The Maria-Helena Foundation is a non-profit, non-sectarian Pakistani-Canadian family-based organization that focuses on development in South Asia, primarily Pakistan. Our goal is to reduce poverty by supporting: education (especially of girls), skills training of women, and health care of children.
Profile of Pakistan
Pakistan is a Muslim majority, multi-ethenic country. The river Indus, the longest river in South Asia, is its life-line. The Indus valley civilization is the most ancient of ancient India – Mohanjo Daro and Harrapa, 5000 years old ruins, are its testimonials. Most likely the very names India and Indian Ocean are derived from “Indus”. The world’s second highest mountain, K2, is in Pakistan, and the country is also the birth place of Sikhism. Pakistan is the sixth most populous country, with a current population of about 190 million.
What We Do
1a. We fund construction of buildings used as educational facilities and skills training centres that:
- Provide quality primary education to girls and boys at low cost to poor children,
- Create employment and self-employment for poor women, and
1b. We offer half-fee scholarships to under-privileged students in primary schools. We have special scholarships only for girls in middle and high schools with emphasis on science for girls.
2. We offer free home-based education in a non-formal setting to children working as domestic servants, beggars, porters, and street hawkers, etc.
3. We provide basic health care to poor children and adults, and participate in immunization campaigns for children from poor families.
President and Contact Person:Dr. Muhammad Iqbal #919 – 4438 West 10th Avenue Vancouver, BC, V6R 4R8 Canada Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Or Tahir Din, Treasurer email@example.com
- Ms. Kim Brown, B.A.
- Dr. Diane Fast, M.D., Ph.D.
- Dr. Isabeau Iqbal, Ph.D.
- Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, Ph.D.
- Dr. Bernard Mohan, Ph.D.
- Dr. Valerie Raoul, Ph.D.
- Mr. Yvon Raoul, M.A., B.Ed.
Registered Charity # 89250 2725 RR0001 – Incorporated in 1999
What we have done?
Pakistan ranks very low in all human development indices. In addition, women have an inferior position in that patriarchal society. Poverty and ignorance are at the root of many of Pakistan’s problems. It is known that primary education and primary healthcare are essential foundations in reducing poverty.
In partnerships with Pakistani civil society organizations, the Foundation has helped establish:
- 13 permanent self-sustaining primary co-educational schools with an enrollment of about 3,500 students. One more school is planned. All teachers are women. We help build one new school every year. Land is donated by the local community. Each school costs about $70,000. All schools follow the Government approved curriculum.
- 15 one-room one-teacher co-educational primary schools meant for the extremely poor. All expenses are paid by the Foundation. Each school costs about $1,200 a year to operate. About 450 students are enrolled.
- 1 out-patient medical clinic where about 80 patients per day receive treatment at very low fees.
- 2 one-to-three-room vocational training centres in which young girls and women learn traditional needlecraft and sewing. This training helps the invisible household economy. It requires about $6,000 as capital cost to establish one such vocational school, and $1,000 per year for five years for operational expenses. After five years the school becomes self-sustaining.
- 150 half-fee scholarships worth $2 per month for primary school students. The majority of the recipients are girls.
- 20 half-fee scholarships worth $5 per month only for girls in Grades 6 to 10 in Dharyala Jalip, Jehlum.
- A new scholarship program soon to be implemented to honour the late Professor Abdus Salam, Pakistan’s only Nobel laureate. These scholarships at $15 per month, will be only for girl science students in Grades 9 and 10.
- Another Professor Abdus Salam Memorial Scholarship of unspecified amount, for any student, boy or girl, who stands first in the Matric (Grade 10) Board Examination of Punjab.
- 2 primary school libraries. Each library costs approximately $1,000.
- 7 Interns trained. Every year we take a young person, usually a recent graduate in Political Science, who spends an year of training on a part-time basis, in International Development in our Vancouver office.
- $1,290,740 raised since inception in 1999
To see an infographic about the Maria-Helena Foundation, click here.
What can you do?
Donate to the MHF itself
Our current costs are:
- $300: for one child’s (5 yr) education in a primary school @ $5 per month tuition fee
- $500: for immunization of 100 children
- $3,600: for primary education of 30 working children in a home-school operating on an accelerated three-year academic cycle
- $11,000: to establish a permanent self-sustaining vocational school for young girls and women
- $70,000: to establish a permanent self-sustaining primary school built on land provided by the community
- $40-$60/month: a teacher’s salary.
click here to download a donation form (we provide tax receipts for any sum above $10)
Check us out at the Canada Revenue Agency:
Or phone: 1-800-267-2384
We are a member of the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation: www.bccic.org