As Pakistan’s economic crisis escalates, a leading educational foundation urges not to forget the children of Pakistan.
Pakistan has the world’s second-highest number of out-of-school children with an estimated 22.8 million aged 5-16 not attending school. The Care Foundation aims to enrol one million children in schools by 2025.
Established 32 years ago, to date the foundation has a network of 888 schools, with currently 300,000 children enrolled in its schools.
Philanthropist Ms. Seema Aziz, founder of Care Foundation (also the founder of the clothing brand Bareeze) said: “Ramadan is a critical time to not forget about our children. Education is the one thing that can re-build stability.
“Done at scale, it can be nation building. This is why we want to enrol one million children in schools by 2025. Tackling Pakistan’s crisis in education is a vital step to break the cycle of poverty.”
Their unique public-private partnership with the Pakistan Government has seen it successfully adopt the running of government schools in the country. Now, the Care Foundation is calling on the Muslim communities across the globe to donate their Zakat to tackle the education crisis in Pakistan.
Ms. Seema added: “Illiteracy worsens cycles of poverty, ill-health and deprivation, weakening communities and increasing marginalisation.
“A shocking 44% of young Pakistanis are out of school. As a country, we face many struggles but those who suffer most are always children born into poverty and disadvantage. Education at scale can affect real, lasting change.”
In addition to providing quality education in schools, the organisation awards over 1000 college and higher education scholarships annually, seeing students go onto some of the best colleges and universities in Pakistan such as NUST,,GIKI, GCU, UET, FCC and King Edward Medical College, as well as study in universities across the world. Many of their alumni are now engineers, doctors, nurses, teachers, entrepreneurs and other professionals who go on to create societal change.
Fatima Mehmood went to a Care adopted school and was awarded a scholarship. She is now studying for a PhD in engineering from the University of Technology Sydney, Australia.
Fatima said: “Despite the high cost of tuition, I was able to secure a scholarship, which enabled me to continue my education and complete my pre-engineering studies at Punjab College of Science, Lahore.
“I got excellent results in my pre-engineering exams and then received another scholarship from the Care Foundation to pursue a degree in B.Sc. Civil Engineering at the University of Engineering and Technology Lahore.”
She further added: “As an individual who has overcome significant socio-economic obstacles, I take great pride in serving as a role model for young women.
“Without the Care Foundation, I would not have been able to achieve my academic and professional goals and my journey would have been vastly different and less successful.”