NEW SCHOOL INAUGURATIONS IN PAKISTAN

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IREAD VALUES

IREAD believes in four core values that ensure the success and sustainability of all programs. Those values are CAPE!

Cape

CAPE

Child Focus

Holistic child development focused on evidence-based Early Childhood Development. (ECD)

Child Focused

Accountability

To our donors to ensure that all donations are effectively used. We demand accountability from our beneficiaries in the field to ensure our centres are run effectively and efficiently.

Accountability

Partnershops

With local communities, NGOs, educational centres, students and parents

Partnerships

Empowerment

IREAD empowers local communities, training them to organize, run and maintain the ECD Centre. Villagers are recruited and trained as ECD teachers and caregivers creating employment and career opportunities.

Empowerment

WHY EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT?

Benefits of Early Child Development Programs Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs are a highly effective means of strengthening society by ensuring that its individual members live up to their full potential.

Children who participate in these programs tend to be more successful later in school, are more competent socially and emotionally and show better verbal, intellectual and physical development than children who are not enrolled in such quality programs. Benefits of ECD interventions can be found in the following areas:

  • Higher intelligence scores

  • Higher and timelier school enrolment

  • Less grade repetition and lower dropout rates

  • Higher school completion rates

  • Improved nutrition and health status

  • Improved social and emotional behaviour

  • Improved parent-child relationship

  • Increased earning potential and economic self-sufficiency as an adult

  • Increased female labor force participation

IREAD TEAM

IREAD Board of Directors

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Dr. Noor Jaffer
BDS., LDSRCS., FAGD

Director, President

Dr. Noor Jaffer, BDS., LDSRCS., FAGD

Director, President

Noor was born in London UK and grew up in Uganda. He obtained his dentistry degree from the University of London in 1976 before moving to Canada. After a brief teaching career at the University of Alberta, he settled in Calgary where he founded TREC Dental, a group of socially conscious dental clinics. Noor’s son joined the practice in 2002; working alongside his son in managing the clinics freed Noor’s time to pursue his philanthropic passions.

Noor has served as the President and International Services Director of his Rotary Club and on the boards of the YMCA Calgary and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, and was a founding member of the Windmill Microlending Advisory Council.

In May 2000, Noor went to Afghanistan and Tajikistan as part of FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance Canada’s partnership with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to evaluate and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian food aid to those in need. He received the YMCA Canada Peace Medal for his humanitarian work in 2001.

Passionate that every child deserves a chance for the best life possible, Noor founded IREAD in 2009 as a means by which to make early childhood development programs available to children in developing countries. He continues as IREAD’s President and Chair, and regularly visits IREAD’s Ugandan and Pakistani ECD Centres and communities.

Read More Minaz B. Abji B.A., MBA

Minaz B. Abji
MBA

Director, Vice-Chair

Minaz B. Abji, MBA

Vice-Chair

Minaz served as Executive Vice President Asset Management for Host Hotels and Resorts (“Host”) from 2003 to 2017. Host is an S&P and Fortune 500 lodging-focused real estate investment trust listed on the NYSE with an enterprise value of US$17 billion. He has been involved with the American Hotel and Lodging Association in various leadership capacities including as a board member and Chair of the Audit Committee. Minaz has an MBA from Rockhurst University and has completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University School of Business.

The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF) honored Minaz with the 2016 Above and Beyond Humanitarian Award for his work in leadership training and mentoring, and for providing scholarships to the next generation of young hoteliers. Minaz sits on several Boards, including the Board of Directors of the American Hotel Income Properties REIT LP.

In addition to his role as IREAD’s Vice-Chair, Minaz is a founding Director and the Chair of IREAD USA, a 501(c)(3) charity. IREAD USA was established in response to the growing number of US residents wishing to support IREAD’s mission. Minaz’s strong governance and resource development skills are of significant benefit to both organizations.

Read More Dr. Jodi Gergely BSc., DMD

Dr. Jodi Gergely
BSc., DMD

Director, Secretary / Treasurer

Dr. Jodi Gergely, BSc., DMD

Secretary / Treasurer

A graduate of the 2003 University of Saskatchewan’s Doctor of Dental Medicine class, Jodi has been a partner with TREC Dental, a group of socially conscious dental professionals, since 2005.

In keeping with the values of TREC’s socially conscious philosophy, Jodi and her team participate in various community programs. These include volunteering for the Calgary Multi-Faith Food Bank, The Mustard Seed Society, Calgary Dream Center, Inn from the Cold, and The Samaritan’s Purse.

In the dental field, Jodi and her team volunteer with CUPS Dental Services several times a year, providing dental care to low-income Calgarians. Jodi has supported Adventure in Missions, an organization dedicated to bridging the gap between North Americans and the needy and neglected of  Honduras, since 2004, helping set up the first mobile dental clinic in Honduras and offering care throughout the country alongside the organization’s mobile medical clinics.

As a mother of two young children, Jodi appreciates the value of early childhood development and over the years has been a generous supporter of IREAD’s activities.

Read More

Susan Brown
B.Comm (Hon), MBA, ICD.D

Director

Susan Brown, B.Comm (Hon), MBA, ICD.D

Director

Susan retired in 2018 after a 25-year career with BMO Bank of Montreal. Over the course of her career, she held several senior executive positions in markets across Canada, including Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, and Waterloo. In her last position with BMO, Susan served as Senior Vice President of Alberta and Northwest Territories Division.

Susan has always been active in the business and not for profit communities. She currently serves on the Boards of the Calgary Stampede Foundation and the Association for the Rehabilitation of the Brain Injured. Over the years, as she moved across Canada, Susan served on the boards of many hospital foundations, museums, and business organizations.

Susan was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in 2016 by Women’s Executive Network, recognized as a Woman of Distinction by the YWCA in 2012, and declared one of Saskatchewan’s Top 10 Women of Influence by Saskatchewan Business Magazine in 2004. She attended the University of Manitoba where she completed Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Business Administration degrees and holds the ICD.D designation after successfully completing the Institute of Corporate Directors – Directors’ Education Program in 2018.

Susan resides in Calgary with her husband Terry.

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Dianne Fehr

Executive Director

Dianne Fehr

Executive Director

Dianne is a passionate, values-driven social profit leader. She joined IREAD as Executive Director in January 2019; she also works with Capacity Canada to strengthen nonprofit capacity and governance leadership in Alberta. Her most significant professional achievement was leading Windmill Microlending (formerly Immigrant Access Fund), a microloan program helping internationally trained immigrants pay for the licensing and training they need to work in their field in Canada, to become Canada’s largest and most successful loan program for immigrants. Prior to joining Windmill, Dianne enjoyed roles in fund development, marketing and communications with The Calgary Foundation and Leave A Legacy™ Calgary.

An active volunteer, Dianne is a director of IntegralOrg, a nonprofit charity that helps Alberta nonprofits and charities thrive through education and support. She was founding chair of the Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC) and remains a member of its Governance Committee. Dianne was named a Finalist for the 2016 RBC Canadian Women
Entrepreneur Awards in the Social Change Category for her work with Windmill Microlending.

Read More

IREAD USA Board of Directors

Minaz B. Abji B.A., MBA

Minaz B. Abji
MBA

Director, Chairman

Minaz B. Abji, MBA

Chairman

Minaz served as Executive Vice President Asset Management for Host Hotels and Resorts (“Host”) from 2003 to 2017. Host is an S&P and Fortune 500 lodging-focused real estate investment trust listed on the NYSE with an enterprise value of US$17 billion. He has been involved with the American Hotel and Lodging Association in various leadership capacities including as a board member and Chair of the Audit Committee. Minaz has an MBA from Rockhurst University and has completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University School of Business.

The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF) honored Minaz with the 2016 Above and Beyond Humanitarian Award for his work in leadership training and mentoring, and for providing scholarships to the next generation of young hoteliers. Minaz sits on several Boards, including the Board of Directors of the American Hotel Income Properties REIT LP.

In addition to his role as Chairman and founding Director of IREAD USA, Minaz is a member of the board of IREAD, IREAD USA’s Canadian sister organization. Minaz was keen to establish IREAD USA in response to the growing number of US residents wishing to support IREAD’s mission. Minaz’s strong governance and resource development skills are of significant benefit to both organizations.

Read More Zahir Lavji

Zahir Lavji
M.Sc., MBA

Director, Chairman

Zahir Lavji, M.Sc., MBA

Vice-Chairman

Zahir grew up in Uganda, emigrated to Canada in 1972, and moved to the US in 1989 to join Abbott, a Fortune 500 healthcare company. He held various senior management positions at Abbott including President, Abbott Japan; Vice President, Global Commercial Operations Diabetes Division before retiring in 2012 as Vice President, International Marketing and Corporate Officer. Zahir has a M.Sc. Pharmacology from University of Toronto and an MBA from
McMaster University.

Since retiring, Zahir has devoted considerable time and expertise mentoring healthcare startups. He is presently Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Temple Therapeutics, a clinical stage biotechnology company and serves on the Steering Committee of the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Zahir was part of a medical mission to Tajikistan in 2019 to support the Aga Khan Medical Center and Regional Cardiology Center in Khorog.

Zahir is passionate about education and believes it to be the single greatest equalizer opening doors of opportunity. His work as a founding member of the Sonia Shah Organization, which built a school for girls in Kangra, Pakistan and his work with IREAD USA reflects that passion.

Zahir is blessed with two wonderful daughters, a son-in-law, and a beautiful granddaughter. He presently resides in Chicago with his wife Rozmin.

Read More Shaneeda Jaffer

Shaneeda Jaffer

Director, Secretary / Treasurer

 

Shaneeda Jaffer, B.A., M.A., J.D.

Secretary / Treasurer

Shaneeda is an attorney with Clarence Dyer & Cohen LLP in San Francisco. Her practice focuses on representing individuals and corporations facing complex criminal charges and investigations. She also represents clients in civil matters including employment disputes, whistleblower claims, and mass torts. Shaneeda has been recognized for her criminal defense skills as a Northern California Super Lawyers Rising Star every year since 2012. She received her J.D. from New York University School of Law in 2007, and an M.A. in Sociology and a B.A. in American Studies from Stanford University in 2002.

Shaneeda has served as a legal intern with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Tanzania and was a recipient of the NYU Global Justice and Human Rights Fellowship. She also has represented prisoners in civil rights actions against New York state police officers and prison guards. Shaneeda has a passion for justice and is a fierce advocate for civil and human rights.

Shaneeda is honoured to serve on the board of North Shore Restorative Justice Society and on the Board of Governors of Stratford Hall World IB School in Vancouver.

When not working, Shaneeda enjoys traveling, exploring the outdoors, and going on adventures with her husband and two young daughters.

Read More

IREAD Field Team

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Ms. May Virji

Uganda Country Representative

Ms. May Virji, MSc

Country Representative – Uganda

May Virji was born in Mengo, Uganda where she now works in the property and construction industries after a successful career in the UK. May holds a Master’s degree in Strategic Marketing from Hull University in the UK. She believes in supporting social development projects that improve the lives of the less fortunate. May’s expertise and experience in the region helps fulfill IREAD’s mission of promoting Early Childhood Development for children in rural communities in Uganda.

Read More f2a9d489-d4cb-4eca-bbd1-3a0193bb5e78

Mr. Zohran Shah

Pakistan Field Team, Community Relations Officer

Mr. Zohran Shah

Community Relations Officer – Chitral

Mr. Shah is the Managing Director of the Eagle Eye Educational Institute and Welfare Society. He is responsible for managing their school and community development projects and for conducting teacher training programs. He also manages the Eagle Nest Hostel for boys. He was the the General Manager of the Aga Khan Education Service, Pakistan (AKESP) in Chitral for 12 years. In this capacity he managed grants from the European Union (EU) for constructing community-based schools. He is IREAD’s lead team member in Pakistan and is responsible for overseeing our centres here as well as project managing the selection and construction of new ECD centres.

Read More Richard

Mr. Richard Masereje

Uganda, Legal Counsel

Mr. Richard Masereje

Legal Counsel

Richard is an Advocate and a Chartered Valuation Surveyor based in Kampala. He has been active in many volunteer organizations including being Past President of the Rotary Daybreak Club of Kampala. He has been an invaluable volunteer with IREAD and continues to assist us in navigating the various governance filings for a foreign NGO in Uganda. He was instrumental in the establishment of IREAD’s Centre in Sironko -Eastern Uganda. 

Read More Khanam Hajee

Ms. Khanam Hajee

Uganda ECD Centre Development Co-ordinator

Khanam Hajee

ECD Centre Development Co-ordinator

Khanam is a Director of CYAD International Holdings, a multi-national company with investments in a variety of sectors in the Central African Region. Khanam started her career alongside her late husband, Safir Hajee, in DR Congo in the 1970s.  In 2000, Khanam retired from active management, and took on an advisory role in CYAD. This allowed her to focus on raising her three children, and leading CYAD’s several CSR initiatives in the DRC, Uganda & Pakistan. Khanam is a strong champion of improving the quality of life of women, through education and skills building. She is piloting a skills training and a novel cereal-based lunch program at the IREAD Hajee ECD Resource Centre.

Read More Fauzia-IREAD-small-e1523229571406

Ms. Fauzia Karmali

Uganda Field Team, Community Liaison Officer

Fauzia Karmali

Community Liaison Officer

Fauzia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto. She has also completed her early childhood development certificate program offered through the Aga Khan Education Services in Uganda where she served as a director from 1997 to 2003.

During her tenure, the board was responsible for reestablishing and renovating both the Aga Khan Primary and Secondary Schools in Kampala. She hopes to continue her education within the field of early childhood education and is an invaluable member of the IREAD volunteer team in Uganda. She is married with four adult children and is a director in the family logistics business.

Read More alfred-okuozoni

Mr. Alfred Okuozoni

Uganda Field Team, Program Manager

Alfred Okuozoni

Program Manager

Alfred, who joined the IREAD Uganda Field Team in August 2019, believes that lasting community transformation happens with full involvement of the people. He has considerable hands-on experience in community development and takes pride in building trusting and hopeful relationships. Alfred’s previous work experience in community liaison and development includes work with Kuluva Hospital Maternal and Child Health Program. He attained his Master’s Degree in Public Health and Bachelor’s Degree in Social Works and Social Administration from Uganda Christian University, holds certificates in community health and administrative law, and recently trained as a trainer for Parenting Skills Facilitators with Clowns Without Borders from South
Africa. Alfred is passionate about early childhood development and feels that nurturing parents’ understanding of basic education and literacy is the key to transforming children’s lives. Read More avatar

Coming Soon

Uganda Field Team, Program Manager

ABOUT IREAD

PARTNERS

IREAD partners with rural communities and local NGOs.

The IREAD field team identifies villages that need an ECD Centre for which they are willing to donate land and elect a Centre Management Committee (CMC) IREAD signs a written agreement with the CMC that specifies the amount of unskilled labour and local materials they will provide for the construction of the centre. This ensures that costs are well containedCollaborating Organizations:

  • The Aga Khan Education Service Pakistan (AKESP)
  • The Aga Khan University’s Professional Development Centre in Chitral (PDCC)
  • Eagle Eye Education Institute (EEEI) – Chitral
  • The Madrassa Early Childhood Program Uganda (MECPU) of the Aga Khan Foundation

PROJECTS

IREAD has built ECD Centres in Northern Pakistan and Uganda.

IREAD has built 10 Early Childhood Development Centres in Uganda and 11 ECD Centres in Northern Pakistan. IREAD’s ambitious 2020 plans include building an additional 3 ECD Centres in Uganda and another 2 in Pakistan, bring the total number of IREAD ECD Centres to 26.2,500 children are expected to enrol in ECD at IREAD Centres in 2020. The centres in Uganda are certified and registered with the Ministry of Education and follow the national ECD curriculum.The centres in Pakistan are monitored by the Aga Khan Education Services and follow their curriculum.

VIDEOS

View videos of inauguration ceremonies

10/11/19 – Esmail & Yasmin Banji ECD Centre
10/12/19 – Nadia, Afzal & Neetika Hemani ECD Centre
02/23/17 – Shamji Gomba ECD Resource Centre
02/26/17 – Laila & Sami ECDResource Centre
08/20/15 – ROEL ECD Centre
08/21/15 – Hajee ECD Resource Centre
08/21/15 – Mary’s Shining Stars ECD Centre
01/27/15 – Aziz Dedhar ECD Resource Centre
10/01/12 – Shenny ECD Centre
09/30/12 – Yasmin ECD Centre
09/29/12 – Shamji ECD Centre
09/28/12 – Firuz ECD Centre
09/28/12 – Rose ECD Centre

 

PHOTO GALLERY

PHOTOS OF UGANDA SCHOOLS

PHOTOS OF PAKISTAN SCHOOLS

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Children who attend ECD programs have higher intelligence scores; higher and timelier school enrollment in subsequent grades; less grade repetition; lower dropout rates; and higher school completion rates. Children also have improved nutrition and health status, and improved social and emotional behaviour. Long-term impacts of ECD include increased earning potential and economic self-sufficiency.

Except for three paid field team members (Uganda) and a part-time administrator, IREAD and IREAD USA are supported by volunteers in Uganda and Pakistan who help to deliver and oversee IREAD projects, and by the very committed and engaged volunteer Boards of Directors of IREAD and IREAD USA.
Volunteers often travel to IREAD sites and meetings at their own expense, for which we are most humbled and grateful.

IREAD can accept publicly traded securities as donations.

Your donation will help us to continue to give children the best start possible.

Thank you!


Charitable Registration Number: 85778 2718 RR0001

GIFT SUGGESTIONS

Uganda-Smaller-Files-18-of-20-1

$26 CDN

Buys school uniforms for 3 children

2-1

$53 CDN

Pays for initial training of one new teacher

Pakistan (34 of 36)

$132 CDN

Pays school fees for 10 students for one term

Uganda-Smaller-Files-1-of-20-1

$224 CDN

Buys school uniforms for 25 children

Uganda-Smaller-Files-3-of-20

$297 CDN

Pays for ECD school supplies for a centre for one year

Pakistan-7-of-36

$389 CDN

Pays school fees for 10 students for one year

Uganda Children

$660 CDN

Provides nutritious lunches for an entire ECD Centre for one year

School

$1,188 CDN

Pays for maintenance and upkeep of one ECD Centre for one year

Donate any Amount

Support IREAD USA with a donation of any amount. Your transaction is secure and will be processed through our Stripe integration. A charitable receipt for tax purposes will be issued by IREAD USA and forwarded to the email address you provide when you make your donation through Stripe.

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ONLINE DONATIONS IN US DOLLARS

Supporters who wish to receive a receipt for US tax purposes may donate through GlobalGiving.
Your receipt for US tax purposes will be issued by GlobalGiving.

Donate on Global Giving Now

BUILD AN ECD CENTRE

IREAD would be pleased to speak with you if you would like to work with us to establish an ECD Centre in a village in Uganda or Pakistan where ECD is not currently offered.

A new IREAD ECD Centre requires a donation of between $50,000 and $70,000 CAN or $38,000 and $53,000 USD. The donation covers construction and labour costs, fixtures and furniture, start-up learning and teaching supplies, and teacher training. IREAD arranges a donation of land from the community, and the community
provides unskilled labour to the construction team. Donors have naming rights to the school.

If you would like to learn more about working with IREAD to establish a new IREAD ECD Centre please contact:

Noor Jaffer, IREAD Canada Founder/President, at noor@iread.org or by phone at 403-680-2349.

Minaz Abji, IREAD USA Chair, at minaz@iread.org or by phone at 240-372-1861.

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CONTACT US

WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU

Canada or USA:

To reach us, please fill out the form, email dianne@iread.org, or call 1-587-834-0326

Canada address:
#14-7750 Ranchview Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta
Canada T3G 1Y9 USA address:
899 Ellis Street
San Francisco, California 94103