A Month of Giving
Growing up in Pakistan, Ramadan was a very special month. It was that time of the year when the pace of life slowed down, our daily routines changed and became in sync with everybody else’s and at last arrived the sweet and savoury delicacies special to this month only.
As children, we were lucky to be exempt from starving ourselves, but we found the thought of it so exhilarating that we often insisted our parents to let us be part of the experience. The joy of waking up at dawn and feasting on parathas (buttery naan: richest of the rich in calorie content), showing off to each other on how strong we were and being part of preparing the delicious food to break our fast- it was something out of the ordinary and we cherished every moment.
The hardest part though was that we were supposed to be on our best behaviour ALL THE TIME. Whether we were fasting or not, Ramadan was the month when we all had to practice being kind and nice to each other. No lying, no backbiting, no getting into fights- just being a good human being. It was during this month that we were taught to care for our neighbours, to make sure they did not go hungry, and practice giving away some of our toys and our pocket money to those who were less fortunate. We learned to be compassionate and pay attention to the dire poverty around us- so prevalent that we stopped noticing.
Now, almost two decades since experiencing Ramadan in Pakistan, living in a country where there is no special marking of the month, what remains with me still is this spirit of giving. The real essence of Ramadan is really about others, how we treat them and how we can help them and society in general.
I have spent this past month, in reflection of how I can treat those around me better but also working on ensuring that I can make an impact beyond my inner circle in a small town outside of Lahore, Pakistan- the small town of Chah Kalan. This is where TCF Norway will build its school so that children who would normally be made to work in the fields, in factories or in people’s houses, will instead spend their days in school learning to read and write, do math and learn to love and respect each other no matter the differences.
TCF Norway is our effort to make a dent in the inequality that persists all around the world. When we looked at the UN Sustainable Development goals we immediately realized that the building of a school would address almost all of them so we knew this was the best way to make an impact.
As we close this month of Ramadan with Eid festivities we are truly grateful to the outpouring support by our friends, family members and most importantly strangers who feel for the cause.
In the past 30 days we ran a fundraising campaign on Facebook where we raised 46,000 norwegian kr (5600 USD) enough to send 38 children to school for 1 year. We have now raised 70% of the funds we need to reach 1.3 million kroner the cost to build a school in Pakistan. We are proud of how far we have come but we still have a long way to go because this school is just the beginning. Our unconditional support for this cause matters. We are transforming lives, creating opportunities and making a difference in society today. Let us not be deterred by the magnitude of the task but do our bit everyday so that children born in unfortunate circumstances can have a better future.
You can donate to us through facebook on our facebook page ‘TCF Norway’ or visit our website at: www.tcfnorway.org. You can also set up monthly payments by Avtale Giro- more information on our website.
Thank you for you support!
Leader, TCF Norway