Overwhelmed by the death of his oldest child, Emad’s father pledged to honor his memory and pursue philanthropic endeavors in his name – thus, the Coach Emad Foundation was born.
So when the CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, Mr. Shahzad Dada visited Mr. Azfar Naqvi to offer his condolences, he suggested they start a football academy in Lyari.
Emad used to tell his father that when he’d become a fully qualified FIFA coach he would establish a football academy in Lyari for the underprivileged children of the area. Therefore, his father decided that since it was Emad’s dream, he would turn it into a reality.
With that spirit in mind, Emad’s family began work on the project. Slowly but surely, their hard work began to pay off.
Primary Goals Of The Coach Emad Foundation
Coach Emad Foundation focuses on the following three programs:
- Establishment of a football academy in Lyari.
- Education assistance program that includes providing financial assistance to underprivileged children for their education, at least till high school.
- To work on the mental health issues of the society and to establish a support group for the parents who lost their young children, especially through suicide.
Coach Emad Foundation has a registered office and a Board of Directors comprising of ten directors. Mr. Azfar Naqvi is the Chairman of the Board, his wife, Atia Naqvi & daughter, Shehrbano Naqvi are directors whereas his son, Ahmed Naqvi provides organizational support to the Foundation. This provides a wide range of expertise to run the Foundation effectively and to share the responsibility efficiently.
Coach Emad Football Academy – The Journey
On 23rd June 2018, Emad’s father accompanied by Mahira Ahmed Miyanji (a social worker from Lyari) and Humayun Saghir ( head of KE, Lyari) visited the Sarbazi Football Ground in Singo Lane, Lyari. After a brief conversation with Mr. Habib Hasan (Chairman of Union Council 12 and responsible for the ground), it was decided to reclaim the ground as a football academy for the neighborhood children.
On the 18th of August 2018, an agreement was signed for the ten-year exclusive use of Sarbazi Football Ground for the development of the Coach Emad Football Academy (CEFA) for boys & girls.
To work on the initiative and to carry Emad’s legacy forward, The Naqvi’s decided to establish the Coach Emad Foundation. On 12th December 2018, Coach Emad Foundation emerged as a not for profit organization.
Around the same time, on December 9, 2018, the formal inauguration of the Coach Emad Football Academy (CEFA) was held. At CEFA 200+ boys & 25 girls are already registered & getting trained in football, completely free of cost.
As an additional initiative, a boxing club adjacent to the ground which was previously used as a drug den has been renovated. It will soon be available to the locals for health & boxing facilities.
*The following are Mr. & Mrs. Naqvis’ answers to the questions asked by FUCHSIA.
Encouraging Girls In Sports
We have just hired a female coach for the girls at CEFA. As we have continued to increase the number of female coaches there has been a considerable increase in participation from girls of all ages.
We’ve also invited women playing at the national-level to CEFA. This way, our girls will get some coaching, guidance for their future careers as footballers. Pakistan Women’s Football Team’s Captain, Hajra Khan, has shown interest in visiting our academy & spending time with our girls.
Football & Mental Health
We want to address our youth through mental and physical fitness. Since football is a game that invokes passion in most of the young people, we plan to reach out to them through their passion.
Likewise, with education, we will reinforce these young talented players so they are looking towards a better future for themselves. These initiatives for motivation and a conducive environment are our first steps towards mental health and mental stability.
Atia Naqvi is also organizing free access to mainstream counselors for our students and families. The foundation will be providing transport for our CEFA families to avail counseling services in the city.
Fundraising & How You Can Help
The biggest challenge we are facing is in the collection of funds. So far, we have mobilized funding through our friends & families.
We are working with the tax authorities to obtain tax-exempt status in Pakistan and once we have it, it will be easier for us to mobilize significant funds. We are also working with organizations like USAID to provide funding for our development work.
Moreover, Reachoutt Pakistan is an organization that organizes fundraising events. In the past, they’ve arranged a fundraising event for Coach Emad Foundation by arranging a football match among four schools of Karachi and passing on the proceeds to us.
Emad’s sister, Shehrbano Naqvi regularly holds sessions with CEFA girls on career building, self-confidence, and other social responsibilities, whereas Emad’s brother Ahmed Naqvi conducts shoe-drive for CEFA players.
We’d like everyone to support our initiative so we can provide a healthy and socially responsible environment for the inhabitants of Lyari and carry the legacy of our son, Emad Naqvi, forward.
Areesha Khan harbours a burning passion for writing. This is what she has to say for herself:
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