Los Angeles Fundraiser
for TCF School in Minhala
By Amjad Noorani
of the Los Angeles fundraiser for the TCF school in Minhala,
Punjab. (Pictures courtesy YKKB)
Long Beach, CA: A highly
enjoyable and entertaining Los Angeles fundraiser luncheon
hosted by The Citizens Foundation, USA at The Hyatt brought
to conclusion a busy Pakistan Day weekend of three TCF events
The luncheon at The Hyatt featured inspiring presentations,
unsolicited testimonials and lively entertainment by artist
extraordinaire, Alamgir. The event was graced by Syed Ibne
Hasan, Consul Gen. of Pakistan in Los Angeles and Mrs. Ibne
Hasan. Candid observations by the Consul General included
remarks like, “I am spellbound – amazed at what
TCF has accomplished” – and his assurance of
continued support to the promotional efforts of TCF-USA
in spreading awareness in the community. Several others
in the Pakistan-American community joined in the festivities,
including some supporters from northern California and Chicago
who flew in for the occasion.
The highlight of the luncheon were back-to-back multimedia
presentations by TCF CEO, SP Shahid (visiting from Pakistan
for an executive program at Stanford) and local entrepreneur-philanthropist,
Pervaiz Lodhie, CEO of LEDtronics. Both messages underscored
the dismal status of the educational system in Pakistan
and what TCF has accomplished in the short span of 10 years.
A powerful personal testimonial and plea of support for
TCF was effectively presented by local philanthropist-businessman,
Salim Adaya, who emphasized along with other speakers that
education of the underprivileged is the best long-term investment
Cleverly interjected between formal presentations was Alamgir’s
soulful and timely rendering of Khalil Gibran’s poem
– “Giving”, with the inspirational message
that life is truly enriched by giving selflessly and with
no thought of the rewards. On the lighter side, entertainer
and story-teller par excellence, Alamgir took the audience
back a few nostalgic years in his inimitable style as a
hybrid pop-traditional vocalist, with movie favorites and
a tribute to Nusrat’s genius, ending the party with
a melodious song in his sweet native language from Bangladesh.
The Minhala School
The successful luncheon marked the first southern California
event for The Citizens Foundation organized by the Southern
California Support Group of TCF-USA, a 501c(3) non-profit
with its national office in Chicago. The occasion kicked
off a campaign to fund a primary school in Minhala, Punjab,
Details of the school project are on the TCF-USA website
The school is expected to start operating in August 2007
as the TCF “Los Angeles Campus”.
Though land for the school has been acquired as a donation,
funds needed for construction, furniture, fixtures, signage,
supplies, school equipment and a school van are close to
$109,000 and include school operating costs for the first
All TCF schools operate in architecturally designed, purpose-built
schools with essential facilities like a library and art
room, running water, electricity, clean bathrooms and spacious
play areas. Typically, a primary school has 7 classrooms
for pre-school (nursery) and K to 5th grade, plus a modest
administrative block for the principal’s office, a
staff room and a business office. Each primary school has
an enrollment capacity of 210 children and there are no
more than 30 children in a class.
The teaching faculty and principal are all women, which
encourages higher female enrollment. Most TCF schools can
boast that 50% of the students are girls – who, in
turn, will raise educated families of the future.
The very essential school van for transporting teaching
staff is a valuable benefit of employment at TCF as most
schools are in urban and rural locations which are difficult
to reach and often in remote areas where public transport
does not exist.
Readers may make tax deductible donations by mail or online.
A donation can be allocated specifically for the TCF Los
Angeles Campus. For information about TCF-USA, please visit
www.tcfusa.org or call Uneza Akhtar, Manager Development
at the TCF-USA office (224) 636-2858. The California and
west coast contact is (650) 793-6364. Coordinator for the
Minhala school project, Mustafa Bengali, may be contacted
by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A comprehensive education
system, not just another school
For efficiency in management and to provide a complete education
package to a realistic number of communities, TCF schools
are planned as a ‘cluster’ of 5 or 6 primary
schools which feed into one or more two-unit secondary schools
(grades 6 through 10) with enrollment capacity of 350 students
each. Classes in the secondary schools typically consist
of 35 students and also house a computer education department
and science labs.
The teaching faculty and principals at all schools are women
– a key factor which encourages higher female enrollment.
In fact, 50% students at most TCF schools are girls who,
in turn, will raise educated families of the future.
Brief facts about
Salient TCF statistics speak for themselves –
• 344 schools
in operation, including 33 afternoon shifts
• 237 primary schools, 77 secondary schools
• 40,000 students enrolled – nearly half female
• scholarship program for college and vocational training
• 2,400 all-women teaching faculty
• efficient, transparent operations
• all schools built, operated and managed by TCF
• quality of curriculum and teaching ensured by professional
managers and staff of TCF
Overseas support organizations are now established in the
UK, UAE, US, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar and
volunteers have been effective in mobilizing financial supporters
– individuals, corporations and foundations.
US donors gave $2.2million to TCF-USA in 2006, a 205% increase
over the previous year. 30 schools and several other related
projects have been funded by US donors.