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AL-MASHAL FOUNDATION

AL-MASHAL FOUNDATION
Ms. Zainab Junaid Khan (FOUNDER OF AL-MASHAL FOUNDATION)

Submitted by: Rehan Alam Khan Section: B

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AL-MASHAL FOUNDATION

Acknowledgement
I would like to express my gratitude to all those who gave me the possibility to complete my project. Foremost I acknowledge course instructor Mr. Iqbal Khan for guiding me regarding this project. Beside my instructor I would like to thank Ms. Zainab Junaid Khan for taking out her precious time and devoting it to my project. She provided me with the required information regarding her organization (Al-Mashal Welfare Foundation) as needed by the project. Without her support it was impossible to complete the project. Lastly, I would like to thank my classmate Hassan Waqas Khan Saul who helped me in conducting the interview with Ms. Zainab Junaid Khan.

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TABLE OF CONTENT Page No.

Social Entrepreneur Profile

04

Motivation of Entrepreneur. 06 AL-Mashal Foundation. 08 Impact on Society 14 Achievements . 15 Personal Views . 16 References .. 18

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Profile of Zainab Junaid Khan

In developing countries like Pakistan, meager financial resources mean that the government lags behind in eradicating or repressing the social problems faced by the country. Therefore we have experienced the emerging role of social entrepreneurs in recent times. Ansar Burney, Imran Khan, Abrar-ul-Haq, Abdul-Sattar-Edhi and other renowned social entrepreneurs have worked to make a positive change in our society. Their work has inspired many current and aspiring social entrepreneurs and as a result we are now witnessing the emergence of many dynamic individuals who have vowed to eradicate social problems of our society.

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Ms. Zainab Junaid Khan is among these social entrepreneurs. She is the founder and President of Al-Mashal Welfare organization. The organization provides quality education and vocational training to marginalized children of our society. Although not recognized as a household name as far as social entrepreneurs are concerned, her aspirations are high. A Social Entrepreneur stands morally higher than another based on their efforts to provide solutions to our social problems not on how big or small they are. Ms. Zainab Junaid Khan, born and raised in Rawalpindi is a philanthropist belonging to a well-educated family. After her marriage she moved to Lahore where she established Al-Mashal Welfare Foundation. It is really inspiring and impressive to witness a female in her early thirties single handedly running and managing the operations of an organization. From the very start, Zainab Junaid Khan had affection for children and today she is trying to improve the life of underprivileged children of the society. By profession, Zainab Junaid Khan is a trained Montessori teacher and has considerable experience in the field of teaching. She has completed courses from PMA Islamabad and University of Upper Fraser Valley (Canada) and taught in Canada. When she returned to Pakistan, she started teaching in Stepping Stone Islamabad and later in the Iqra Jadeed School. Ms. Khan was inspired by Mr. Ansar Burney and Mr. Abdul Sattar Edhia who are renowned figures. Seeing them striving hard for the betterment of our society also inspired her to do something good for our country. Although they were her role models, her true inspiration was her mother, who taught her the value of making the difference in someones life. According to her mother It is more satisfying to give to others rather than take from others. During her childhood she saw her family actively participating in social activities. Her family was not able to initiate any organization but they helped other social enterprises by donating to them. Her mother was a very active participant in charitable work, thus motivating Ms. Khan to help others.

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Motivation of Entrepreneur
The urge to help others was present in her heart and mind from a very young age. But she was not mentally mature enough to come up with a plan of laying down the foundation of an organization on her own. She was well aware of socioeconomic issues prevalent in our society. Before establishing the Al Mashal Foundation, Zainab Junaid Khan identified both the lack of access to education for underprivileged individuals of the cities and the lack of quality education, provided by the state. Zainab Junaid Khan felt that the provision of quality education is a pre-requisite for a good society. She wanted to reduce illiteracy existing in our country by improving education via imparting knowledge to children as a teacher. It was in Lahore where her journey as a successful entrepreneur started. Her maid was not happy with the education her child was getting into a government school nearby her residence. He was just fulfilling the duty his parents had endowed on him by attending the
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school. However the education had very little impact on the overall grooming of the child. The maid was aware that Ms. Zainab was a teacher by profession and asked her a favor to teach her child and make him well-mannered and educated. At this point, Ms. Zainab assessed that although the child was studying in a government school the true essence of education was missing. So she started teaching her maids children in her own home. This was in effect Ms. Zainabs first school. Very soon the school gained attention through word-of-mouth, and as a result other children of the locality started coming. The numbers increased quickly and when she could not accommodate them in her home she rented two rooms which again quickly became inadequate. After interacting with parents of children and taking the childrens point of view, she found out that the parents were willing and the children were passionate to get educated. Due to a low income it was difficult for parents to accommodate the fees of government schools, uniform, books and transport with that of daily household expenses. It was clear that poverty deprived children of a quality education. In addition, some girls coming to study were discouraged from attending primary school for religious and cultural reasons. Zainab Khan realized that education was important and was a basic right of children and therefore should not be withheld. Charging fees would simply mean stripping them of their right to an education. So she decided to open up a proper education center that would provide the poverty stricken children with a quality education where they would be provided free books and stationery. Opening this school was her first project dedicated to the welfare of the community. Prior to this, her charitable works were confined to donating for the sustainability of other organizations. She feels really self-satisfied after doing this work. It seems good when you see that due to your efforts and hard work so many children are getting a better education and have a chance to live a better life in the future. This organization was not a dream; it was just a bleak thought that was given a solid shape by the effort and support of certain individuals. She was
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enthusiastically supported by her in-laws and husband who gave her the strength to fulfill this task.

Profile of Al-Mashal
Al-Mashal Welfare Foundation is a registered organization providing quality education to the underprivileged and poverty stricken children of Saddar, Lahore. Established by Zainab Junaid Khan on August 2004, the school has come a long way. The school is now affiliated with the Punjab Board and a valid certificate of affiliation was issued on 19th October 2010. The curriculum is that of a good English medium school, because to do well in any career, proficiency in English is must. The journey started from educating one
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individual in one room. Currently it is providing an education to 165 students. These children get free education, books, stationery, uniforms and lunch. An amount of Rs.50 is charged from students to make parents more conscious regarding their child's education so that they realize something is being spent. This amount is being paid by very few of the parents and a few are paying below this. The school provides education up to grade 5 from Play group. They study all the major core courses Mathematics, English, Urdu, Social Studies, Science and Islamiyat. In Co-curricular activities they have art class and social education class. In social education class the students interact with students of other grades and get to know each other and share their stories. The school is equipped with a small computer lab so that childrens education goes hand in hand with todays technological revolution. The children are competent enough to operate the computer, do typing and use the internet. There is a small library also to develop reading interest among students for subjects different from their regular courses. The childrens knowledge is not limited to books; once a week they are provided a general knowledge class where they are assessed on their thinking skills through weekly assessments. A vocational training teacher teaches the older students stitching, embroidery, tie and dye, candle making, and cooking. With this education special emphasis is also placed on character building and ethical behavior of students. The teachers regularly give instructions about good manners and moral conduct so students have a well-rounded education. Al-Mashal periodically arranges a Mother Training Program that provides vocational training and basic literacy skills and strategies of better child rearing to the mothers of the students, because it is widely known that better educated mothers will inevitably raise better educated children. In addition, they attend the Daura-e-Quran in Ramadan which for many was very enlightening as they are not aware of even the basics of their religion. They are regularly counseled on the importance of educating their children, regular attendance at school, hygiene and cleanliness. The school also arranges for medical treatment as required of any student. One of their students, Omar was diagnosed with TB of intestines and
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they had him treated at Jinnah Hospital. The teachers teaching in the school is also provided with on the job training by Ms. Zainab Junaid Khan. Unfortunately, teachers are not highly qualified, with the biggest issue being pronunciation. How a teacher teaches is what the student learns. Therefore, teacher workshops are conducted before lectures and during vacation time with the goal of elevating their teaching skills. A problem confronts the society: Poverty in Pakistan is complex. Socioeconomic problems existing in our society such as child labor, lack of access to education, theft, and suicides are symptoms of poverty. Many poverty stricken children are lacking access to primary education as their parents cant afford the charges of education. The parents want their children to earn for survival rather than become a liability for them. They perceive education as a burden rather than a blessing. The element of survival in such harsh economic condition has compelled the children manual labor. Education of underprivileged children in Pakistan is assailed by many problems; including lack of quality institutes, reluctance and carelessness on the part of the teacher (government school) and parents in promoting the interest of education among children, discouragement of female education and disengaged students. Before enrolling, many of the students were seen prowling the streets and eventually got into bad company. The problem will continually increase if measures are not taken. These problems collectively will lead to dire educational outcomes for students in rural Pakistan because currently the government gives preferential attention to other political and major issues. As a consequence, this problem is being addressed by those who are more concerned with it. Geographical Location/ Name Decisions: Many would perceive that Al-Mashal means beacon. In the context of education it would symbolize the guidance one gets through education (education being the beacon). Ms. Khan feels that were she to have a daughter she would name her Mashal. Therefore, because this foundation has the importance of a daughter to her, she has named the
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foundation Al-Mashal to signify how important this organization is to her. Currently the organization is located in Saddar, Lahore, in the vicinity of the slums where the targeted children can be reached easily. The existence of the school in such area would improve the living environment of the area by promoting and encouraging education. The decision of location is, however, hampered by the rent of the premises, as the decision of changing the premises in 2007 by the organization was due to high rent. Objectives: The Mission of the school is to educate the underprivileged children of our society. Some of the goals or objectives of the school are as follows:
Increasing access to education for those who are unable to attend

school.
Moral character building of the students. Promoting childrens cognitive development. Encouragement of female education. Making children self-sustaining.

Management Policy/ Hiring of Staff: Al-Mashal is solely managed and run by its owner. She formulates its policies and oversees the implementation of them. All major decisions are undertaken by her without any mutual consent by others. She decides the courses to be taught and designs the whole term schedule. The teachers authority is limited to students. The admission of students and their assessment is handled by the owner. She conducts monthly meetings to monitor progress. Any issues relating to parents are dealt with by the owner. Zainab hires new teachers per the requirement of the school. The school has ten teachers, three vocational training teachers, and a computer
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teacher in addition to a few volunteer teachers and Qari Sahab. The school has an affiliation with University of Central Punjab, where the students per the requirement of their specific program have to engage in voluntary work. Some of them opt for teaching the students of the foundation. This association with UCP has helped to improve the standard of teaching. The volunteer teachers polish the computing and mathematical skills of the students. They also guide the teachers, and have helped them to improve their Communication Skills. Sources of Funding: The major question of concern with the most Social Welfare Organization is financial sustainability. So far the school has received very few donations, with most of the financial support being provided by the friends of the owner and relatives. Twice, the school has received a recognizable amount of donations from Army Corp Commander which was used to facilitate their move to new premises. One year, rent for the previous premises was rendered by a Muslim Community living in Glasgow. The foundation has approached ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America) relief to ask for donations in order to help in promoting education. The organization aims to become self-sustaining. Perception by Stakeholders: It was conspicuous that the students were not taking their studies for granted but were enjoying receiving an education at the foundation. The students were enthusiastic and passionate, and the teachers were also playing their role professionally imparting knowledge to the students. The students were actively participating and expressing their zeal for gaining knowledge. While visiting, I interacted with students, their parents and teachers. The parents were satisfied with the school and were praising the work of Ms. Zainab. One mother expressed the view that My son is not only getting educated but he is being transformed into a good human being. One mother added if not for this organization my child would either be playing on streets like other children are doing labor. The foundation has given their children hope for the future and has provided them a fundamental right that their parent, we're unable to provide because such a foundation did not exist.
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The female teachers were also gratified by teaching here because they felt more secure as compared to how they felt while working at government schools (hesitant and insecure). The teachers say they are being developed into more professional teachers through training. They have learned a lot while working here and want to serve the foundation. Different grade students opinion was also taken. They said Aunty (Ms. Zainab) is a really good human being who has made us better human beings. They love to study. They say they enjoy being here and want to learn more. The positive thing I noticed there was that not only the teachers were making an effort to teach students they were also making an effort to learn. The writing of the students was really impressive. We were shown an essay written by a 3rd grade girl who had joined a month ago. Her writing was worthy of appreciation. The three main areas of focus were writing, reading and cognitive skills of the students. While visiting few ongoing classes, going through their notebooks and interacting with them it became evident that the teachers were putting their utmost effort in making their student excel in all three areas. The local community recognizes the school as a positive change, and they feel that the existence of the school in the area has brought a positive change in the attitude of children. No. of Beneficiaries Impacted: Since 2004, Al-Mashal is proud to impart primary school education to 800 students in its school. Currently it is providing education to 165 students. Around 60 teachers have received vocational training from school. Annual Budget: The annual budget of Al-Mashal is approximately Rs.10Lac (2011). The cost includes the salary of teachers, food for the children, stationery, course and notebooks, and electricity. The school is able earned to earn a very minor amount of Income from its student fees. It fluctuates between Rs. 3,500-4,500. The percentage of annual earned Income is approximately 4.5%.

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Biggest Hurdle Faced: The journey so far wasnt smooth and swift. There were various problems and issues creating obstacles. Following are the issues that were faced:
A foundation is being managed by female entrepreneur all alone. In

countries like Pakistan due to factors such as Gender discrimination it becomes difficult for women to make progress. In order to complete paperwork such as registration of the foundation and purchasing, of course one has to interact with male members of the community.
Some people in the vicinity of the previous premise were against the

existence of a school in the area and wanted it to move away, so they resorted to intimidation of the owner.
Lack of qualified teachers. The school could not afford more qualified

teachers so they were looking for teachers with a similar background as students, but who were equipped with satisfactory teaching skills. Raising their skill level to an acceptable standard was a really difficult task.
Parents of the children were a main hurdle. Some parents were reluctant

to send their children to school. The students were not punctual and regular due to negative attitudes on the part of their parents. As a result they used to lag behind others and were not able to progress. Some parents withdrew their children and sent them to work at workshops and mills. They thought their children were wasting time.
Switching of premises due to high rent. It has caused them to lose a

certain amount of students and some good well-trained teachers. Apart from this, it is really difficult to shift and adjust from one place to another.

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Future: The job is not done yet. There is a lot to do. There are 3 major goals set up in the mind of the owner which she wants to achieve. First she wants their own premise so the process of switching from one building to another stops. Secondly she wants to expand by introducing more classes. She feels that education up to grade 5 is incomplete. You dont know what the children will do with their future after leaving. She wants the school to provide education up to matriculation. Last she wants qualified teachers that have better teaching skills and methods.

Impact on Society
In developing countries there is a yawning gap between the education of poor and affluent class. Education is said to be the means through which quality life of a society is enhanced. The gap of illiteracy in our society needs to be narrowed down. The punch line is that Education is the single most important factor in the development of developing countries. Al-Mashal Foundation is trying to provide quality education to the children who are deprived of it. Opening up a new school simply means investment in education. Al-Mashal Foundation is making a positive change in the society. It is providing the children a taste of childhood, a base for a promising future. In poor societies,

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lack of resources greatly impact and impedes education. It is providing the hope to parents and children that education is accessible. The foundation is promoting education of female. In countries like Pakistan female freedom is lacking and due to this many female have curtailed education. It is a primary school that is not targeting the masses. The education at this level leads to the development of a childs social, cognitive and physical development. The education of these children would have a snow-ball effect. Their younger siblings will be influenced to get educated; the children when they become parents would want their kids to get an education, as they themselves know its importance. Education is a solution to many problems and a key to more opportunities. Education is considered to be a cure for poverty which is the biggest problem existing in our society. Education on poverty struck children would make them self-sustaining. So the major positive change the foundation is trying to bring about is the creation of an educated society that would in turn eliminate poverty.

Achievements
The biggest achievement for any one is when he accomplishes his set up targets. The foundation started with a few goals in mind and so far has achieved more than that. The primary goal of the foundation was to provide quality education to poverty stricken childrens. The journey started with a child and so far 800 students have got quality education. The school has
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extended itself to grade 5th and is also registered with Punjab Board. The students have shown their qualities and caliber at different competitions. The work of the Foundation was given recognition by University of Central Punjab and as a result they banded themselves through a contract, in which university student voluntarily comes and teach at the organization. ICNA Relief Fund has also appreciated and recognizes the working of the foundation and as a result has provided them help by providing funds for two years.

Personal View
The visit to the foundation was quite inspiring. It satisfies one that at least there are people out there working for betterment of our society, caring for those who have been ignored by many. Ms. Zainab Junaid Khan is an inspiring figure. It was impressive to see a woman at such young age doing such a
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work for a social cause. I personally felt that students were getting quality education .Provision of Quality Education is one area where Pakistan is lagging behind. Filling this gap can help us achieve much more. Such Welfare organization will bridge the gap between the inequalities of education. The vantage of schools in the slums is not restricted to the student getting an education but also to the society. In todays time we see people complaining regarding rising prices, poor governance and the harsh conditions in the country that puts a big question mark on one own survival. But I feel proud to see someone working for a positive change, someone who is spending and striving hard to make a better world for others to live, when the circumstances around you are odd against you. After visiting the foundation I was instigated to do something for it. I checked out how much money is in my wallet, I found an Rs.1000 note, which I then donated to the foundation. This donation was not just to help it was an acknowledgement and appreciation of the work it was doing. I think my role just not end over here. It is not restricted to donating. Our students can make a positive change in our society by just giving our lifes one month of teaching in such organization we can make a bigger impact. We make comments on the condition of our country; we curse poverty in our country. A true Pakistani would stand up against all these odds and try to make the society better for living. This is what these social entrepreneurs are doing making the society better for living, trying to eliminate the social problems. Unique Quality: There are various Social Entrepreneurs working for the promotion of education among underprivileged children. The factor that makes it incumbent to include the foundation in the book is the owner itself. She was just 27 years of age when she initiated this project. Female entrepreneurs face various hurdles in a male dominant society, making their existence difficult. Including her profile in the book would be acknowledgement of her effort. There are very rare young female social entrepreneur in Pakistan. She would be a motivational figure for aspiring young social female entrepreneur. Male
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celebrities like Imran Khan, Shehzad Roy, Abrar-ul-Haq, Jawad Ahmed and many others in the same league had fame, stealth and expedition on their side. This young lady had nothing except self-proclaimed motivation, aspiration and rationality which demands a time period for a gradual execution after a series of non-derailed efforts.

References:
Interview with Ms. Zainab Junaid Khan www.almashalfoundation.org
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