To continuously strive for transformation of dhoraji memons into a highly educated, self reliant, progressive and a healthy community.
Dhoraji Memons to be a role model community where:
- A literate means a bachelor’s degree holder whether male or female.
- Each family has at least one professionally qualified person.
- Each member of the family is gainfully employed and self reliant.
Going down memory lane takes us to 1990 the founding year of Dhoraji Youth Services Foundation (DYSF) when though we were focused to take up education and health as the priorities but still groping to find the starting point. Interactions within the team and the community elders gave the insight of the roadmap with cautions about the challenges. The team was motivated and embarked on the journey with “Never Say Die” spirit.
1991 saw the holding of the 1st Academic Excellence Award Ceremony at the Rangoonwala Community Center. We never imagined that the ceremony will set the tone for infusing the spirit of education in the community. This ceremony evoked so much interest about education that both students and parents consider qualifying for awards as the “be all and end all” of academic excellence. The gold medalists of the ceremony became the most prestigious lot and are considered as the highest achievers in the community.
Competition got tougher every year, number of entries swelled and trigged the interest even within the members of Dhoraji community living abroad. Consequently we started receiving entries from USA, UK, Saudi Arabia, UAE etc. The global participation by the community was a great motivator for us as well.
Consistent holding of the Academic Excellence Awards Ceremonies led to related initiatives such as Career Counseling, financial assistance to needy students and screening of education institutions to ensure that the students are enrolled only in the accredited institutions in this age of commercialization where even education has not been spared. The community support for all these activities is overwhelming.
The main reason to focus on education was the belief that through this vehicle we will be able to create a more knowledgeable community who will be self-reliant solving their problems without putting pressures on the community institutions and their resources. The 20th Academic Excellence Awards Ceremony with more than 340 high achievers in diverse levels and disciplines is proving that our community has mashallah come a long way in 20 years. The students graduating through our financial assistance are now forthcoming to help others. This may be a small beginning but will inshallah have a far-reaching impact in the long-term.
The community development through education is being carried out with an integrated approach which includes education awareness, career counseling, facilitation in identification of the accreditation institutions in the respective discipline, performance monitoring of the students, recognition of the high achievers and leadership development. It is heartening to note that parents residing in Kharadar and Nayabad are equally aware of the importance of quality education as their counterparts in Dhoraji, New Dhoraji colony and DHA.
In order to provide sustainability to our community development program, we need succession planning and to ensure that we need leadership development. We have engaged the young professionals of the community in the voluntary work. These volunteers are named as “SHAHEENS”. The name has been coined to groom them as a true reflection of Shaheens of Allama Iqbal. Our Shaheens have starting sharing and taking the responsibilities for carrying out various activities and organizing the events. These Shaheens will inshallah be the future leadership of the community.
In order to inculcate the spirit of giving in the young professionals we initiated the program called “Joining Hands”. Under the program young professionals of the community are encouraged to donate a small amount every month to support the scholarship program. Though it is a small beginning but the response is amazing. Young professionals, both boys and girls have come forward to part with their earnings. The spirit is more important than the amount. We hope that these young donors will inshallah make big contributions when they grow in their careers. Our vision is to enroll 1000 such donors in next 5 years to create a broad base critical mass of donors to achieve our mission of educating the community. Joining Hands is also a gesture of sharing the burden of the elders of community who have been supporting the cause for last six decades.
In order to sustain the community development in the long term, we have already started building the Endowment Fund. The seed money has been put in and the investments are being professionally managed. Endowments funds grow over decades therefore this is the nurturing time. Our future generations would inshallah be able to reap the benefits of the fund for education. If members of the community want to be part of the humongous task of community development the best they can do is to contribute to the endowment fund. We estimate that a fund of Rs. 300 million would generate enough income to support the scholarship program ensuring education for all in need. In this age of financial upheavals, I would also request the families to get their own education endowment plans for ensuring education to their near and dear ones. DYSF is now equipped to provide the professional advice on developing such a plan.
Looking at the performance of last 20 years it seems that our community is transforming into a role model for education, community and business leadership. This is not the end, the journey has just begun and we have still a long way to go. The next 20 years should inshallah see us with atleast two model schools for students in Gulshan-e-Iqbal and Gulsitan–e-Johar and a Center of Excellence for professional studies especially in business and finance. We should ensure that the endowment fund has attained its target of Rs. 300 million or more and generating enough income to provide education to each and every needy student of the community. We would inshallah be moving towards the realization of our vision where each member of the community is at least a Bachelor degree holder whether male or female and most of the families are self sustaining. The leadership of the community would consist of highly qualified and skilled professionals.
Another sector where we have focused in last 20 years is health. We have adopted a two pronged strategy to address the health of the community and the society. Through the preventive healthcare we have tried to create awareness through health camps and seminars. On the curative side we have tried to make the healthcare accessible to the poor of the community and the society through a Patient Welfare Program. Thousands of patients have been referred to our panel hospitals for treatment and restore their quality of life. This has been possible only through the generous support of the community donors.
This area has been low in our priorities due to focus on education; however it has never lost its importance. We are helping our graduates in job placements. We are also providing financial assistance to help improve the small businesses by the self-employed.
Communities are the building blocks for town, cities and countries. Developed communities lead to strong society and lay the foundation for creating a welfare state where both the government and its citizens help the not so privileged. We as developed community will inshallah make a significant contribution to the society and the country.
The ultimate purpose of all of the above efforts is to serve the humanity so that Allah is pleased with us and we are rewarded in the life hereafter.
The targets are ambitious and lofty when one sees it as an individual but not for the community which has mashallah glorious track record, a critical mass of enthusiastic professionals, highly supportive elders and Allah’s blessings.
Having all these variables on our side, I firmly believe that Together we can. Let each of us be part of this journey in whatever way we can. Let us make things happen by joining hands!!!!