We Are Team VLC

If new adventures in how we think and learn get you excited, let's talk.
Join Our Team
muzaffarbukhari
Muzaffar Bukhari
Founder Principal

Muzaffar received a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Northwestern University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2006. Muzaffar has a MBA from Institute of Management Development (IMD), Switzerland, and graduated with distinction in leadership in 2011.

Muzaffar started his career with UBS Investment Bank, New York, in 2006. He later moved back to Pakistan to work in the financial services industry and was involved in asset management and commercial banking.

Having travelled to over 50 countries, attending executive education at Harvard Business School, Muzaffar knew that something was missing. He had an “aha!” moment on his trip to Finland, where he had the opportunity to spend time in Finnish schools and interact with educationists. Inspired by what he had seen, he imagined the way new, non-traditional systems of education could interrupt the standardized, rigid educational landscape of Pakistani education. He realized that he wanted to do something more meaningful –something transformative, something innovative. In 2015, Muzaffar found his true calling with Veritas Learning Circle (VLC).

Muzaffar is an ICF Certified Coach, RYT 200 Yoga Teacher (Bali) and a practicing therapist having completed his advanced diploma in Humanistic Integrative Counseling from CPPD, UK.

fatimaobaid
Fatima Obaid
Executive Director

Fatima Obaid’s experience is not just the accumulation of her education and hands-on work experience of 32 years but also that of her ancestors’. With both grandparents and parents as writers and educationists, being in the field of education is the only way of life for her!

She started her career with teaching English as a second language in United Arab Emirates and then moved on to getting trained for Early Years Education. She has a diploma in ECED and a Masters in Educational Leadership and Management from AKU. Her research focuses on Inclusive Education in ECE Settings.

An experienced and qualified Early Years Practitioner, Fatima Obaid is a peoples’ person. She is creative and energetic with an infectious enthusiasm for children’s learning. She is an ardent reader and is passionate about children’s reading. She has assisted schools in Karachi in developing comprehensive reading programs.

Fatima has the experience of teaching, managing schools, and has held key positions in curriculum development and administration in leading schools in Karachi. She is a trainer and has trained more than 500 teachers during the years. Diagnosed with ADHD and having had various learning and acceptance issues, she knows how it feels to be left out! With a believe that all children should have equal opportunities for learning and development, Fatima is a natural fit in the educational philosophy that VLC follows!

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muneeraalavi
Muneera Alavi
Head of Pre-school

A twenty-four hour train ride from Bilaspur (a small town in India) to Bombay, and a shorter flight to Karachi, Muneera made her way to Pakistan. It was 1996, the fresh graduate was determined to become a Montessori Directress from AMI. In the process, she fell in love with Karachi and its people, particularly, Ishrat, who she has been married to for 20 years. Coming from a family of lawyers, educationists and philanthropists, Muneera discovered her passion of facilitating joyful, life-long learning for kids, early on.

With a career spanning over 20 years, she started her career at the International School as a teacher and later joined Foundation Public School in 2011 where she took on a leadership role as the Building Head and was promoted as a Principal.She has been associated with The Citizen’s Foundation as the master trainer developing their early years curriculum.

From trekking in the rain forests of Thailand to the small quaint towns along the Amalfi Coast, Muneera describes exploring the world as her second passion. With an endless supply of creative ideas for enriching early childhood experiences, Muneera embodies VLC’s philosophy of a play based, creative, child-led approach to both education and life.

Team VLC

We believe in the value and philosophy and daily practice of play.
We believe in working hard and working happy.
We believe in creativity, curiousity and diversity of thought and experience.
We believe in friends like family and family like friends.
We believe in passion and authenticity.
We believe in working from the heart and being brave enough to be afraid but not letting our fear dictate our choices.
We believe in the child, both outer and inner and that every child is our child.
We believe in the hundred languages of expression.
We believe in a community learning space that is a safe, warm, accepting place for all kinds of people and all kinds of abilities.
We believe in the power of stories, nature, art and play to change, heal and inspire everyone, of all ages.
We believe in an educational experience that is rich, holistic, experiential and progressive.
We believe in celebration.
We believe in love.
We are Team Veritas and we believe in you...
ourselves...
and our place.

Advisory Board

Shirin Husain

Shirin Husain

Shirin Husain has a dual Master in Education degree from University of Karachi (Pakistan) and Australian Catholic University, Sydney and also an AMI Montessori Diploma. She has to her credit thirty (30) years of teaching and training experience in Early Childhood Education and Care, Curriculum Development, Teacher Education, Educational Leadership of which seventeen years were with the Karachi Grammar School. She was the founder Principal of The Clover School, Academic Manager at Teach for Pakistan, Manager Evaluation at Beaconhouse School System, primary school teacher at Foundation Public School to name a few.

Currently, Shirin serves Teach the World Foundation as their Pakistan Representative, and part time teaching faculty at Notre Dame Institute of Education. She has developed curriculum for numerous schools and is a published academic professional.

Farheen Effandi

Farheen Effandi

Farheen Effandi is an experienced early childhood professional with over ten years of experience in teaching, managing and running early childhood facilities in Australia.

Farheen has an early childhood degree from the University of New England (Australia) as well as a Diploma of Montessori Education (3-6years), Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care and a TESOL certification from the College of Teachers (U.K.)

Our Finnish Connection

VLC is heavily inspired by the Finnish Philosophy and we are truly blessed with some great friends and partners in Finland.
VLC has a signed MoU with Abo Akademi University for a student exchange program and teacher trainings at their school- Vasa övningsskola (https://oldwww.abo.fi/vos/)

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BENGT LINDHOLM

Bengt has lived in Switzerland, USA, and England while pursuing his international career spanning over 35 years, with leadership roles in multinationals including Cultor, Genencor and Danisco. He has a Masters in Chemical Engineering.

Bengt is a firm believer in the importance and necessity of educational excellence. He believes learning is a lifelong process, which cultivates both holistic wellbeing and a sense of fulfilment. He describes himself as a “product” of the old Finnish Education system as he has witnessed the revolution of education in his country over the last two decades. Surrounded by teachers within the family, Bengt has deep roots in the Finnish education system. He is passionate about growth mind-set and actively mentors start-ups and companies involved in disruptive technology.

He enjoys literature, golf, travel and spending time with his kids and grandchildren.

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MIKAEL FLEMMICH

Mikael has been an integral part of the Finnish education system for the last 30 years- first as a teacher (for 12 years) and then headmaster of Winellska Skolan for 16 years. Currently he serves as the Head of Early childhood and General Education for the city of Kirkkonummi, Finland.

Mikael holds a Masters Degree in Arts and Pedagogics from Åbo Akademi University, Finland.

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GRÖNHOLM NICLAS

Niclas has been in the field of education since (2000). He started his career as a History school teacher in Helsinki, and soon discovered that he has indeed found something he is passionate about. In 2004, he became the Principal of Helsinge school, in the City of Vanta. From there, he moved on to education division of the city of Helsinki in 2007. Since then he has been involved in curriculum development for Finland on a national level. One of his favorite projects was working on revamping National Finnish Curriculum for Pre-School introduced in 2016. His work takes him to educational conferences all over the world, keeping him abreast on all the innovations in the field with idea exchange and teacher development. Having a degree in Education from Abo Akademi University, Niclas pursued a MBA in 2016 from Aalto University in Finland. An excellent football player - Niclas also enjoys golf, spending time in Hanko at the beach and traveling with his wife.

Community Partners

Maheen Mohammed is a school psychologist (M.Sc. School Psychology) with over 15 years experience working with children, adolescents, parents, and school staff in Canada and Pakistan. She is passionate about promoting positive mental health and well being in school communities. Having felt the profound impact of mindfulness as a support in her own personal life, Maheen was inspired to integrate mindfulness into her work, and to pursue training in this field. She has been teaching mindfulness to children and adults since early 2013, and is excited about empowering people to use mindfulness to manage stress and anxiety, cope with difficult emotions, and deal with chronic pain and illness. Maheen is an accredited Breathworks Mindfulness Teacher (Breathworks Mindfulness, UK), and a Certified Mindful Schools Instructor (Mindful Schools, CA, USA). Maheen is also trained in restorative practices, a philosophy that lends to the development of a safe and caring school climate, and provides useful ways of addressing conflict and harm.

Originally a lawyer by profession, Samia entered the world of mental health in 2012 and later trained as a Humanistic Integrative Counsellor. She currently has a private counselling practice at her own clinic in DHA Phase 2 and also works as the Pakistan representative and Coordinator for the Centre for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD) which focuses on bringing ethical, safe counselling practice to Pakistan. Samia works with people of all ages and her work integrates a range of approaches, including art and play therapy, bodywork and humanistic counselling.

Saamia has been a speech language therapist for almost a decade and works as a consultant and lecturer at Ziauddin University Hospital. Her love for her work stems from her desire to go beyond helping children acquire fluency and flow, allowing them to experience the joy of connecting to the world through speech. Saamia believes every child is inherently creative and anyone can be a storyteller. She is dedicated to the craft of unlocking this potential in children struggling with speech development and is set apart by the love and compassion she believes everyone deserves.