Ashfaq's Open Road


International Child Art Foundation

“You are here on this planet to do something unique. So, why do you expect that everyone else will understand and be supportive? ”


Art Non-Profit Organizations


Failure Negativity Culture Individualism Passion Hard Work Regrets Inspiration Struggle Support & Encouragement Fulfillment Success


Problem Solving


  • Grew up in a "privileged" family in Pakistan; had a comfortable childhood, excellent schooling.
  • Knew that he was lucky; all around him was a country in abject poverty.
  • Kept hearing "economics has the answers" to poverty; moved to the U.S. to study economics, worked at the World Bank.
  • Participated in research that found a "creativity slump" in fourth-graders; schools had trouble motivating, inspiring children at that age.
  • Realized poverty isn't just a bureaucratic issue; knew that giving at-risk kids creative outlets would help them down the line.
  • Started International Child Art Foundation in 1997; had trouble getting funding, found people hesitant to give to creative causes.
  • Says people still ask him why he works in child's art when he was a Ph.D., tells him to "grow up"; he maintains that this is his unique calling.

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