ABOUT USWho Says Making a Difference Can't Be Fun?
Thaakat Foundation is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that believes in restoring hope and courage in the underprivileged by advancing the minds of those who are capable of lending a helping hand. Thaakat Foundation strongly believes in promoting charitable giving and humanitarian work among the youth by selflessly supporting the act of giving back.
We transcend cultural and religious boundaries to create a network of individuals that look to this organization as a project of their own; where no matter your race or creed, you are united with a group of people that share a similar desire to help. Thaakat is a non-religious, non-political organization.
100% of all donated funds go towards our projects. Any overhead expense is covered by kind corporate contributors and sponsors. That’s every $1 to people who need it most. Our entire board works around the clock as volunteers to help make this possible.
MEET THE TEAM
Founder and Executive Director - Thaakat
Uzma founded Thaakat Foundation in 2007 with hopes that she could encourage students and young professionals to consider their ability to make an impact for those in need around the world. What started with a board of a few passionate team mates has now blossomed into hundreds of members across the world who have dedicated their days to making a difference. For Uzma, no challenge is too big and no need too small, her goal is to ensure our adopted communities can grow, progress economically and transform the lives of individuals who need us.
Uzma Bawany graduated from DePaul University with a Bachelor’s in Marketing and from Lewis University with an MBA. She works full time as Sr. Manager of Digital Marketing at a pharma company and is based out of New Jersey.
Chief Operating Officer - Thaakat
Nudrat Zoha received her Master’s in Journalism from Depaul University and is currently pursuing a full-time career in Digital Strategy. She joined Thaakat in 2010 while doing her undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She started as a Social Media Manager for Thaakat and in 2014, she took on the role of Director of Global projects, working with her team and project managers around the world to help address community needs and how Thaakat can help. Currently, Nudrat is the Chief Operating Officer for Thaakat Foundation and oversees many different tasks and responsibilities that help Thaakat continue it’s mission, with the help of our supporters.
Director of Digital Marketing
Azka Asif is a graduate student at DePaul University studying Digital Communications and Media Arts. She works full time as a Communications Specialist at Rotary International, worldwide humanitarian service organization. Always drawn to helping others and looking to make the world a better place, Azka crossed paths with Thaakat during a bone marrow drive in 2013. She is now the Director of Digital Marketing, helping spread the message of Thaakat and volunteerism across various platforms and helping spread Thaakat to many parts of the world.
Global Projects Manager
Afra Ashraf is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with Bachelors degrees in Finance and Accountancy. She currently works full-time as a Management Consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), where she holds a Corporate Responsibility leadership position. Afra was involved in many social entrepreneurship and volunteer efforts throughout college, and she felt that Thaakat was the perfect post-grad organization to continue her interest in providing creative, long-term solutions to communities in need. She is especially passionate about providing education and alleviating hunger and poverty through sustainable methods. Currently, Afra supports project operations and management for Thaakat and hopes to help the organization continue to deepen its impact.
Global Projects Manager
Priyanka graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BS in Chemistry and Psychology. She is currently working as a medical scribe in Rockford, IL while applying for medical school. During high school, she was very involved with UNICEF, which provided her with the opportunity to learn more about a large-scale organization that provides global support. On her first day of undergrad, she was introduced to Thaakat Foundation and immediately fell in love with the mission of empowering and inspiring charitable work. Thaakat was different in the sense that she felt connected to the people and the community through the Facebook, Instagram, and GroupMe posts. If her team fundraised $300 from a Crepe Sale, she knew that it was going towards something like creating public bathrooms for the community members in Sierra Leone. “As a future physician, I hope to take this experience and apply it to creating free clinics across the world,” says Priyanka.
Global Projects Manager
Reema Patel graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Masters in Bioengineering. She is currently working as a consultant for the life sciences industry. She is passionate about improving children’s education and literacy in impoverished areas and believes that Thaaket embodies her values and beliefs about equality of education and healthcare for everyone. Reema has been volunteering with Boys and Girls Club for over 4 years now and continues to look for opportunities to help children reach their potential. Reema chose to become a part of the Thaakat team because of the direct impact she saw the organization made in local communities globally.
Director of Funding & Development
Sufyan is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago and received a BS in Physics and BS in Bio-Chemistry. Though technology is his expertise, he felt compelled to be involved somewhere where he could lend his care, services, and time to improve the world. He’s in charge of helping us to grow our existing donor base so that we can support our growing projects and develop a sustainable plan for the future.
Outside of Thaakat, Sufyan works as a Systems Engineer at Cisco Systems. He uses technology to help customers transform their business and to help them achieve aggressive business goals.
Campus Liason/Social Media
Aysha received a BA in Political Science and Journalism-Media Studies from Rutgers University and is currently pursuing a MA in International Law and Gender Equality from Rutgers University. She aspires to work with human rights and advocacy organizations in the future, to help those who are unable to help themselves. In her free time she likes to write poetry and cook gourmet style dishes. She felt Thaakat allowed her to have an outlet to give back to the community in a way where she could see the direct impact. Aysha also served as an integral member on the Rutgers New Brunswick board throughout her undergrad time at the University.
Social Media Team
Mahin Chaudry is undergraduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago majoring in accounting. She is currently the Financial Manager for The Zainab School for Girls in Pakistan. She aspires to expand The Zainab School for Girls into other rural villages and include a program for domestic abuse victims. Besides her work in Pakistan, Mahin is also involved with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America working as a Big Sister. Mahin started working with Thaakat in 2017 after finding that their goals and values matched with hers. Currently, Mahin is on the social media team helping raise awareness for the brand’s mission.
Program Manager/ Annual Events
Saad Bawany received his Master’s from the School of Business Management from Northern Illinois University and Bachelor’s in Accounting from University of Illinois-Chicago. He transitioned out of public accounting to work on the business side of school districts, as he developed a true passion for doing something more rewarding by helping children maximize their potential. He has been volunteering with Thaakat since its inception, however, he accepted a more defining and important role when the annual basketball tournament ensued in 2010; which has turned into Thaakat’s largest annual fundraiser. Today, Saad manages the start to finish leadership and planning of our annual Feed the Need Basketball Tournament in Chicago, IL.
Fundraising & Development Outreach
Amani Memon received a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology with a minor in Chemistry and completed her Doctorate of Pharmacy. Amani became involved in Thaakat because she felt it embodied everything she believed in; kindness towards others, compassionate giving, and helping those who are unable under various circumstances. For her, Thaakat is the first of many steps towards being the change she wants to see in the world. Today, Amani has built a network and relationships which have helped our DREAMS for Kachra Kundi school grow and thrive in the face of challenge.
Ayesha Lodhia stepped into Thaakat Atlanta as a founding president of the student chapter at Oglethorpe University in Summer 2011. Her first successful year as a leader was topped off with Thaakat Atlanta receiving the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Student Organization at Oglethorpe University in Spring 2012.
Ayesha Lodhia graduated from Oglethorpe University with a Bachelor’s in Accounting. Now she has found a perfect spot as the Treasurer putting her experience with numbers and love for charity work together.