WOODBRIDGE, NJ– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said that “the life of a man consists not in seeing visions and in dreaming dreams, but in active charity and in willing service,” – the young professionals of Thaakat Foundation believe that it actually consists of both.
On October 4th, 2012 Thaakat Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 non profit organization, will be hosting “A Mid-Autumn Night’s Dream”, a live charity auction to fund the organization’s latest initiative, #lethedreambe’. This initiative aims to develop a school in a village in the outskirts of Karachi, Pakistan. The village is called Kachra Kundi, a garbage dump site home to hundreds of families living in the midst of smoke-filled hills of waste. The project, in partnership with Idara-al-Khair (Karachi, Pakistan), has raised $27,000 to date which accounts for nine classrooms including furnishings and supplies.
Please join us at Ariana’s Grand in Woodbridge, NJ on October 4th, for cocktails and networking at 7:30PM followed by a dinner, live auction and performance by comedy king Saad Haroon. The event will also be featuring an acoustic session with musical mastermind Denis Lipari.
We would like to thank our sponsors in advance for providing food, entertainment, and auction prizes. Catering and auction prizes have been donated by the following organizations: Shahnawaz, AMR Catering, The Sweet Bread Factory, Laaj Studios, Brunswick Boxing & Fitness Club, Silk Road, and more! Special thanks to Draftfcb for their generous sponsorship of an entire classroom! Thank you also to em[POWER] for their introduction and continued support of the project.
We look forward to having you be a part of this event. If you require any special accommodations, please contact Ridah Mannan at (646) 784-6817 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you a business owner and would like to sponsor our event in anyway, please contact us today!
By: Ammara Bokhari | Director of Global Projects | Thaakat Foundation
It’s official, our dreams for Kachra Kundi are finally coming true! Thaakat is proud to announce that our school’s classrooms opened its doors to 68 eager students and today boasts 325 students in attendance with more waiting. Some of them traveling from as far as five kilometers away at the opportunity to attend. Fourteen teachers have been appointed, with six to seven more planning to come on board. The subjects being taught are: English, Math, Science, Social Science, Art, Urdu, and Sindhi (the commonly spoken Urdu dialect of the region). 250 desks are ready to use, a water tank has been installed on a nearby hill, and bathrooms are currently being completed. This would not have been possible without all of Thaakat’s amazing supporters! Thank you for believing in the dream and letting us get this far! #lethedreambe’ Stay tuned for new pictures!
Construction of the school called Al-Khair Campus III, began early this year. Our partner Idara Al-Khair managed construction throughout its entire process and we’re so pleased with the results!
You may remember the launch of our “Dreams for Kachra Kundi” campaign last summer. How exactly did we come to where we are today with this project, from a simple dream of bettering a community to launching an officially up and running school? Below is a quick guide to help you understand:
Project Overview: Building a school in Pakistan, located in a clean and safe environment to educate the underprivileged children of Kachra Kundi, who have dreams to rise up and make something of themselves. The school currently has 9 completed classrooms which will serve primary and secondary level teachings.
What is Kachra Kundi? An enormous garbage dump area in the village of Jam Chakro, a 45 minute drive from Karachi, Pakistan. Garbage from the city of Karachi is dumped around the clock here. Kachra Kundi translates in Urdu to mean “Garbage District”.
Who lives in Kachra Kundi and what do they do? More than 300 families live among the garbage and every family member earns a living by collecting recyclables (iron, copper, bones, plastic, etc.) from massive hills of burning waste as there are no composting or recycling processes available.
Do we have a partner organization that is doing the work in Pakistan? Yes! Thaakat initially learned of the project through em[POWER] who was working in the area to research sorting processes in the waste to bring a more economical way of living to the community. em[POWER] Energy Group, Inc. is a New Jersey-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that seeks to revitalize landfill communities throughout the world using a modular and scalable cooperative development model based on renewable resources.
Thaakat then contacted on site partner Idara Al-Khair, a welfare organization in Pakistan. It was founded by a man named Mohammad Mazahir Sheikh, who had a dream to help educate the poor children of Pakistan more than 25 years ago. Dawn News, GEO, and other Pakistani media outlets have interviewed Mazahir and did inspiring pieces on his organization’s work in Kachra Kundi. Their first school was in Mustafa Colony, which started out with just a few students two decades ago, and now boasts 2,200 children who learn daily in the 200 classrooms of the school. Thaakat has had a great partnership with Idara and is so appreciative of the individual attention they give to each child. Check out the video featuring footage from a Dawn News segment: Kachra Kundi on Dawn News
Why are we helping them? Garbage is burned daily, which has caused excessive pollution and disease. Not only are the residents of Kachra Kundi deprived of civic facilities like clean water, shelter, and electricity, but there had previously been zero access to education in this village- making these children oblivious to the outside world. Previous to Idara Al-Khair entering the village, the site’s volunteer doctor described the children as having maggots in their ears and flies nesting in sores on their bodies. They did not wash their faces and had become so regular to ingesting the burning fumes.
Eight years ago, our partner Idara Al-Khair brought in 16 teachers to educate the children of Kachra Kundi. They run a primary school in the midst of the garbage and we are now building a large combined secondary and primary school in a clean and safe area, which will be away from the central hazard area. We hope to see these children go onto college one day! Our school is called Al-Khair Campus III.
What is #lethedreambe’? I’ve seen this on Facebook! A fundraising campaign we launched in March 2012 to inspire people to donate to our project. The campaign is led by a team that strategizes ways to grow this campaign and our funding. They come up with catchy ideas, logos, pictures, videos, events, etc. and from it came the #lethedreambe’ hashtag so it could go viral. The campaign has its own page on Facebook, which you can follow by clicking here along with a fundraising page on Crowdrise. In 2011 we fundraised to build the 9 classrooms for the new site. The #lethedreambe’ team is now trying to raise funding to construct more classrooms and provide desks, teaching boards, water connections, and other facilities. The team members include: Faizan Zaidi (NJ), Ridah Manan (NJ), Aarish Mustafa (IL), Ammara Bokhari (IL), Nudrat Zoha (IL), Zoha Hussain (IL), Sarah Mobin (IL). Feel free to reach out to any of these people via Facebook for more information or comments.
Has Thaakat ever visited Kachra Kundi? Yes! A couple Thaakateers have visited the site and met with our partner organization! Uzma Bawany-Ali visited Kachra Kundi on her trip to Pakistan in December 2011. Faizan Zaidi visited Kachra Kundi during his trip to Pakistan in summer of 2011 (his pictures have been included throughout this fact sheet!). Check out the links below of Youtube videos Uzma made on her trip to Kachra Kundi:
Who are the Al-Khair Tigers? The Al-Khair Tigers are a mighty soccor team made up students of the Kachra Kundi area. Idara Al-Khair helped set up the team in 2012, strongly believing in promoting healthy extra cirrucular activities that will keep the children active. These mighty little Tigers are so good that they’ve been selected to take part in a competition organized by Zong Pakistan (a cellular phone company) in partnership with Manchester United. The Tigers are competing for being selected to attend a 1-week soccer training school in the United Kingdom!
How can people donate to this project? Please visit
to view various donation options!
Timeline of Project Updates:
Summer 2011: Began fundraising; Faizan Zaidi visited Kachra Kundi site.
December 2011: Purchased land to build school and began construction; Uzma Bawany-Ali visited project site.
January 2012: Walls of the school are up and construction of nine classrooms is completed. Construction of the restrooms and digging for water connection piping begins.
February 2012: Thaakat meets with the former Governor of Sindh, General Moinuddin Haider to talk about Kachra Kundi and learn about their needs. Mr. Haider learned of Idara Al-Khair’s work in educating children of poor villages near Karachi during his time as Governor of Sindh and was greatly inspired by it mentioning, “…when these children complete their 10-years of education, we want them to go to college, which will enable them to go to an engineering college or a medical college or some professional college.” Indeed, Thaakat has the same goal for these children!
March 2012: Launched #lethedreambe’ campaign and formed a volunteer team that leads this campaign.
April 2012: The Al-Khair Tigers soccer team is formed for the Kachra Kundi kids to take part in.
May 2012: Bathrooms are constructed; parents start inquiring about registration which should open shortly. 100 desks are completed for the classrooms. With the region’s extreme summer heat in mind, the desks are made of steel legs to be strong and wooden tops, so that they won’t absorb heat.
June 2012: The classrooms officially launched! 68 students attended the first day of classes, with some children traveling as far as 5 kilometers just to attend. Two teachers have been appointed and 250 desks are ready to be used! A water tank for the school is set on a nearby hill. Congratulations Thaakat on this exciting launch! As of July 30, 2012 we have 325 students in attendance!
Brought to you by: Ammara Bokhari/Director of Global Projects/Thaakat Foundation
Miles away from the metropolitan city of Karachi, Pakistan is one of its largest landfill sites called Kachra Kundi. It is home to thousands of families and children, living unaware of a life outside of this vast garbage dump site. In partnership with Idara Al-Khair Welfare Society, Thaakat Foundation is building a new and improved educational facility in a safe and clean area near Kachra Kundi for hundreds of students to receive a proper education in a proper school environment.
Thaakat launched its fundraising campaign “Dreams for Kachra Kundi” last summer and raised more than $11,000! Our Executive Director, Uzma Bawany-Ali, was fortunate enough to visit Kachra Kundi this past December on her recent visit to Pakistan and recalls, “As we entered the shantytowns bordering the hills of waste, cow manure, and burning garbage, my heart dropped to see these children trying to fight the worst kind of poverty. As I walked into the classrooms of Idara Al Khair, the organization managing the school, a strong sense of hope emerged. Children with zero access to the outside world were sitting there writing in English. Their little hands passionately wrote as their smiles conquered any sense of agony.” Uzma was able to capture a few moments of her visit on camera. Click here for video footage of Kachra Kundi.
Construction for the new school site began late last year after purchasing the land. Currently, the structure has been built and the walls of the school are up with nine classrooms nearly completed. Our school is called Al-Khair Campus III. Click here for video footage of the construction site.
Idara Al-Khair successfully runs primary schools in the Kachra Kundi area, educating 250 children every single day of the year and 2,200 children at their first site in Mustafa Colony. The schools run seven days a week, throughout the year, showing just how eager the children are to learn and how passionate the teachers are to educate these young, hopeful minds. We are hoping to soon complete construction of our secondary school at Kachra Kundi, and provide educational materials and supplies along with funding teacher’s salaries.
Funds Needed for Project Completion and 1-Year Sustainability: $16,000
11-11-11 is TODAY.
THAAKAT board members have taken to their notepads, ipads and papers to express their feelings on our fight against hunger in East Africa. Hear their rage against hunger, hear their heartbreak and help us make our 11.11.11 a successful day for those in need.
By: Nudrat Zoha / Social Media Guru and Sponsorships / Thaakat Foundation
Poverty can be seen around us all the time. Growing up in Pakistan, I was accustomed to stepping out of my house and seeing poor children and their mothers on the streets, begging for money. As a young kid, I always looked at them, felt sad, gave them some change and continued with my daily life. I acknowledged their existence, helped them a little and moved on with my life.
After joining Thaakat, my perspective on poverty changed completely. I realized that I started wondering more about the people I would stop to help for a few seconds. I started noticing them more. I questioned more as to why they are in the state they were in. I realized I wanted to help them more than ever before. We are surrounded by poverty. It’s on the TV, it’s on the internet and it’s in our cities but we somehow tend to blur that part of our life out.
Thaakat’s 11.11.11 campaign is a part of that blur. Though we blur it out, it still exists. Children die regularly because of poverty and hunger caused by the famine. We are working alongside EDESIA Inc. to bring an end to the famine that is destroying lives of innocent children in Africa.
By the funds we raise, we will be delivering a fortified peanut-based ready-to-use food called Plumpy’nut to the Horn of Africa where kids are suffering from serious malnutrition causing serious diseases and deaths. This paste will satisfy their hunger and allow them to grow.
With just a simple donation of $11 by 11-11-11, YOU can help grant wishes of these little souls. YOU can be the reason a child will live longer and healthier life. YOU will be able to look beyond the blur in our world and make a difference. Most importantly, YOU will be the reason why these children will smile, who have just fallen victim to a famine.
We need your help to help grant wishes of these little children. Please generously donate and pass the word along to 11 others you know who will also like to be a part of this change, by sacrificing just $11.
Help us give someone some Thaakat.
Peace and Love
By: Jibran Ilyas
The floods came and left, the mass help came and left, the sympathies came and left but the victims still remain a reality in Pakistan after suffering the worst floods in its history. Sure we feel for the victims every time we hear about them, but we will never be able to understand the true extent of how helpless they feel. A lot of times we leave it up to the social organizations and wealthy community to help out. It might be fair because we can only donate so much, but when it comes to effort based help, we just can’t shy away. The Pakistan Flood victims are counting on the angels to provide them shelter, food and support. The Chicago community has this unique opportunity to be those angels. All YOU have to do is show up for 2 hours at the Leader Petrochem facility in Glenview, IL on November 6th or November 7th to help pack food ingredients for meals. Tasks will include filling bags with ingredients, weighing, sealing, packing and stacking the boxes. Yes, it will be a lot of fun and the best part is you will be in great company with likeminded folks like yourself. We will be proud of this effort, sachi mein!
Where: Leader Petrochem,
2323 Ravine Way, Glenview, IL 60025
Dates: November 6-7, 2010
Time: 9:00AM to 5:00PM (Parking available)
Who Can Volunteer: Ages 5 to 105
For more details, call 847-879-1020 or visit http://zindagitrustusa.org
Invite your friends, mom and dad, their friends, uncles, aunties, cousins, neighbors, co-workers and anyone that you can think of. Since this is a call to help humanity, the effort is non religious and non political. All faiths, groups and ages are welcome. I am pretty sure a 2 hour shift will be manageable by most people you ask.
We can turn this into a wonderful time. The 2 hour time slots are already getting full, so it’s pertinent that you sign up ASAP at http://zindagitrustusa.org. Many Chicago area volunteer organizations have signed up in big numbers, so don’t miss out on the event Chicago will remember for a very long time. The goal is to make about half a million food packs for the flood victims in Pakistan on November 6th and November 7th. This event is an initiative put forth by Zindagi Trust USA working with Worldwide Hunger Relief. There will be refreshments and media coverage for this event. Let’s all join hands one more time for our brothers and sisters in Pakistan and demonstrate how Chicago ROCKS!
Don’t take it from me, read it yourself on the CIA Factbook-“Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with 80% of the population living under the poverty line and 54% in abject poverty. Two-thirds of all Haitians depend on the agricultural sector, mainly small-scale subsistence farming, and remain vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters, exacerbated by the country’s widespread deforestation.”
Natural disasters have been hitting Haiti way too often, from Hurricane Gustav last year to the monstrous earthquake a few days ago, the country is in ruins every time it tries to pick itself back up again.
What a shame that it is surrounded by countries and islands that serve as the glamorous Western playgrounds. From the Bahamas to St. Lucia, cruise ships and vacation goers keep no secret of the exploitation of their journeys to the Caribbean’s.
So why has Haiti struggled?
Like a business, every country needs investors. They need people to improve on the infrastructure and opportunities. If we look back a decade ago, Haiti was a depressingly poor country, if we see its circumstances today I can guarantee that they are no better.
Yet how many people really reached out to Haiti before we heard of the massive earthquake. Not me. I wasn’t even aware of its sad circumstances.
This earthquake is Haiti’s cry for help. I encourage you all to donate what you can to give hope to the country’s survivors. After the storm has passed and people begin to go back to their normal routines , let them know you are still there to help them recover from their ghastly past.
Invest in their future.
Here are some great non profits that are setting up camps to nurse people hurt back to help, at this point, they are in most dire need of medicine and medical care.
Partners in Health-http://photos.pih.org/who/vision.html
Unicef for Haiti-https://secure.unicefusa.org/site/Donation2?df_id=6680&6680.donation=form1
*Any donations that are sent to Thaakat through the end of the month will be dedicated to a Haiti Relief fund.