Al-Khidmat and GCT join hands for enrollment of out-of-school children


Two non-profits, the Al-Khidmat Foundation Pakistan and Green Crescent Trust (GCT), have agreed to work together to jointly tackle the challenge of out-of-school children and illiteracy in backward areas of Sindh and Balochistan.

The agreement to this effect was reached as the chiefs of the two non-profits attended the inauguration of a combined charitable school in the underprivileged town of Winder in Balochistan. The school has been handed over to GCT by Al-Khidmat Foundation Women Wing (AKFWW). This is the second such joint activity by the two charities.

Al-Khidmat Foundation Pakistan President, Dr Hafeez ur Rehman, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said that building quality schooling facilities in Balochistan would go a long way in tackling the issues of backwardness and mass poverty in the largest province of the country. He said that enrollment of out-of-school children in Sindh and Balochistan had become such a gigantic task that the concerned charities working in the education sector had no option but to combine their resources and efforts for jointly tackling this pressing problem.

 He said the concerned non-governmental organizations should collaborate with each other for the schooling of the children from deprived families instead of any competition for such a noble cause. He gave the example of the famous Malaysian ruler, Mahathir Mohammad, who by massively spending (40% of GDP) to provide quality schooling and health facilities for fellow countrymen had enabled Malaysia to become an Asian tiger in the shortest possible time. He urged the GCT to join hands with Al-Khidmat in its drive to provide health facilities for underprivileged families, for running the orphan welfare program, and for rebuilding the lives devastated by the floods of last year.

GCT CEO, Zahid Saeed, while welcoming the idea of working together with Al-Khidmat, told the audience that his non-profit had launched similar partnerships with other concerned charities for the education of the children belonging to deprived families like as Shahid Afridi Foundation, Jamiat Taleem ul Quran, Irshad Foundation, Sindh Education Foundation and others. He said that this was the first time the GCT had stepped outside Sindh to expand its charitable education drive continuing for the past 29 years.

He said that earlier the GCT had established 162 charitable schools in Sindh having an enrollment of over 30,500 children from deprived families. The GCT chief informed the audience that most of these schools had been built in such backward areas of Sindh where there was no prior proper educational facility.

He said the GCT had been massively motivated earlier this year to extend its charitable work to Balochistan after holding three fundraisers in Lahore for collecting donations for its charitable schooling program.  “The top businessmen and industrialists of Punjab who attended these fundraisers asked us to launch our schooling program in Balochistan as early as possible as they promised to provide massive financial support to this noble drive,” he said.

He said that after witnessing the firm resolve of Punjab’s business community to support the charitable work in Balochistan the GCT was encouraged to start working in the largest province of the country.  “With this school in Winder becoming functional there will be Inshallah no looking back in building more such academic facilities in Balochistan,” he said.  He held out the assurance to the audience to upgrade the newly built school to Class 10th in the coming years provided that the local community extends support for the enrollment of their children. He said the GCT had the resolve that a sizable number of the graduates of its schools acquired the academic qualification to become administrators and educators in GCT schools and out of GCT schools.

AKFWW Chairperson, Naveeda Anees, hoped that a charitable school in Winder would enable area people to defeat the vicious cycle of poverty by imparting quality school education to their future generations. She said the quality academic facilities in Balochistan would enable its citizens to acquire the skills they need to utilize the massive mineral resources of the province for transforming the lives of millions of underprivileged people.

She said the school had been named after noble social activist, Nasra Ilyas while recoginsing her pioneering charitable work to build the foundations of the AKFWW in the country.

President of the Al-Khidmat Balochistan chapter, Jameel Ahmed Kurd, said the concerned charities had to work together for spreading education in the backward areas as still 2.7 million children were out of school in Balochistan. He said that around 20,000 existing schools including 13,000 government-run educational facilities in Balochistan had so far miserably failed to overcome this issue.

GCT Trustee, Saad Zia, COO, Habib Navaid, AKFWW core team members, Nasra Ilyas, Aisha Saad, Fareeda Parveen, Dr Hussain Bano and other dignitaries also attended the event.

Related: GCT holds fundraiser in Lahore

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