Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) The alliance between two leading non-profits of Pakistan to educate children of underprivileged communities was able to get massive support of leading businessmen and industrialists from Lahore for the schooling of at least 10,000 out-of-school children. The third joint fundraiser of Shahid Shahid Afridi Foundation (SAF) and Green Crescent Trust (GCT) was held here at a hotel as it was the first time the charitable joint venture between the two charities stepped outside Sindh to expand their drive to educate children of the backward areas of Pakistan.
The most appealing feature of the fundraiser was the participation by leading Pakistani sports and show business celebrities including Anwar Maqasood, Adnan Siddiqui, Shahid Afridi, Jahangir Khan, Ahmad Shahzad, and Shahbaz Senior. The memorabilia belonging to the sports celebrities were also auctioned on the occasion to raise money for the charitable cause. Leading names of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and other trade bodies of Lahore and the rest of Punjab attended the event. Total over 400 businessmen, industrialists, philanthropists of Lahore attended the fundraiser and announced donations for the joint SAF-GCT charitable drive. Akhuwat Founder, Dr Amjad Saqib, was one of the prominent guests of the event who personally announced Rs 2.5 million donations for the charitable school education campaign of the two non-profits.
Dr Saqib also announced to join hands with the SAF and GCT to further the drive to establish charitable schools for the deprived communities all across Pakistan. Students from backward areas of Tharparkar and Kashmore in Sindh presented welcome tableaus to thank the philanthropists and businessmen of Lahore for their participation in the cause to educate children of the underprivileged areas. Prominent writer Anwar Maqsood used his celebrated humourist style to have a dialogue with Shahid Afridi to highlight the need for generously donating for the cause to enrol out-of-school children for the progress and prosperity of Pakistan.
Shahid Afridi, who is also SAF Chairman, said that he owed much to Pakistan for the name and fame he earned as his non-profit had been working in the education sector as an effective mean to pay back to his motherland. He expressed gratitude to the leading businessmen and philanthropists for lending him fullest support to carry out a number of welfare activities under the aegis of SAF.
The SAF Chairman said that his non-profit had joined hands with the GCT in view of its years-long work to educate children of the backward areas, GCT CEO, Zahid Saeed, said the joint charitable campaign required the support of the concerned philanthropists from all over the country as the enrolment of millions of out-of-school children was a gigantic task. He said the non-profit GCT had been working in the education sector for the past 28 years as it had a network of 150 charitable schools with an enrolment of 29,000 students of the backward areas.
He said the GCT had been acting upon its Vision-2025 to enrol total of 100,000 out-of-school children by increasing the number of its charitable schools to 250. The two non-profits joined hands in 2018 to work together for the education of the children of the deprived communities. Both the charities have been jointly running eight schools having an enrollment of 3,000 students from the backward areas of Sindh.
The SAF and GCT have the aim to increase the number of their jointly managed charitable schools to 100 in the next five years for the children of the underprivileged areas. Other prominent participants of the fundraiser included SAF board member Uzair Sabur, GCT trustees Abrar Ahmed, Faizan Jawaid, and Saad Zia.