Nagar Fort School
MGYW provides supports Nagar Fort School, KPK for education of girls from low income families. The school just opened while keeping physical distance and following other safety guidelines. The children were provided with
Eid ul Adha gifts due to generosity of MGYW donors. MGYW is grateful to all the donors who continue to provide well needed support to needy children.
Haripur Education Project
MGYW is facilitating education of about 180 girls (beginning 2020) from the Haripur District of Hazara Division
in KPK Province of Pakistan by sponsoring the transportation expenses of these girls from their village homes to Haripur high school.
The students are transported via Suzuki vans from Ratta Banna and Karwala Villages to the Bagra Government Girls High School located at a distance of around eight kilometers. MGYW has staffed a coordinator in the villages who follows up on performance of students and overseas tutoring from trained and qualified teachers for all girls enrolled in the MGYW Haripur Project. This has resulted in significant improvement in girls performance. MGYW has also provided uniforms for all girls. Recently, four girls who were academic position holders in their classes were provided school bags and notebooks in a small safe event to control spread of COVID-19.
MGYW-Sponsored Computer Lab at Nagar Fort School
Pakistani American Forum/Merit Grants for Young Women (MGYW) sponsored setup of computer lab at Nagar Fort School, Chitral, KPK. This lab will strive to reduce the "digital divide" which lowers economic opportunities for children at Nagar Fort School from low-income families.
MGYW Annual Banquet 2019
On August 4, 2019, Pakistani-American Forum/Merit Grants for Young Women (MGYW) held a successful annual banquet. The program included overview of MGYW’s almost one dozen projects throughout Pakistan. This year MGYW presented empowerment award to Irvine City Councilwoman Farrah Khan for her brilliant public service. She is the first Pakistani American woman to get elected as council member of a major city. She was presented the award by the Deputy Consul General of Pakistan Shoaib Sarwar and last year’s empowerment award recipient Dr. Shamim Ibrahim. The inspirational keynote address at the banquet was delivered by Dr. Sana U. Khan. Artesia City Council Member Ali Sajjad Taj and Consul Sarwar also made brief presentations about importance of education in positively impacting underprivileged young women, especially in Paksitan.
Since 2000, MGYW has been successfully providing sustained educational opportunities to thousands of young women belonging to impoverished families in urban and rural areas of Pakistan. MGYW works with several reputable non-profit schools & local activists with an impressive network of about 24,000 students. It also invests in schools’ infrastructure projects & supports operational needs. So far MGYW has supported education directly or indirectly of over 10,000 girls – many girls have graduated & are now gainfully employed as well as positively influencing their families. MGYW has been commended repeatedly for “its exemplary work in the field of female education and social uplifting in Pakistan”.
The program included musical performance by Imtiaz Khan. The Board Members that made the program a huge success included Tasneem Afzal , Abida Ahmed, Bilquis Haider, Dr. Bina Kamdar, Dr. Farhana Mohamed , Zeenat Jandga, and Zille Huma Zaman . MGYW’s special thanks to young Adam Jandga for opening the program with Qirat.
MGYW Annual Banquet 2018
Pakistani-American Forum/Merit Grants for Young Women (MGYW) held a successful annual banquet. The program included overview of MGYW’s almost one dozen projects in Pakistan, free raffles, and awards to three exceptional women from Southern California for their brilliant contribution to education, community service, and humanitarian welfare.
MGYW's Donor Appreciation Luncheon
Since 2000, MGYW (Pakistani American Forum - Merit Grants for Young Women) has been successfully providing sustained educational opportunities to thousands of young women belonging to impoverished families in urban and rural areas of Pakistan. In addition to individual incentive grants, MGYW has entered into MOUs with several promising NGOs to collaborate on variety of educational and vocational training projects. All this has been made possible with sustained monetary support mostly from the U.S. donors. To show their appreciation, the MGYW Board Members recently organized an exclusive “Donor Appreciation Luncheon” to honor their long-term donors at a scenic restaurant in Newport Beach, California.
The program included welcome and brief introduction of MGYW mission by the MGYW President, Dr. Bina Kamdar. She then introduced MGYW Board Members, Tasneem Afzal (Vice President), Abida Ahmed, Sufia Altaf, Bilquis Haider (Secretary), Dr. Farhana Mohamed (Global Chair), Zeenat Jandga (Marketing), and Zille Huma Zaman (Treasurer); Board Members Shaista Khan & Iram Iqbal were unable to attend the event. This followed with Board Members introducing select projects managed by MGYW throughout Pakistan such as Hamida Shaukat Ali Foundation Girls High School, Haripur Education & Transportation, Sagri District Graduation Incentive Grants, Karachi Gift Pack, PFOWA (Pakistan Foreign Office Women’s Association) Scholarships, Individual Student Scholarships, HOPE Schools, Midwifery Program Grants, and support to Society for Educational Welfare (SEW) students. It was also mentioned that the projects are routinely visited by the Board Members at their own expense. The program was very well received by the honored guests. The MGYW Board is profoundly grateful to the generous donors and volunteers for enabling positive long-lasting changes to lives of thousands of under-privileged girls and their families residing throughout Pakistan.
MGYW Annual Banquet
Recently the Board Members of Pakistani American Forum/Merit Grants for Young Women (MGYW) hosted MGYW's 2017 fundraiser in a local hotel. Dr. Sana Kamdar emceed the event with Adam Jandga reciting from the Holy Quran. This followed with introduction of the new MGYW officeholders for 2017-2018. The program included speeches by the Consul General of Pakistan Abdul Jabbar Memon and Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Walnut. Dr. Sana Khan made a powerful powerpoint presentation on women's status as defined in Islam; later, he also conducted MGYW fundraising with
Dr. Bina Kamdar. Nine MGYW projects were introduced by MGYW Board Members: Tasneem Afzal, Sufia Altaf, Iram Iqbal, Bilquis Haider, Farhana Mohamed, Shaista Khan (could not attend), Zeenat Jandga, Zille Huma Zaman and Bina Kamdar (presented a video). Dr. Quratulain Bakhteari, founder of IDSP of Pakistan, highlighted activities of her organization, which focuses on community development. This year MGYW introduced Women's Achievement Awards with Manaal Jafrey-Razaque and Professor (Dr.) Suraiya Rasheed being the recipients of first youth and women's achievement awards, respectively. The program also included Karoaki music and raffle prizes. MGYW is grateful to its volunteers Sana Kamdar, Fiza, Aena, and Zara Nadeem, Farhan Kamdar, and Osman Mohamed.
(Report prepared by Farhana Mohamed; Photography by Jason Haider Studio)
Director of Marketing:
Director of Sales:
Chairperson Global Operations:
Bina Kamdar (Past President: Zille Huma Zaman) Tasneem Afzal (Past Vice President: Bina Kamdar)
Bilquis Haider/Tasneem Afzal
Zille Huma/Farhana Mohamed
With great pleasure, the MGYW Board announces
the nomination and approval of the following office bearers for 2017-18:
The Pakistani American Forum - Merit Grants for Young Women (MGYW)’s 1016 annual fundraising banquet was held recently in Southern California. The program was emceed by Dr. Sana Kamdar, a young emerging leader. The program started with Quranic Recitation by Sadia Khan. Next the Guest of Honor, Artesia Mayor ProTem Ali Sajjad Taj, summarized achievements of MGYW through the years and presented a certificate of recognition for "its exemplary work in the field of female education". The Chief Guests, Pakistan Consul General Jabbar Memon and Dr. Shehla Memon also graced the occasion. During his speech, Consul General Memon commended the role of an organization like MGYW playing a positive role in providing educational opportunities for underprivileged young women of Pakistan and by filling the gap left due to limited government resources. He also mentioned that school education is now the responsibility of the provincial governments, who are making great efforts for more children to attend schools.
This followed with the welcome and introduction of two new MGYW Board Members, Dr. Tahira Akram & Zeenat Jangda, and youth coordinator Sadaf Lakhia.The MGYW mission, background, and selected projects were introduced by the Board Members including Tasneem Afzal, Sufia Altaf, Iram Iqbal, Dr. Bina Kamdar, Dr. Farhana Mohamed, and Zille Huma Zaman; Board Member Shaista Khan was unable to attend the event. The projects included setup of the Science Laboratory at Hamida Shaukat Ali Girls School, Haripur Education & Transportation, Sagri District Graduation Incentive, Karachi Gift Pack, PFOWA (Pakistan Foreign Office Women’s Association) Student Scholarships, and Society for Educational Welfare (SEW) Grants. In the entertainment segment, Hanif Noormohamed & the LA Supremes Band enthralled the guests with enchanting vocal performances by Hanif Noormohamed & Azra Malik, with Suresh Kumar on tabla. The program was highly successful due to the efforts put forth by all Board Members. The Board is profoundly grateful to the event sponsors, generous donors, and volunteers.
Reported by: Farhana Mohamed
Photos Courtesy: Jason Chauder
The Pakistani American Forum - Merit Grants for Young Women (MGYW) recently held its annual fundraising banquet in Southern California. The program was emceed by young lawyer Madiha Shahabuddin. The program started with acknowledgement of event sponsors (Pakistan Link, Safeer-e-Pakistan, Infinity Care, and Islamic Relief USA), generous donors, Board Members, and volunteers for their support. The Quranic recitation was conducted by Mohammad Rafay. This was followed by introduction of Councilman Ali Sajjad Taj, City of Artesia, by MGYW Board President Zille Huma Zaman. Councilman Taj delivered inspiring address about importance of educating underprivileged young women of Pakistan. He also urged guests to donate generously. Prominent community activist Mahomed Akbar Khan was introduced by Emcee who read Certificate of Recognition presented to MGYW on behalf of the U.S. Congressman Ed Royce (CA-39). Keynote Speaker, Dr. Sana U. Khan, an accomplished Radiologist and a philanthropist, was introduced by Board Member Tasneem Afzal. Dr. Khan, who had returned from performing Umra a day ago, elaborated how image of book on MGYW logo connected to importance of education. Dr. Sana Khan mentioned that the first word that was revealed on Prophet Mohammad (Peace be Upon Him) was “Iqra” (read). While importance of education is not gender specific in Islam, he correlated the crucial role educated mothers play in upbringing and providing education to their children.
These succinct speeches were followed by Dr. Farhana Mohamed’s presentation highlighting MGYW’s accomplishments and new projects undertaken during the preceding year. Some of the significant projects included Karachi Grants, Haripur Transportation, Pindi/Sagri District Graduation Incentive, Karachi Gift Pack, Hamida Shaukat Girls School, Kot Shera, Punjab, and collaboration with PFOWA. In addition, she mentioned MGYW partnership with distinguished NGOs, which benefited girls belonging to low-income families throughout Pakistan.
The fundraising segment was conducted by Shaista Khan, assisted by Board Members. She motivated the guests to make generous donations toward various MGYW projects.
The musical entertainment was lead by Ashraf Ali who emceed the segment as well as presented a popular national song on stage accompanied by Dr. Sana Khan and MGYW Board. Throughout the event, talented Arshad & Shazia Ali enchanted the audience with popular songs & oldies. The program was memorable in all aspects and the MGYW Board Members who put tremendous effort included Tasneem Afzal, Sufia Altaf, Iram Iqbal, Bina Kamdar (Vice President), Shaista Khan, Farhana Mohamed, and Zille Huma Zaman (President).
Report prepared by: Farhana Mohamed Photography Courtesy: Shazia Ali & Ashraf Ali
PFOWA Annual Awards Ceremony
A memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between Pakistan Foreign Office Women’s Association (PFOWA), Islamabad and Pakistani American Forum/Merit Grants for Young Women (MGYW) in Los Angeles on 5th September 2014. Since one of the main activities of PFOWA is to promote education by supporting the deserving students of the low-income Foreign Office families, the idea to establish an institutional link between the two organizations was proposed by Mrs Iffat Tasawar Khan in 2013. The MOU was signed after approval by the MGYW Board of Directors and Mrs. Najia Ahmed, President PFOWA. Under the MOU, MGYW now provides 21 annual scholarships to PFOWA.
Recently, PFOWA held an elegant prize and awards distribution ceremony at the Foreign Office, Islamabad, where the deserving qualified female students belonging to the low-income employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were handed out scholarship awards (including MGYW) by the Minister of State for Education Mr.Baleegh-ur-Rehman, in the presence of Foreign Secretary Mr.Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary. The ceremony also included performances by various students and national songs. Parents of the students and officers of the Foreign Office attended the event. The officebearers of PFOWA deserve commendation, especially Najia Ahmed & Lyla Gardezi, for holding a successful dignified event. The Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (former Consul General of Pakistan in Los Angeles) Tasawar Khan & Iffat Tasawar Khan (architect of MGYW/PFOWA MOU) also graced the occasion. It is hoped that the arrangements agreed between MGYW and PFOWA will go a long way in realizing their cherished objective of supporting and promoting education amongst the underprivileged young women of Pakistan.
Karachi Gift Pack Ceremony Held at Second Partner School
The Karachi Gift Pack Project was initiated in 2011 and is one such project geared to encourage low-income families to provide education to their young daughters. Each gift pack is meticulously prepared and customized to fulfill girls’ basic needs such as school uniform, school bag, note books, stationery, toiletries, water bottle, and lunch box. All girls are required to complete annual renewal form and academic progress report for becoming eligible to receive the gift packs. There are now two partner schools in this project located in the low-income Federal Capital Area and Liaquatabad Town of Karachi, respectively. Recently, the Karachi Gift Pack Ceremony of 2015 was held at both schools. This photo album illustrates the ceremony held at the Government Boys & Girls Primary School Peoples Program, Liaquatabad Town. Hefty gift packs containing annual school supplies and items of personal use were distributed to about 50 young girls and boys belonging to impoverished families. The program was organized by the School Principal Mrs.Abida Begum and her team. The event was attended by MGYW Pakistan office bearers, parents and other respectable guests from different walks of life. The attendees enjoyed the interesting but meaningful tableaus presented by students.
MGYW’s Partner School is a High Performer - 2015
For almost ten years, MGYW has been providing support to Hamida Shaukat Ali Foundation Girls High School (HSAF) located in the Kot Shera village of Punjab’s Gujranwala District. Almost 450 students are enrolled in the school and it is doing very well due to excellent teaching staff and sound administration. In 2014, passing rate of girls in the matriculation examination was almost 87% - with 100% graduating in the Science Group and one girl on top of the list among the local schools. The girls also participate in the extracurricular activities like plays and debates.
As an aftermath of tragic terror attack of December 16, 2014, on Army Public School in Peshawar, schools all over the country were asked to close down and they were required to put in security measures using their own meager resources such as raising the outer walls to eight feet, putting on top another two feet of barbed wire, engaging armed guards, and installing close circuit cameras. This has resulted additional burden on, especially non-profit schools which are providing much-needed quality education in the rural areas such as the HSAF High School. Hopefully, government will provide financial assistance to such schools since this is a national security issue.
With great pleasure, the MGYW Board announces
the nomination and approval of the following office bearers for 2015-16:
Director of Marketing:
Director of Sales:
Chairperson Global Operations:
Zille Huma (Past President: Iram Iqbal)
Bina Kamdar (Past Vice President: Zille Huma)
Farhana Mohamed & Zille Huma
Impressive Karachi Gift Pack Ceremony - 2015
For almost 15 years, MGYW (Pakistani American Forum - Merit Grants for Young Women) is successfully providing educational opportunities to young Pakistani women belonging to impoverished families using innovative ideas in coordination with the local community educators. The Karachi Gift Pack Project is one such project geared to encourage low-income families to provide education to their young daughters. Each gift pack is meticulously prepared and customized to fulfill girls’ basic needs such as school uniform, school bag, note books, stationery, toiletries, water bottle, and lunch box. All girls are required to complete annual renewal form and academic progress report for becoming eligible to receive the gift packs. Each year an impressive MGYW-sponsored gift pack distribution ceremony is held in Karachi, usually toward the end of the school year, where generous gift packs are distributed among young girls and boys belonging to impoverished families. There are now two schools in this project; in addition, 20 students from HOPE School of Korangi are also presented the Gift Packs. The project is sponsored by MGYW as well as Memon Organization of North America (MONA) – with MONA sponsoring Gift Packs for boys.
The Karachi Gift Pack Ceremony of 2015 was held at Government Primary School in F-C area Karachi. It was organized by School Principal Mrs. Fozia Majeed Butt and her team. The guests of honor included a Representative of the Chief Minister of Sindh and a Coordinator from the Punjab Government. The event was attended by parents and other respectable guests from different walks of life. The attendees enjoyed the interesting but meaningful tableaus presented by students. Suggestion for educational reform were also submitted to the attending government officials who assured us that will put up the matter before higher ups and take necessary action to improve on educational hurdles in Karachi.
MGYW's Marketing Booth During Pak Day Mela
MGYW Board Members
Grand Prize Winner
To celebrate 75th Resolution Day, recently a Grand Mela Festival was held at Phoenix Club, Anaheim, California. MGYW set up a marketing booth at the festive event for distribution of promotional materials including “Save the Date” Flyer for MGYW’s Banquet to be held on Saturday, November 14 at Knott’s Berry Farm Resort Hotel (more details at and Facebook). A free raffle drawing was held where lucky participants had the opportunity to win fabulous prizes comprising of elegant gift baskets (donated by Drs. Ashraf & Bina Kamdar) and a 32-inch LED TV. There was also arrangement to decorate hands with Henna. The MGYW Booth was visited by a large number of community members, and officebearers of all major Pakistani-American organizations, Consul General of Pakistan, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) accompanied by famous community activist Mohammmad Khan, and Artesia City’s first Pakistani-American Artesia Councilman Ali Sajjad Taj. While visiting the MGYW Booth, Congressman Royce praised accomplishments of MGYW towards education of under-privileged young women of Pakistan and even made a cash donation. The MGYW Board Members who volunteered at the event included Bina Kamdar, Tasneem Afzal, Zille Huma, and Farhana Mohamed as well as several volunteers.
Another Accolade for Malala Yousafzai!
On February 8, 2015, the 57th Grammy Award Ceremony was held at the Staples Center, Los Angeles. It brought yet another honor to young Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai when the audio version of her memoir, “I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World,” won the Grammy’s in the category of Best Children’s Album. The audio version of the book was narrated by Neela Vaswani who is a professor of creative writing in the Masters of Fine Arts Program at Spalding University. In December 2014, Malala and the Indian child labor advocate, Kailash Satyarthi, shared the Nobel Peace Prize as well as exchanged compliments; in February 2015, the Grammy Award was received by Neela Vaswani, an Indian American, who lavishly praised Malala for her achievements. Thus Malala’s mission is not only empowering underprivileged children, especially girls across the globe, it is also inculcating mutual respect and understanding amongst all people in this world - even those belonging to the two archrival nations.
Signing of Memorandum of Understanding between
Pakistan Foreign Office Women’s Association and Merit Grants for Young Women
A memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Pakistan Foreign Office Wives Association (PFOWA), Islamabad and Merit Grants for Young Women (MGYW), Los Angeles on 5th September 2014. The signing ceremony was held at the Consulate General of Pakistan, Los Angeles in the presence of Consul General, Mr Tasawar Khan. PFOWA was represented by Mrs Iffat Tasawar Khan, while Ms Farhana Mohamed signed the MoU on behalf of MGYW.
MGYW is a 501(C) (3) registered non profit organization working for the promotion of higher education among meritorious but financially underprivileged young female students of Pakistan. Since its establishment in 2000, under Pakistani American Forum, MGYW has been providing assistance to hundreds of deserving girl students in Pakistan in the form of tuition fee, books, uniforms and monthly financial assistance to continue their studies. In addition MGYW partners with well established charity schools that predominantly cater to educate girls in impoverished rural or urban areas of Pakistan.
PFOWA is a registered non profit organization run by the female officers and spouses of officers of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan. It was established in 1947 to assist the deserving children of low grade employees of the Ministry, by providing them syllabus books, stationary and scholarships for higher education in Pakistan on the basis of merit. It also provides financial assistance to the widows of the Foreign Office staff and extends a helping hand, in cases requiring medical assistance. PFOWA has been active in providing relief assistance during disasters like earthquakes and floods.
Since one of the main activities of PFOWA is also to promote education by supporting the deserving students of the Foreign Office families as well as different charity schools, the idea to establish an institutional link between the two organizations was proposed by Mrs Iffat Tasawar Khan in 2013. The MoU was signed after approval by the MGYW Board of Directors and Madam Najia Aizaz, President PFOWA.
Under the MoU, MGYW will annually provide 15 scholarships to PFOWA, which will be granted to the girl students, belonging to the families of low grade employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is hoped that the arrangements agreed between the two organizations will go a long way in realizing their cherished objective of supporting and promoting education amongst the underprivileged segments of our society.
MGYW 2014 Annual Banquet
2020 Upcoming Events & Highlights
2016 News Highlights
2014 News Highlights