The Citizens Foundation (TCF)

The Citizens Foundation (TCF) is a nonprofit established in 1995 in Pakistan to help educate children, youth, and adults from underprivileged communities across the country and create a positive social impact. Through its education programmes, TCF became an award-wining organisation helping uplift communities out of poverty through education. It has an active fundrasing chapter in the UAE as well as registered entities in the US and Europe.

  • Organisation type Nonprofit
  • Year founded 1995
  • Headquartered Karachi
  • Registration United States · United Arab Emirates · Switzerland · Canada · United Kingdom · Australia · Pakistan · Italy · Norway
  • Website

Related sustainable development goals

  • No Poverty
  • Good Health and Well-Being
  • Quality Education
  • Gender Equality
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Reduced Inequalities


286,000 students enrolled in TCF schools

174,000 adult literacy learners

57,000 graduates from TCF schools

1,921 school units built 

14,000 all-female faculty members

48,000 people benefited from clean drinking water

Focus areas

Focus sectors

  • Development
    • Economic development
      • Community improvement
  • Education
    • Early childhood education
    • Adult education
      • Adult Literacy
    • Vocational education
    • Education services
      • Student retention
    • Elementary and secondary education
    • Higher education
  • Health
    • Public health
      • Water access, sanitation and hygiene
  • Humanitarian
    • Emergency relief
    • Youth development
  • Philanthropy
    • Voluntarism

Focus populations

  • Academics
  • Low-income people
  • Students
  • Teachers
  • Women and girls
  • Working poor

Focus geographies

  • South Asia
    • Pakistan


  • Adamjee Life
  • Bank of Punjab (BOP)
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Buckle and Seam
  • Citi Foundation
  • Coca-Cola
  • Express Media group
  • Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE)
  • Institute of Development & Economic Alternatives (IDEAS)
  • Jazz mobile network operator
  • Karachi Golf Club
  • Karachi Literature Festival (KLF)
  • MITI (Memon Industrial & Technical Institute)
  • Orange Tree Foundation
  • Professional Academy of Commerce (PAC)
  • Punjab Education Foundation (PEF)
  • Young Education Supporters (YES)


  • Aab E Rehmat clean water programme

    A TCF programme that helps provide access to clean drinking water for underprivileged communities in Pakistan. Currently, more than 48,000 people in 11 districts are benefiting from this programme every day.  

  • Aagahi Illuminates Lives!

    This TCF programme was launched in 2004 as a literacy programme for girls and women from rural areas and urban slums to help them learn how to read and write. The programme, which enrolls more than 20,000 learners every year and has benefited 174,000 girls and women to-date, was awarded the UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy in 2017.

  • Education programmes

    Under its education programmes, TCF has three sub-programmes focussing on digital literacy, early childhood education, and mother tongue based multilingual education. It also conducts intensive principal and teacher training to ensure quality education in its schools.

  • TCF Pakistan flood relief

    Following the devastating floods that hit Pakistan in late 2022, TCF launched an appeal to provide urgent relief items and food to the most impacted communities.

  • TCF schools

    To date, TCF has built a network of 1,921 primary and secondary schools across Pakistan.

  • Vocational training programme

    This TCF programme provides women living in the communities around TCF schools with vocational training to achieve financial independence and gain access to income-generating opportunities.



  • US$ 40.2 million

Funding model

  • In-kind gifts
  • Programme related investment
  • Volunteering

Primary funders

  • Adnan Husain family
  • Allan & Nesta Ferguson
  • Australian High Commission
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Charities Aid Foundation (CAF)
  • Dallas Fort-Worth Supporters
  • Echidna Giving
  • Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office
  • Give Light Foundation
  • Global 3M Giving
  • HCD Memorial
  • Interloop Welfare Trust
  • Jazz Foundation
  • Jochnick Foundation
  • Merck Family Foundation
  • Noorani family
  • Pousaz Philanthropies
  • Queen Ann's Gate Foundation
  • Sir Ernest Cassel
  • The Shirin Sultan Dossa Foundation
  • UBS Optimus Foundation
  • Waterloo Foundation

Funding source

  • Fundraising
  • Private


Key staff

  • Syed Asaad Ayub Ahmad, president and CEO
  • Ali Aamir, CFO
  • Riaz Kamlani, executive vice president of programmes
  • Zia Akhter Abbas, executive vice president of development
  • Ghazala Nadeem, executive vice president of human resources, technology, and organisation excellence
  • Shazia Kamal, executive vice president of outcomes
  • Tauseef Ul Islam, executive vice president of engineering, supply chain, and land management

Board members

  • Adnan Asdar
  • Ahsan M. Saleem
  • Ateed Riaz
  • Hajerah Ahsan Saleem
  • Ishaque Noor
  • Jahanzeb Awan
  • Musadaq Zulqarnain
  • Mushtaq K. Chhapra
  • Nilofer Saeed
  • Rizwan Diwan
  • Saima Amin Khawaja
  • Tariq Raza Hussain

Contact details



From The Citizens Foundation:

Annual report 2023