PCP hosts signing ceremony to commemorate Citi Foundation grant
According to 2004 statistics published by Education Department Government of Sindh, 50% of children aged between 5 & 9 years in Sindh are not enrolled in school in spite of a Government primary school education program across the province. The low levels of enrolment can in part be explained by absence of basic facilities- less than one-third of all government-run schools in the district have access to drinking water, electricity, boundary walls or even toilets.
This state of affairs was one of the key drivers behind Citi Foundation’s decision to endorse Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy’s (PCP’s) Corporate Philanthropy for Education program. Citibank’s grant of US$30,000 (PKR 1.8 million) will be used to fund improvements in infrastructure, strengthening teacher competencies and provision of learning materials at three Government elementary, primary and secondary schools in Gujjo, District Thatta in Sindh . The initiative aims to increase social investment in education through facilitation of linkages between corporate philanthropists, citizen organizations and the Government.
Citi Foundation’s support for eradicating illiteracy particularly in rural Sindh, was commemorated at a joint ceremony held at the PCP’s Islamabad offices in the presence of PCP Board member Dr. Attiya Innayatullah and Executive Director Shahnaz Wazir Ali along with visiting senior management from Citi, Chairman & CEO for Europe Middle-East Africa (EMEA) William J. Mills, Corporate Bank Head for EMEA Shirish Apte, Chief Operating Officer for EMEA Kevin Murray and Pakistan Country Officer & MD Zubyr Soomro. Also present at the occasion was EDO (Education) District Government Thatta Qamar-uz-Zaman Siddiqui and Chief of Party, ESRA , Richard Cartier.
A presentation on Public Private Partnership for Education was given by Ms. Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Executive Director Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy.
Qamar uz Zaman Siddiqui said “the Government is planning to increase the Education budget for the next year but there are many schools in poor condition in Thatta District which need improvement. My district Government really appreciates going into partnership with PCP and Citi Foundation for improving the Education Infrastructure.”
Shahnaz Wazir Ali said “PCP, being a support organization, aims to facilitate philanthropic efforts of the private sector in supporting Government to meet overall development goals, particularly in the field of education where a lot needs to be accomplished_ we are grateful to the Government for its cooperation and to Citi for its support to the Gujjo schools. We hope to mobilize more corporate philanthropy and see visible improvements in schools in rural Sindh and use this initiative as a base case for many similar projects in future”
William J. Mills, on tour from Citi’s regional offices in London said: “Citi is committed to making a difference in the lives of people, organizations, and communities around the world. We are proud to be associated with and to support PCP’s education programme as it seeks to enhance learning levels amongst the underprivileged.”
Zubyr Soomro , Pakistan Country Officer & MD said “We understand the integral role support organizations like PCP play in civil society and are proud to be able to provide resources to help countless underprivileged children in Thatta get a shot at a solid education”.
PCP’s education program is supported by USAID ( Pakistan) through its Education Sector Reform Assistance Program (ESRA) for improving physical infrastructure in primary schools as well as enhancing access to and quality of primary education in districts in Sindh, Islamabad Capital Territory and Earthquake Affected areas.
In the last five years alone, the Citigroup Foundation has awarded nearly $20 million in grants to 145 microfinance partners in more than 50 countries. The Citigroup Foundation's grants are awarded primarily in three areas: Financial Education, Educating the Next Generation, and Building Communities and Entrepreneurs.