TCF's Inaugural Los Angeles Gala a Resounding Success
By Durainaz Farooqui
Pictures by Fazal Farooqui and Anwar Khawaja
TCF held its inaugural Los Angeles Gala at the Long Beach Hyatt Regency on May 4 th. The sold-out event was a resounding success thanks to a committed team of volunteers who worked diligently to ensure it would be an unsurpassed fund raiser.
The organization is enabling 14500 underprivileged children in Pakistan’s urban slums and rural areas to receive a quality education. In April TCF built its 1000 th school 6 years ahead of schedule and at the gala in real time as donations poured in enough money was raised to build 2 more schools and keep them running for 3 years.
Zohreen Adamjee as emcee was professional and confident as she introduced TCF ‘s mission . Sara Bengali recited a verse from the Qur'an that stresses reading and literacy. Mr. William Martin, former US Consul to Pakistan, recounted his first hand experience during the 2010 floods that ravaged the country and the seminal role of the US in rebuilding the infrastructure of the affected areas with particular emphasis on schools. He emphasized the importance of female education and commended TCF for its equal gender student enrollment and the employment of an all-female staff.
Mr Abdullah Jafari, TCF Director (Houston), presented an overview of TCF as one of Pakistan’s largest non-profit organizations in education and the recipient of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship 2013. Beginning with 5 schools in Karachi TCF has expanded to 1000 purpose-built schools with 52% of the students completing their Matriculation with A+ or A grades and a less than 1% dropout rate. Mr Jafari reassured donors that TCF operates on the Best Practices Guidelines set by US Treasury Department for charities that send funds to overseas causes and that its books are audited and certified by KPMG certified public accountants. Therefore TCF has received the highest rating, 70/70 for transparency and accountability by Charity Navigator and a 4 star rating as a certified 501(c)-(3) public charity. He concluded by mentioning TCF’s accolades, the Skoll Award, Partnership with Khan Academy and recognition by the Clinton Global Initiative for Exemplary Work in Education.
A documentary of TCF was screened to show the difference TCF is making in the lives of those who otherwise would have no access to quality education. A spirited and interactive fund-raising session followed led by Azhar Hameed and Hina Abidi, the key organizers of the event. Comic relief was provided by Azhar interspersed with inspiring anecdotes by Hina of how TCF has impacted the lives of children who would otherwise have little hope. The audience responded enthusiastically and were entertained with patriotic and folk songs by Ali Sher and Sahyba. Suffice it to say that TCF set an unprecedented record for fund raisers in the city of Angels.