The Citizens’ Foundation is an organization that has been working since the mid 90’s bringing about a silent revolution in slums and the most down trodden areas of Pakistan. The idea is simple yet most fascinating that is to bring street children to school. The foundation has been working to impart quality education to children of impoverished back grounds so that they can one day become responsible and ‘agents of positive change’ in the society. The foundation is working on the most important aspect of human development in society that is to educate the children. In a country like Pakistan where the literacy levels are so desperately low the importance of work that is being done by the TCF can never be over stated.
The Citizens Foundation is bringing hope of education to children in areas where the daily grind of most is limited to getting just enough food. The fascinating story started in the slum area of Karachi called “Machar Colony” which literally means mosquito colony owing its name to the mosquitoes that breed in the sewer that runs through the middle of the slum. In this which is probably one of the lowest income communities of the country the availability of clean water is a dream let alone quality education and it is here that a TCF school has emerged as an oasis of hope. Despite the harsh realities of life that the children of these slums have to face, the joy of learning and playing with other kids in the school is bringing a smile on their faces every day. TCF is giving a chance to these children to drag themselves out of these slums towards a better future.
The work of The Citizens Foundation is not an accident but a result of hard work and careful planning aimed at encouraging creativity and fostering moral and spiritual development. TCF is now a professionally managed organization that has established 730 schools throughout the country. All aspects of a healthy teaching environment have been taking into consideration while planning out the project. To maintain teaching standards the foundation has set up dedicated teaching training centers in Karachi and Mansehra. The idea is to take the schools to such impoverished communities so it is easier to attract children, an all female teaching staff also helps in enrolment of girls which is not an easy task in Pakistan. All areas of education that include sports, arts and other activities are encouraged in TCF schools. This is highlighted in the fact that a team from the Machar Colony TCF school participated in the third annual TFC KBC inter school rowing competition that was held in Karachi earlier this year. The team from the school participated against children from the finest school of the city. Such an all round education is surely to polish the talents of these who will one day become the future of this country from the most unlikely backgrounds.
TCF schools are fostering these agents of change in societies which desperately need it. Education is a long process and only after efforts of years one can see results. This requires patience and a constant effort that is being put in by the TCF. Results are now beginning to show, one such success story is Anum from Karachi who passed with excellent grades in her school and was recently awarded a scholarship to pursue her studies in one of the finest business schools of Karachi.
The Citizens Foundation is working to give hope back to societies which have always faced neglect at the hands of successive governments. The remarkable work that TCF has put into the field of education is unmatched and should be a role model for other Pakistanis who wish to change the state of affairs in the country as education is the most potent weapon to counter the problems that we face today. The Citizens Foundation is truly an oasis of hope amongst all the despair that we see in our society.
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