children in Pakistan often face deep-rooted structural inequalities that are most often linked to gender biases, poverty and lack of access to quality schools. It is in response to this crisis that six Pakistani citizens put their own money into a pilot to build 5 schools in Karachi’s worst slums.

Today TCF is operating 1,567 school units in700 sites across Pakistan where children were previously out-of-school. The Economist has called TCF “perhaps the largest network of independently run schools in the world.” The Foundation is the largest private employer of women in Pakistan with more than 12,000 teachers, principals and support staff. As of April 2019, TCF has an enrolment of 252,000 deserving students, nearly half (48%) of whom are girls.

Sharing his thoughts at the signing ceremony, Director of PAC, Talha Ahmed, said, “Education remains a social and economic issue that needs our immediate attention. PAC has a proven track record of teaching accounting qualification (CA, ACCA and CFA) in Pakistan with over 0.1 million alumni working in renowned organizations. PAC has over 113 certificate of merits and 26 gold medals. We are certain that having TCF students enrolled in our program will be a big win and help bridge the class divide on my levels.”

TCF has managed successful partnerships with the leading universities of Pakistan such as IBA, LUMS, IoBM, NUST and the goal is to offer a more diverse set of tertiary program options to TCF alumni. Partnership with PAC to facilitate less privilege students become accountants will be a new chapter and hopefully will create opportunities for future alliances. Children should have equal options for career training on tertiary level as well.

Danial, a responsible 11 year old who loves to study

Danial, an 11 year-old, has responsibilities different than those of other children. While his father, a labourer, struggles to find work, Danial tends to his ailing mother and looks after his younger brothers.

Only education can help such children escape poverty.

This Ramzan, you can help transform the lives of those born without privilege and opportunity. Educate a Child, Empower a Dream!

Ms. Shabtab Qadeer explains the TCF Zakat Eligibility Process

TCF follows a comprehensive process to ensure that your Zakat is spent on the most deserving students. Ms. Shabtab Qadeer – Principal, TCF School Yusuf Saleh Mohammad Campus, briefly explains the Zakat eligibility mechanism.

This Ramzan, you can help transform the lives of those born without privilege and opportunity. Educate a Child, Empower a Dream!

The Citizens Foundation & PakWheels collaborate for the 6th Auto Show in Karachi

With yet another grand auto show, PakWheels brought together the popular and rare car models for the car enthusiasts in the city of lights – Karachi. The 6th auto show was held at the Port Grand, Karachi where the ribbon cutting ceremony was performed by the children from The Citizens Foundation (TCF).

Like previous years, this time too, the Karachi Auto Show 2018 was a feast for automotive enthusiasts. From exotics, luxury, modified, 4×4 to bikes, there were more than 300 rides with hundreds of auto enthusiasts.

“Karachi Auto Show is our major event and it is becoming increasingly popular among the car enthusiasts of Karachi. At the same time, we feel a strong responsibility of giving back to the community. We believe that education is an emergency in our country and that’s why we joined hands with The Citizens Foundation to give them a shout out for their positive contribution,” said Suneel Munj, Chairman and Co-founder of PakWheels.com

Supporting TCF’s education movement, PakWheels also offered a probono stall space to TCF to create awareness about their education model and raise funds to send more out of school children to school. TCF is operating its schools in the most remote rural communities and under-developed urban localities, enabling quality education for the unschooled children.

PakWheels has proved to be a valuable partner in supporting our mission to educate Pakistan. We are grateful to them for involving TCF in the celebration of their flagship event of the year. TCF’s presence at the event helped us reach out to the car enthusiasts and tell them about TCF’s impact in providing quality education in the most underserved communities,” said Isfandyar Inayat, GM Outreach.

The highlight of the auto show was Rolls Royce 1924 Silver Ghost, which the Nawab of Bahawalpur gave Quaid-e-Azam on 14 August 1947 for his oath-taking ceremony. The car also participated in Concours d’elegance and competed against 230 cars from around the world and was crowned number 1 in the event.

Apart from auto enthusiasts meet and greet, there were many fun activities for families. PakWheels.com proudly had Foodpanda, and TSM&Co as the giveaway partners. The Karachi Auto Show 2018 was sponsored by Suzuki, AGS, Careem, Pheonix, General Tyres, Benelli, and Daewoo Battery.

By organizing such auto events, PakWheels provides a unified platform to all car enthusiasts across Pakistan.

Directors’ Report

The Directors are pleased to submit their report together with the audited financial statements of The Citizens Foundation for the year ended 30th June 2018.

FOUNDATION’S PRINCIPAL ACTIVITIES

The Foundation is principally engaged in establishing schools across Pakistan for the less privileged children, giving them support and opportunities they deserve to become productive global citizens. The Foundation receives funds from a broad cross section of society within and outside Pakistan for building and operating primary and secondary schools.

OPERATING RESULTS

The year under review is a seminal one for the Foundation. As the network grew to 1,482 school units with our student base touching to 220,000; the Foundation found itself ready to take its initiatives and programmes to scale, increasing the impact of its work and reaching out to a greater number of beneficiaries with its strategy 2030, which was duly approved by the Board in May 2018.

The Foundation’s total assets are on a strong footing of 15.4 billion PKR (c 127 million USD). The operating results of the Foundation for the year ended 30th June 2018 reflect a 7% increase in total operating expenses.

The Foundation further improved its compliance to the NPO accounting standard requirements. This has led to scholarships and other community development programmes are now being reflected under donation and expenses. Comparative numbers have also been restated accordingly.

Previously, these were treated directly through the statement of financial position. Furthermore, the Foundation is now duly accounting for the inventories accordingly. Previously, the entire procurement used to be charged off to the Income and Expenditure account.

Additional disclosures have also been made on account of the school network, summary of significant events and transactions, salaries, allocation matrix including impact, sources of donation by origin, and disclosure of interest in other NPOs.

Our vision for the future is to strive for an educated Pakistan. We desire to expand our programmes and build connections which can help change the country’s education landscape. Going forward, the new strategy will guide the Foundation’s efforts to scale its impact over the next twelve years, creating two million agents of positive change by 2030.

 CAPITAL EXPENDITURE

The Foundation spent 557 million PKR for the addition in fixed assets under lands and buildings.

LIQUIDITY PROFILE

The Foundation was able to generate 316 million PKR from operating activities during the year. As at 30th June 2018, the Foundation’s reserves in foreign currency stood at c 15 million USD. Hence, this also resulted in garnering an exchange gain of 121 million PKR.

Cash flow projections are prepared, reviewed and monitored on a regular basis for seamless operations and optimizing returns via effective investment policy as per the approved risk appetite framework.

EVALUATION OF FOUNDATION’S PERFORMANCE

There is a robust mechanism for evaluating the performance of the Foundation. The Management uses several indicators to assess performance including benchmarking with other NPOs, historical results, economic and compliance situations, grantors and donors funding and other factors.

Budgets are designed to set targets for the management and used to measure progress against actual results periodically, allowing necessary actions to be taken preemptively.

PRINCIPAL RISKS AND UNCERTAINTIES

Below are the key risks and uncertainties that are faced by the Foundation, along with the mitigating actions:

Risks Mitigating Actions
Reputational risk Our organizational training, policies and procedures ensure that all the Foundation’s employees know how to behave and respond appropriately in any situation.
Contribution risk It is managed through diversifying sources for continued flow of funds.
Regulatory risk We keep up on regulatory changes, creating internal procedures to implement them.
Investment and FCY risk We stay diversified within each type of investment and closely monitor exchange rate movements in foreign exchange market
Internal control risk We manage this through an independent internal audit function reporting directly to the Board along with other monitoring mechanisms.
Recruitment & Retention risk We attract, develop and retain the best talent at all levels within the organization

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

  • The financial statements appended, present fairly, the results of the Foundation’s operations, cash flows and changes in equity; • Proper books of accounts have been maintained;
  • Appropriate accounting policies, as applicable, have consistently been applied in the preparation of the financial    statements and accounting estimates are based on    reasonable and prudent judgment;
  • International Financial Reporting Standards have been followed in the preparation of financial statements;
  • The system of internal control is sound in design and has been effectively implemented and monitored;
  • There are no significant doubts upon the Foundation’s ability to continue as a going concern; • Statements regarding the following are annexed in the notes to the financial statements:
    • Number of meetings of Board of Directors and its committees held and attended by the Directors
    • Key financial data for the last six years
    • Names of endowment donors

APPROPRIATION OF RESERVES

The Board approved an appropriation of surplus funds of 593.5 million PKR at the end of the year to be transferred to the General Fund in 2018-19.

No material changes or commitments affecting the financial position of the Foundation have taken place between the end of the financial year and the date of the Report except the appropriation of reserves as mentioned above.

ABSTRACT UNDER SECTION 213 (1) OF THE COMPANIES ACT 2017

During the year ended 30th June 2018, the Board of Directors has revised the remuneration of Mr. Syed Asaad Ayub Ahmad, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), from 851,710 PKR per month to 919,850 PKR per month effective 1 January 2018. There was no change in other terms and conditions of his appointment. By virtue of being the CEO, Mr. Syed Asaad Ayub Ahmad is deemed to be a Director of the Foundation and is considered as interested in the aforementioned revision of his terms of appointment.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

No casual vacancy occurred on the Board during 2017-18. The election of the directors will be held in 2019. Their profiles are included in this Annual Report on pages 48 & 49.

DETAILS OF BOARD MEETINGS HELD OUTSIDE PAKISTAN

During the financial year ended 30 June 2018, six meetings of Board of Directors were held, none of which were held outside Pakistan.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

The financial statements of the Foundation have been approved and duly audited without qualification by the auditors, KPMG Taseer Hadi & Co.; their report is attached to the financial statements on pages 71-74.

AUDITORS

The audit firm has a satisfactory rating under the Quality Control Review Programme of The Institute of Chartered

Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP). It is fully compliant with the International Federation of the Accountants’ guideline on code of ethics, as adopted by ICAP.

The Audit Committee and the Board of Directors of the Foundation have endorsed their reappointment for members’ consideration at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting.

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