The Citizens Foundation, a new club on campus that empowers global change

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First-year student Vaneezeh Hassan has created the Brock University chapter of The Citizens Foundation (TCF), which is up and running as of this month.

Globally recognized, The Citizens Foundation is a professionally managed non-profit organization that focuses on providing quality education and positive change to less privileged students living in Pakistan, in hopes of creating opportunities for a better future.

“The main goal of the creators of TCF is to make regular schools for children who can’t access schooling in remote areas,” said Hassan. “These schools are built from funds collected through special fundraising programs and galas across North America.”

Hassan, who was born in Pakistan and came to Canada at a young age, stated that the goals and objectives of Brock’s TCF chapter will be “to educate the Brock community about the state of education around the globe, not just in Canada.” She explained that she decided to start the club when she saw that Brock, as a university, prides itself in having an international presence.

Along with Brock, TCF has many university chapters across Canada, including York, McGill and McMaster, as well as several chapters across America.

Furthermore, Hassan explained that the club will host social events for students with the intention of raising funds to support education in Pakistan, raise awareness and highlight current issues impacting Pakistan through a series of engaging lectures and debates, and showcase documentary screenings. They also plan to host seminars held by intellectual guest speakers as well as create a community atmosphere for students concerned with the state of education in Pakistan.

During the winter break, Hassan stated that she had the opportunity of visiting a TCF school in Lahore, Pakistan.

“It was really impressive to see the development, the school was a big building in the middle of an otherwise underdeveloped village,” said Hassan. “The students were extremely confident and eager to learn.”

Reflecting on her experience, Hassan affirmed that “education is a powerful tool”, giving not only knowledge but power to change the future. For her, TCF isn’t just an organization building schools for students, it paves the way for a better future.

“One of the club’s first tasks as a group will be to hold an upcoming social media campaign titled #inspired,” says Hassan. “As the Founder and President of the Brock chapter, I really want to capture and highlight what the organization is about.”

“[For the #inspired campaign] I went around to our team and asked why the TCF students inspire us,” said Hassan. “I also went to the TCF students [in Pakistan] and asked what inspires them to learn. I think that this is a good way to communicate our club’s sentiments to the rest of the Brock community.”

“We want to help remove privilege as a learning barrier,” said Hassan. “By providing children their right to learn, we open doors for innovation and positive societal change. We can’t change where we come from, but education gives us the ability to grow.”

To learn more about Brock’s chapter of TCF, or to get involved, you can reach them on Facebook (The Citizens Foundation – Brock University), on Twitter (@thecitizensfoundation), and on Instagram (TCFBrock).

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