Thaakat Foundation’s Creative Director, Denish Ghayal put together an eye-opening trailer for our #lethedreambe’ campaign.
This one minute clip shows how all of your contributions have played a role in the lives of these villagers in helping them get one step closer to their dreams.
Please share with your family and friends!
You may also donate through the Google Checkout link provided on our YouTube Channel.
By: Hira T. Khan | Keeper of the Blog | Thaakat Foundation
On April 22, our Rutgers New Brunswick chapter went out to the New York Asian Women’s Center (NYAWC) in Queens to share some love and spread some thaakat. This was one of their first outreach events, and it was an inspiring experience for the volunteers.
According to their Facebook page, NYAWC is the largest Pan-Asian domestic violence and human trafficking agency in the country. Every year, they help more than 600 women and 90 children. In terms of services, they offer counseling, safety planning, and shelter, as well as immigration relief, help attaining legal benefits, and children’s services.
At NYAWC, a small band of Thaakat volunteers worked together to plant a garden for these women and children who had plucked up the courage to leave abusive homes and start life anew.
“I felt a mix of emotions,” founding board member Ridah Mannan said. “One, I was in awe of how cute the kids were, still so full of life even though they were all facing their own battles. But then seeing the mothers made you sad because it made you think, ‘How could anyone be so ruthless as to abuse their own families?’”
Mannan graduated from the university last year, but she still makes time to participate in Thaakat events on campus. “Planting the garden,” she said, “so perfectly depicted that beautiful things can grow even in the darkest of corners.”
Photo by Ayesha Lodhia
By: Puja Patel | Diversity Council | Thaakat Foundation
Ever since I became a part of Thaakat, I have read all the blog posts on the WordPress site, all the Thaakat articles in Urdu Times, and all the statuses on our Facebook fan page (which if you haven’t liked yet, you really should). However, I have never been on the other end – I have never written anything for Thaakat. Part of the reason I never wrote an article is because I can write long boring research papers or historical papers that can put someone to sleep within few minutes, but I cannot write a creative article. So, why am I writing all of a sudden? Well, I was inspired by a 15-year-old. But before I get into that, here is a little insight into my relationship with Thaakat.
It was the end of my second year as a high school teacher. I did not want another summer to go by that I felt was a waste. I figured why not do what I have wanted to for a long time – work for a non- profit that I can be fully involved in. So as usual, I reached out to Google for help.
After some intense research on nonprofits, I came across the Thaakat Foundation. I emailed Thaakat and got a response within a day. Uzma Bawany Ali, the founder of Thaakat, offered to meet with me to tell me more about Thaakat and what it stands for. After the meeting, she asked me to think about whether or not I wanted to join and to decide how I wanted to help. After I met her, there was no doubt that I wanted to help. It is rare to come across someone like Uzma who is so passionate about helping out where the need is most – to not think about race, nationality, beliefs, age, religion…. to just think about how she can reach out to them.
I have been inspired by quite a few people in my life, one being Uzma. I know that there are many other people that will inspire me in the future as well. However, I never thought that I would be inspired by one of my students – a student that has cursed at me, started fights in my classroom, and then walked out. Today, he came to me and said, “Yo, Miss!!! Did you watch that K..O…N..Y.. video? I want to donate a dollar for that.”
I was quite embarrassed that I did not know what video he was talking about. I knew of Kony, but was clueless about the video. This student who has never stepped out of New York City, who knows very little about current events wanted to reach out to people that he has no relation to. It took me about six months to finally get him engaged in a class – and this one video motivated him within thirty minutes.
His desire to reach out strengthened my beliefs and what I know Thaakat stands for: crossing social boundaries to help the ones in need and to raise awareness. A 15-year-old who faces academic challenges, who is from a low income family, and who is constantly under pressure from gang members wants to help out kids on another continent. So, why can’t an adult who has a stable family, who is well educated, and who lives in a safe community, reach out to a person that does not share any similarity with him or her except for the fact that they are human?
We have been a part of the globalization process for centuries – so then why do we still want to keep ourselves separated? I am not saying that we shouldn’t reach out to people that we can relate to… but why stop helping just there? Rather, I am saying we may be able to form a relation between ourselves and others if we reach out to someone based on need and not solely on background.
Moving forward I will be writing about my other inspirations….The Thaakat chapters that have reached out to so many across the country and the world… reached out to people that they have never met. Through my experiences and through the experiences of the chapters, I can truly say that even if we may never meet an individual we have helped, we have formed a connection with them that cannot be described in words.
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