It was a humble beginning when we thought of consolidating our work of non-formal education in thirty villages into a model school. We started with virtually no resources at hand. With a paltry sum of eighty thousand rupees we ventured into the contstruction of the first phase of the plan. A request was sent to the circle of my personal friends and we could successfully build two rooms and the boundary walls at a total cost of three hundred thousand rupees. After this, there was no looking back for us. More than hundred and twenty friends of Khoj have extended their helping hand and it is because of their generosity that we are where we are. I owe special thanks to Amer Rasul, Tahira Habib, Mohsina Najeeb and Naseera Habib who have not only funded themselves regularly since 2006 but have substantially fundraised for Khoj School and Health Center.
While thinking of the friends of Khoj my mind goes to Shahana Manzar, Susan Gibson and Laurie Campbell who are away from us in the physical sense but have always showed solidarity even without us reminding them. Without Shahana’s support, it was not possible to build Khoj Health Center. She not only contributed herself substantially but mobilised resources from others as well. She introduced us to Mr Salim Manzar who funded almost fifty percent of the cost of the construction of the Health Center. She is a constant support and remains an inspiration for us.
Susan Gibson – what an extra ordinary human being she is. She visited our field program along with Laurie Campbell. I still have photographic memory of their visit of the villages. It had rained and the pathway to the planned village was muddy and slippery. The worn out vehicle they were sitting in with us was slipping in the wrong direction to the almost overflowing canal. I was worried for the visitors but there were no signs of fear or anxiety on their faces. They went back; no promises made for any support intended for Khoj. But it was the beginning of a long lasting relationship. Susan not only very generously contributes financially but also persuades others to support the humble endeavors of Khoj. I don’t have words of appreciation for her kindness and thoughtfulness when she requested her friends to send donations to Khoj in lieu of the gifts they intended to give on her fiftieth birthday. The support, as a result, we received was overwhelming. Laurie Campbell took a lead with a very generous donation.
Laurie, you are an amazing person. I admire your passion for the development of underpreviledged women and girls.
Working for the meaningful and relevant education in the present not so favorable environment is a huge challenge and we need material and moral support from more and more friends. Come and join hands with us.
Nasira Habib – Founder Director
I’ve been involved in community development since 1986 in Kenya, Ethiopia, Pakistan and in South Asia in a regional role, working in the fields of policy analysis, health, institutional building, education, monitoring and evaluation, gender amongst others. For the last 6-7 years, however, I’ve the honour of serving humanity in a much deeper and broader role, through the study and subsequent teaching of Quran and Hadith. Much as this is still limited to few students, its really the peak of my career, the best thing I ever did, and I am humbled and so honoured. Alhamdolillah thumma Alhamdolillah.
Susan Gibson is the vice-chair of the Carter Centre UK. From 2007-2009, Susan was co-chair of the London Committee of Human Rights Watch and was the chair of Learning for Life (schools in India and Pakistan) from 2003-2007. For ten years, Susan was a consultant in the field of microfinance and prior to that was a fundraiser in Toronto. Susan is soon to join the UK board of the IRC (International Rescue Committee).
Laurie is a Managing Director in Debt Capital Markets at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and lives in New York City. She is a strong supporter of women’s rights and is proud to sponsor organizations whose missions are to provide women and girls with reproductive self-determination; healthcare; education; and protection from violence, exploitation, and discrimination.