The Citizens Foundation (TCF) today announced the launch of its new volunteer programme for people from all walks of life. The Baghbaan Ambassadors Programme will allow everyone to become an ambassador of education. The volunteers will be able to create a positive change through their circle of influence and play their part in helping more children attend school.
The Baghbaan Ambassadors Programme is a flexible volunteering programme where volunteers decide the convenient time and team, and work towards creating awareness about the education emergency in Pakistan. The volunteers in their groups will come up with interesting ways to raise funds and help TCF take more children off the streets and into schools.
Speaking at the event, Isfandyar Inayat, General Manager at TCF said, “Education crisis remains one of the major problems facing Pakistan and perhaps one of the biggest hindrance in the economic and social growth of our country. With more than 22 million children out of school, Pakistan has the 2nd highest number of out of school children in the world. That’s why the need remains ever greater for every person who cares to make a difference, to come forward and become a part of TCF’s education movement. Education is powerful. It does not change just one life but the life of a family and in many cases the entire community.”
With 1,482 school units all over Pakistan and more than 220,000 children getting quality education, TCF model of education is trying to change the situation one child at a time. The Foundation is the largest private employer of women in Pakistan with an all-female faculty of 12,000 teachers and principals. TCF has 220,000 students this year. Nearly half (48%) of TCF students are girls. Eighty-eight percent of TCF alumni have gone to college and 71% are employed.
“We all have an equal responsibility to help educate our children. I started volunteering for TCF some 10 years ago. I thought this will be my way of giving back to the society but honestly, I have taken a lot back from the bright children I meet. Interacting with children, hearing of their dreams fills you with a renewed hope and challenge your life’s perspective. I feel like I have grown a lot as a person by being associated with TCF,” said Shah Ahmed Ata, TCF Volunteer and Supporter.
Zaitoon, a TCF alumna shared how studying at TCF changed her life and that of her family. Zaitoon has spent a greater part of her life in Bhitaiabad – a small community near Karachi’s Gulistan-e- Jauhar town, she and her family are Balochis by ethnicity. The Citizens Foundation was the first school in her area and she was one of the first few girl students in this school. She completed her matric from TCF in 2004. Zaitoon takes great inspiration from her mother and teachers who guided her towards education and positivity. She had to face a lot of problems and hindrance from her family to get education because of the financial problems and social taboos. But despite these issues, she fought for her right to get education. From the start, she knew she had to be strong and independent and learn to care for herself as well as her family. Strong willed and determined, she decided to follow a path less travelled. Fascinated by Urdu as a language, Zaitoon did her Masters in Urdu literature. Today she is a lecturer at Gwadar College. Zaitoon is currently pursuing her M. Phil in Literature. She speaks at various forums and seminars and actively voices the need to take pride in and preserve our literature and cultural heritage.