The organization, Developments in Literacy also known as DIL, runs more than 175 schools, mostly in remote areas in Pakistan. In places like Swat, where Malala Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban for being an outspoken advocate for girls' education. Neelofur Ahmad is the president of the Houston chapter of DIL, an organization that's working to educate underprivileged children like Yousafzai.
"This isn't something new. She just happens to be a particularly dramatic example. But there have been hundreds of other children who faced equally horrible situations: having acid thrown on their faces, trying to walk to school; you know, being threatened."
The schools that DIL runs are student-centered, taking an emphasis away from rote memorization. Ahmad says when the group was first founded more than 15 years ago, one of their main focuses was to combat the female illiteracy rate. And now, Ahmad says, they have more goals.
"And our focus is shifting. It's not as much as building more schools, as it is improving the school that we already have, as well as developing curricula and educating teachers."
The banquet this weekend at the Hotel ZaZa is sold out. But to learn more about the organization and its efforts go to dil.org.