It’s a place that brings children together — to laugh, learn and grow — and reminds these youngsters what it is to be a child.
Instead of working, over 25 Pakistani youth aged three to 13-years-old, are spending their youth alongside other children, learning English, math and Urdu in a small, one-room classroom.
Twenty-three-year-old University of Calgary international relations student, Sheraz Ali Khan, and 12 friends from the Pakistani Youth Organization started the initiative more than three years ago in their hometown of Karachi.
“It’s a large city, but there are so many areas where youngsters are deprived of quality education,” Khan explains. “…We went to the houses of every parent. It was one of the most difficult tasks, because each parent wanted their children to go and earn for them.”
Named after an ambitious young friend who died in a motorcycle accident at only 23-years-old, The Tauseef Memorial School is run out of Khan’s father’s home in Pakistan. Someday, the group hopes to move the school into a separate building.
So far Khan, who moved to Canada from Pakistan in 2007, has raised about $500.
It’s less than half the amount ($2,500) he needs to move the school into it’s own building and register it with the government of Pakistan, yet he remains confident he’ll be able to raise the needed amount within a year.