Sindh govt, SAF, GCT renew pledge to work together to enrol millions of out-of-school.

Two leading charities and the Sindh government have renewed their pledge to work together to build quality learning facilities to enrol hundreds of thousands of out-of-school children in the province in the shortest possible time. The chiefs of Sindh Education Foundation (SEF), non-profits Shahid Afridi Foundation (SAF), and Green Crescent Trust (GCT) spoke at the SAF-GCT annual dinner and came up with the consensus view that the government, concerned philanthropists, and sincere non-governmental organisations had to combine their efforts and resources to overcome illiteracy in the province.

On the occasion, memorabilia associated with sports legends Shahid Afridi, Jahangir Khan, and other renowned athletes were auctioned in the presence of Karachi’s leading businessmen and industrialists. The auction proceeds will fund the joint charitable campaign of the SAF-GCT to educate children from deprived families in Sindh.

Speaking on occasion, SAF Chairman Shahid Afridi reiterated the resolve of his non-profit to fulfil the basic needs of the underprivileged communities in the remotest parts of the country where other NGOs generally don’t serve due to a lack of resources. He said the SAF, in partnership with committed organisations like SEF and GCT, would continue to build state-of-the-art school facilities for children in rural and backward parts of Sindh. He told the audience that enrolment of out-of-school children was a gigantic task, but sincerely concerned charities, government agencies, and philanthropists, by combining their efforts, could achieve this noble cause. He said that one of the noble missions being pursued by the SAF was daughters’ education as ensuring female literacy means ensuring the education of the rest of the family members.

SEF Managing Director Abdul Kabir Kazi said the public-private partnership was the way forward for the concerned quarters, including the governments, NGOs, private sector, and philanthropists, to build new educational facilities for enrolling out-of-school children. He said the SEF was the arm of the Sindh government, which, in partnership with committed non-profits like SAF and GCT, opened new educational facilities in the remotest parts of Sindh at an accelerated pace. He informed the audience that SEF had been running 150 non-formal education centres for imparting education and technical skills to children from deprived communities at an accelerated pace, as 1,200 students graduated from these centres last year alone. He said the SEF had built 30 digital learning centres imparting education through tablet computers to children in the province’s remotest and underprivileged areas, including flood-hit parts.

GCT CEO Zahid Saeed expressed gratitude to Karachi’s business fraternity for keenly participating in the sports memorabilia auction to become a partner in the drive to educate children from needy families in Sindh. He said that educating every child, irrespective of his or her socio-economic background, could transform Pakistan on the lines of China and become a superpower in a few decades with a complete focus on education. He told the audience that with the active support of the concerned philanthropists and donors, the SAF and GCT through a network of charitable schools had been transforming the lives of 35,000 children from impoverished families. He said the GCT was well on track to expand the number of its charitable schools in Sindh to 250 having the combined capacity to enrol 100,000 children from needy families by the end of 2025. He informed the audience that last year, the GCT had expanded the footprint of its charitable work beyond Sindh for the first time by establishing a school in the Winder area of Balochistan.

SAF CEO Zafar Malik shared with the audience the vision of his non-profit to impart technical skills to children from impoverished areas in addition to formal education to enable them to earn for their families in the shortest possible time. He said the SAF had been introducing the programme of providing food rations to children enrolled in its charitable schools to care for their basic health and nutritional needs. He said the SAF had also been building a network of mobile clinics to provide basic healthcare facilities to the rural population especially women in remote areas.

The event was attended by several leading philanthropists, businessmen and industrialists including, Former Governor Sindh, Imran Ismail, President KATI, Jouhar Qandari, Asif Ismail, Zubair Chayya, Farooq Bukhari, Muhammad Ali Majid, Chaudhry Israr, Dr. Kaiser Waheed, Haroon Qassim, Emran Assad, Noor ul Hassan, Ijaz Nisar and Others.

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