My father passed away in 2019 and left my sisters and I, amongst other things, a plot of land back in our ancestral town of Abbaspur in Kashmir, Pakistan. 

Usually we would only visit the place every few years to see family but I'd always hoped to do something for the local people (inspired largely by my grandfather who ran a charitable education trust in the same town). 

With my father's death and the onset of corona, the past 12 months has been full of challenges and a period of reflection. 

And so....we have made 2 significant decisions: firstly, my sisters and I are donating the land for a charitable use and secondly my wife and I have decided to donate our time by taking sabbaticals from our careers (as a doctor and investment banker respectively) to go back to the town and build a school on our plot of land (measuring a little shy of half an acre). 

The school will be:

1.       Not for profit – minimal fees only model to 1) ensure all students regardless of financial background can get a good quality of education and 2) be self-sustaining and not reliant on the founders staying alive indefinitely!

2.       A carefully chosen curriculum which exceeds current local standards - delivering a level of education that will allow local children to dream of becoming a doctor / pilot / accountant etc. or whatever it is they want to be.  To reach their full potential. 

Ensuring the donations go to their intended recipient - my wife (a Doctor) and I (an Investment Banker) are taking career breaks and have moved to Pakistan (with our 2 year old son) to manage the project ourselves and ensure all donations are spent on the project. As a trained accountant, I have set up an accounting best practice where all expenditure can be audited and traced back to original receipts/costs that are only related to this project. 

How the funds will be spent - 100% of the funds raised will be used to build the school. We are already incurring costs which I'm paying personally as the design engineers/architects have already carried out site visits and are now busy designing the new school building. 

All contributions to this journey are appreciated - regardless of how small (or large).

Thank you in advance.
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Hasham Khan 
Crawley, South East England, United Kingdom