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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Careers: Opportunities and Challenges for Young People.

What have you decided to become once you're done with your studies? A doctor? An engineer? A corporate manager?

Do you think the studies you have done/are doing is preparing you well for the current, highly competitive job market?

Do you have the necessary skills that are needed to become a doctor or an engineer? Not just the bookish knowledge, but the attitude and the competencies?

Something to ponder about - uh?

The British Council has just launched its second Dialogue Forum's survey. This time we are talking about "Careers." Yes, we're discussing all the questions that are mentioned above.

We want to know what you have to say. Let us know your career choices by participating in our online survey on "Careers" at: .

Remember: NOW is the time for you to sit and seriously think about your Careers. The job market out there is quite tough and with the Great Recession hovering us, job searching has become very candidate's nightmare.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

An opportunity to participate in a British Council event.

The British Council is collaborating with the Young Parliamentarians’ Forum, under Mr. Faisal Kundi’s patronage, the National Assembly Deputy Speaker, to launch a series of dialogue forums focusing on Pakistani youth’s issues as highlighted in the Next Generation Report.

These dialogue forums will provide young people and the young legislators a platform where they can discuss the pertinent issues which affect the lives of thousands of young Pakistanis and find a way of responding to them at the policy making level. The Young Parliamentarians’ Forum will then collate all the suggestions from these forums and formulate a document which will be presented to the National Assembly, so the issues could be solved.

The latest survey on “Careers: Opportunities and Challenges for Pakistani Youth” will be on the British Council’s website: soon.

We are inviting you to the Second Dialogue Forum focusing on “Careers: Opportunities and Challenges for Pakistani Youth” in Islamabad (for ISB participants only).

The event is scheduled on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 from 1630 – 1830 hrs. Please contact Saad Bajwa at for confirming your participation and general enquiries.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Raise your voice against corruption NOW!

Dear All,

We're launching dialogue forums to bridge the gap between young people and young Parliamentarians, and start a constructive discussion on relevant issues - outlining future recommendations and concrete steps. The Young Parliamentarians Forum intends to collate recommendations from these dialogue forums as a “policy document” to be presented to the Parliament.

There are four thematic areas we are generating a discussion on:

- Corruption: A source of insecurity amongst the young people

- Terrorism: Influencing youth aspirations in having a secure future

- Economic Empowerment: Opportunities for young people to avail better livelihoods

- Political Participation: Young Leaders as Future Leaders

How will it work?

Every month, we’ll pick one of these themes to have a dialogue session on. The dialogue session will take place with fifty to sixty young people face-to-face and will be facilitated by a famous TV host, Moeed Pirzada. The session will be on aired as part of Mr. Pirzada’s show “Dunya Today” on the news channel Dunya News.

We’re taking up “Corruption: A source of insecurity amongst the young people” as the theme for November 2010. You can participate in the dialogue online by visiting and helping us find answers to the questions related to Corruption.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dialogue Forum

Dear Active Citizens,

We are delighted to inform you the first "Dialogue Forum" will be happening on 09 Nov 2010. The dialogue forum is a series of dialogue events as a follow up to Pakistan: The Next Generation Report. These forums focus on key issues highlighted by young people in the report and provide a platform to discuss these issues with Young Parliamentarians.

The first dialogue forum focuses on “Is corruption a source of insecurity amongst Pakistani youth?” The forum partners are Active Citizens programme, Young Parliamentarians’ Forum and Dunya TV. The forum will be facilitated by Moeed Pirzada as part of his daily show “Dunya Today”.

If you reside in Islamabad/Rawalpindi and are interested to join the forum and contribute your input, please feel free to contact Asif Muneer at for more details.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The young people in Lahore celebrated "five" peace days. Read what these peace days were and how did they celebrate them?

International Peace Day Report By Alyas Rahmat

You must have read about Chanan Development Association's (CDA) work on the blog.

Well, they are back with a bang this time.
What have they been upto? Read more to find out...

Chanan Development Association (CDA) celebrated the "International Peace Days" from 20th to 25th September 2010. The celebrations were organized in collaboration with the Youth Parliament of Pakistan (YPP) and the British Council, Lahore, Pakistan. More than 100 youth from different areas of Lahore participated in the "Peace Days" activities which included things like "4th Annual Cricket for Peace, Peace Seminar, Peace Walk and Media Consultation for Peace".

Highlights of the 4th Annual Cricket Match on Peace Day:

The 4th Annual Cricket Match was titled "LET’S BRING PEACE TOGETHER" and aimed to "Build a Peaceful Society by the Youth". Nearly 100 youth from across Lahore and civil society organizations participated in this activity. The British Council and YPP donated their T-Shirts for the teams. At the inaugurating ceremony of the tournament, the youth members lit "Peace Candles" and promised they will promote peace.

The main objective of the cricket match was to bring awareness amongst the youth about the International Peace Day, peace situation in Pakistan and how can the youth promote peace.

Mr. Alyas Rahmat (Managing Director-CDA) presented the welcome note, briefing about the organization, partners, participated teams, project objectives and its activities, while Mr. Saad Bajwa from the British Council encouraged the youth and CDA for such an initiative.

Highlights of Peace Seminar with Women:

A theater seminar on "Peace" was organized on 25th September 2010. Nearly 150 women participated in this theater seminar. The seminar was held in Pak Methodist Church in Nishat Colony, Lahore. Bishop I. Paul. was the chief guest of the program. The community groups coordinators talked about the importance of peace and did activities that showed the females how can they bring peace in their homes and communities.

Bishop I. Paul, too, delivered a message on "Peace." At the end of the seminar, women also celebrate the International Peace Day 2010 and lightened Peace Candles.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Joel Henricus and his group mates are working on a SAP called "Awareness for Voting." Read his objectives and the difference he wishes to make.

(S.A.P) “Awareness”
By: Active Citizens Youth Group

Group members & their designations
Sir Earl West:- Idea of suggestion.
Joel Henricus:- Project manager, & video maker.
Suleman Shaukat:- Video anchor & interview taking.
Raheel James:- Video Editing.
Sharjeel Munawar :- Information gatherer.
Sara Shaukat:- Interviewing of ladies.
Maria Amjad:- Interviewing of ladies.
Sharoon Hamid:- Some Interview taking, & project helper.
And Everyone participated in decision making & area suggesting.

Summary of (S.A.P) “Awareness”

The project “Awareness” from our Active citizens youth group , is to make people of backward areas or those who are illiterate, “aware” of the actual issues that should be for the welfare of their community and the country. (e.g.) to make people aware of the vote casting of any level of the political elections, that they should vote the right person who knows the correct procedures and ways to run the issues concerning their community..And our main purpose is to make every man & woman in any particular area to be aware in that issue and use their vote in the right place because one vote can bring someone up or down.

Aims & Objectives

To make people aware of the issues concerning that they may vote for the right person.

To create a passion & desire in them to vote, because this is the responsibilities of every citizen.

To encourage the youth & guide them to vote & elect a right person for their country.

Need Assessment

The people in the backward areas or illiterate people think that they should not vote & do not participate in any elections, so that’s why we need to aware them because that’s their obligation and a lots & lots of people need awareness in those areas, so legally that’s their need.

And they need to be awared if we do not do it someone else should.

Benefit assessment

The people nowadays have started to think that all the political leaders here in Pakistan are fraud as in saying..somehow that’s true & somehow that’s not. And that’s not it, they also have came to a point that they will not vote any longer. So we have guided them and awared them that they should vote and elect such a person who will be beneficial for both the community & the by that they will have the following benefits.

They will have a good leader.

Their community would be prosperous.

The future of their children will be better than before.

The country will have an uprising development process.

Action plan or Methodology

Firstly our action was to visit the backward areas & find about the thought of the people.

Then we have done door to door visit & interviewed them.

And with the interview we have created an encouragement to vote for the right person.

Then as the day suggests we arranged a small Eid-Milan Party for people in those areas to create a positive effect of us on them.

And with that we also shared some conversations with them which was awaring for them & they further have exploited it.

Monitoring & Evaluation

We monitored ourselves as we did the project step by step. And after the project was completed we surveyed to those people in which we were working & checked our checklist, And the result was positive, they said we were really nice & helpful to them. The people were most likely to vote for the best person.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The video shows young SoL (School of Leadership) volunteers playing with the children who are residing at Razakabad flood relief camp.

The SoL volunteers visit this relief camp every day and spend quality time with the flood victims. The ideology is to work for the “well-being” of the victims. These young people believe that providing meals and shelter isn’t relief exactly. Relief means that we work for the physical and mental contentment of the flood victims. They are battling a calamity therefore, they’re bound to be mentally upset and pessimistic about the situation.

If we spend some quality time with them, play with their kids, educate them, provide their men and women employment opportunities then their agonies could be subdued to some extent.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

AIM's providing flood relief in Pind Dadan Khan

You know the recent floods have played havoc with the country. Numerous villages in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtonwah and Punjab have been flooded, people have lost their homes, their livelihoods, their loved ones and are compelled to take shelter in shabby camps implanted in government schools and colleges. Much to their credits, they aren't provided with all the facilities that one needs to live his life comfortably.

A major problem that's arising after the flood raided many towns and cities is that of stagnant water getting contaminated and viral infections rampantly spreading amongst the victims.

The government, local authorities and various NGOs are sending doctors to encounter the fast-spreading threat, but the help's on a very small scale. Therefore, the youth of the country has once again come into action and are helping the IDPs (Internally Displaced People) to live a healthy life.

You must have read AIM's previous community work stories on this blog, they're an organisation working in Pind Dadan for Women Rights, Women and Children Health and Female Education. Now, they've taken it upon themselves to record the voices and opinions of local people to the authorities and transmit them to the government.

AIM is lead by Ubaid Malik and with five more members of the group, he's trying to bring a change. The group observed those sheltering in the camp, and recorded their voices about the problems they were confronting in the camps, the facilities that were provided to them and what further assistance do they require from the government.

AIM met with the local government and discussed the problems of flood victims with them.

As a result of their efforts following people have been received flood relief items in the following areas:

Ahmadabad - 491 females, 521 males, 730 children.
Kandwal - 124 females, 129 males, 241 children.
Gujjar - 141 females, 219 males, 339 children.

Have a look at Ubaid's efforts:

Friday, August 20, 2010

"I've lost everything in the flood," Shahnawaz Deya

Shahnawaz Deya, 47, a farmer, has lost his home, cattle and crops during the recent floods in Pakistan. He belongs to Thul - a village in the interior Sindh and is sheltering in the camp since the last 5 days with his entire family – wife and 4 daughters. We met him at a medical camp in Qasimabad organized by Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) in collaboration with the Government Police and SPARC.

“I’ve lost every thing in the flood,” he said gloomily. “Things were fine when I left for Fajr prayers. At around 8.00 am water gushed into my house and its level kept rising; I had no choice but to leave. This camp is the only shelter my family and I have.”

His wife, Ammat Bibi is equally distressed. With tearful eyes she told us, “My eldest daughter was to get married this December. We had long saved for her dowry, but now it’s all destroyed. Besides, my youngest daughter has developed acute malaria. We’re lucky they’re providing us timely free medical assistance here, otherwise she would’ve died.” Tears began rolling down her cheeks.

SPO is a local NGO and is partnering with the British Council to deliver Active Citizens workshops in Hyderabad. It has engaged a large number of young people in the workshops - many of whom are volunteering at this medical camp and participating in fund raising.

We met with Sheraz Chandio, SPO’s representative, he informed us they’ve purchased more than 50,000 medicines ever since the camp’s set up and 4 doctors are on duty 24/7. “We’re trying our best to provide people as many facilities as possible. We’re providing them food, clothes and medicines. We’re also trying to pump water out of houses so these people could return.”

Taking a look around the camp, we noticed many morose faces and defeated souls – each with a heart-breaking story to tell. No one had even anticipated that a sudden calamity would change their lives forever. Sons have died, daughters are missing families lost, homes gone and the land’s covered with stagnant water as far as you can see.

It’s time we show solidarity and help our brothers and sisters – “generously”. Give alms-donate food, clothes, shoes, spare a handful of flour next time you make Chapatis – perhaps you’d save some one from starving.

The recent floods in Pakistan

Pakistan has been hit by the most catastrophic floods in its history and conditions are getting worse by the minute. Large areas of Khyber Pakhtonkhuwa, Southern Punjab and Sindh have been destroyed. Millions have lost their loved ones, homes, crops and are left with nothing but the clothes on their back and their lives.

In such conditions how can we, the youth of the country remain quiet? With one fifth of the nation desolate and destroyed, it is up to us to take up the challenge of giving our people hope again. We, The Emerging Light Group, have been working in Multan in aid of the flood victims since August 7, 2010. We formed this group after attending the “Active Citizens Workshop” earlier this year. The workshop made us realize that we –the youth- has to work for the welfare of our communities and bring a change.

We started by going door to door to raise funds; collecting money, medicines, clothes and ration i.e. flour, ghee, surf, biscuits, soaps, match sticks and milk. Through the help of generous supporters, we were able to raise 2.5 lakh rupees and purchased additional medicines and edibles.

On 14 August, our Independence Day, we loaded the edibles (500 food packets) in a truck and set off to Muzaffergarh, Baseera and Sanawan.

What we saw there shook us to the core.

Acres of crops were destroyed, the flood water was 8 to10 feet high and people were forced to abandon their homes, half submerged in water. Children were crying in hunger, the old were sick and the women were desperately trying to save as many of their household items as possible. Their condition brought tears to our eyes.

Once we found a dry spot, we parked and began distributing the food packets amongst the people. Men, women and children rushed towards us appealing for help, some were begging and shouting, some were weeping, while others were praying to God. We distributed all the food packets we had, but felt awful for turning away those who came late after the stock was finished.

Our work, though, is not nearly done; the scenes we saw have been etched in our minds forever. My team and I were disturbed to see our brothers and sisters struggling to survive this colossal catastrophe and we want to help them as much as we can. So we are planning another trip to Muzzaffergarh with 1000 food packets this weekend.

I pray for strength, hope and for these hardships to ease soon. Till then we – The Active Citizens - will do whatever we can, using all our resources to aid our fellow countrymen.

By Farhan Siddiqui and Zoya Khan

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I’m helping, are you?

Hey, I’m Faisal Idress from Jagoo Pakistan. Jagoo Pakistan is a youth group based in Multan and we work for the welfare of our local communities.

You know our country’s hit by the worst floods ever. We’ve established medical and rehabilitation camps at Muzzafargrah, Charsaddah and Rajanpur to help the flood victims. The situation isn’t very good, I’m afraid.

These desolate people are going through extreme hard times. I was introduced to a woman who has lost her husband and two daughters in the flood. She’s sheltering in our camps with nine daughters – all relatively young.

“How will I take care of nine daughters alone? I’m not even educated to earn my living,” she said, tears flowing down her cheeks.

I met young girls who hadn’t eaten for days, their mothers were missing and had no where to go. We saved three such girls and have asked Edhi to take care of them until we find their mothers.

We’re arranging food, clothes and water for the victims. Cooking food is tough, but it gives me immense comfort to know I’m saving some one from starving.

We need to wake up, we need to unite and we need to take care of our country before it’s too late. Flood victims need our help, if you can’t donate money, food and clothes – you can at least remember them in your prayers.
Even that would be a great help from you!

STEP establishs a Support Centre for Flood Victims

Persons with disabilities are the last to be rescued in any disaster, and you know that disasters lead to disability. Problems of the disabled people during disaster situations deserve a prominent place in the humanitarian work. Reduced mobility means lesser visibility, lesser access and lesser voice. In simple language - this means lesser survival chances.

The Special Talent Exchange Programme (STEP has established an Information and Support Centre for the flood affected people across Pakistan.

The Support Centre will:

 Identify disabled people in the flood affected areas
 Ensure accessibility of sanitation and food distribution in shelters
 Re-linking displaced disabled persons with their families

This Information Support Centre is working 24/7.

Please contact STEP for any information about flood victims on the following addresses:

Telephone: +92-51-2111331

SMS (Text): +92-(0)308-5004569


Your response in any form would be of high value!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I'm trying to help the victims - Saad Hussain

Hi, my name is Saad Hussain (the guy with a beard and glasses) and I'm a member of "The Maximizers" - a youth group from Karachi. Here's my team - in the picture.

I've been associated with the Active Citizens Programme since January 2010. You know the recent floods have played havoc with our country; we - The Active Citizens - trying to help our fellow citizens as much as we can.

We've started a campaign through which we're collecting food items, clothes, shoes and money for the flood victims. We haven't camped along the road side like others - instead, we started by asking our friends and family to give alms for these desolate people.

We also began a chain of mobile messages - forwarding it to all our contacts and requesting them to forward it further. With every one's help and support, we've been able to raise Rs 25,000/- so far.

We're collecting commodities at various collection points. Collection points are my team members' houses. Each team member is working in his/her vicinity to collect relief items and accumulates them in his/her house. When we've gathered sufficient relief items - items we know will help at least 50 stranded families survive through the entire month of Holy Ramadan - we'll transport them to the flood hit areas.

But, a major problem was - how to get these good across the areas that are most affected by the flood? This was "a" challenge. We weren't comfortable handing our items to some NGO which wouldn't even give us records of where our alms have gone? We wanted authenticity and liability.

We searched for a reliable source and found the "World Food Programme Agency"- a relief providing body in Pakistan. We approached them because, we felt, they were genuine. They were kind enough to agree to take our items to the flood stricken areas.

Till now, we've collected relief items that will serve at least 30 families through out Ramadan. The World Food Programme representatives have asked us to hand them these items on coming Saturday, August 21, 2010.

We're looking forward to Saturday, frankly. We're excited and happy that we're playing our part as Active Citizens for the welfare of our fellow citizens. Thanks to the British Council for transforming us into Active Citizens!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

We are going to pursue our dreams….

Life for disabled people is, indeed, tough. They have limited access in the buildings, on the roads, in shops/markets, at jobs - hence things aren’t easy for them – hold on, we sympathise with them, feel bad and talk about their issues, but we don’t really actually “do” some thing for them, do we?

Active Citizens Pakistan organised a workshop in Quetta and after that, a group of young people undertook the task of dissolving some challenges – if not all - that people with disability face every day.

A youth group called “DOST” led by Faris Mughal, launched a campaign to spread awareness about the issues of disabled people. He organised a “peace walk” which made people realise that handicapped people too, exist in the society, and have the rights to participate in community matters.

“Disability is not a curse. We’re a part of this society too, and have all the rights to make our voices heard. People should treat us like any other normal individual – so what if we’re on wheel chair or have sight impairments - we shouldn’t be pitied, instead we should be encouraged and appreciated,” said Faris Mughal, who has a disability himself. He looked very passionate and was trying his level best to bring a change in the way people think about invalids.

Another purpose of this walk was to provoke the masses to make their houses, offices, markets, shops and even mosques disabled friendly. Faris narrated that majority of shop keepers don’t pay the same level of attention to disabled people, as they do to those who’re “normal”. At times, the shopkeepers behaved offensively and shrugged them off.

He divulged, “After the peace walk, I’ve noticed a change in the way people think about us. They don’t signal us off any more; instead, I’ve seen that they are paying us more attention. They listen to us and pay heed to our needs. They’ve stopped using offensive terms too.”

Faris and the “DOST” group have been successful in securing 11% seats in Balochistan Assembly. This has been the group’s greatest achievement so far. They are planning to introduce educational and employment reforms for disabled people which is going to ease their lives, a lot.

“We’re very happy on this success! I’m one of the 11% members who are representing disabled people in the assembly. I’ll try my best to make the educational institutes, shopping places and roads disabled friendly. I’ll show that invalids are as good workers as normal people and they shouldn’t be slashed from the working class,” Faris informed about his future plans, hoping that doors of success will open for the handicapped people.

We wish Faris and DOST group all the best for their efforts! They’re a ray of hope and role models for all the disabled people across this country.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Go making a change Globally!

Do you have the passion to bring a positive change in your communities? Are you a social entrepreneur? A community activist? A volunteer?

If Yes! – how about some further training, newer ideas and meeting a whole lot of like-minded people from around the world?

The Global Change Makers are accepting applications for their Fifth Annual Youth Global Summit from 21-27 November 2010. Its once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all the passionate teenagers (mainly those who’re between 16 to 19 years) to broaden their horizons. If you fit this age bracket, apply for the "Global Change Makers" now!

You’ll get a chance to attend high level events like World Climate Conference, the Clinton Global Initiative University and World Economic Forum events in Davos, Cartagena and other places around the world.

You can apply for the Youth Summit Conference in four easy steps:

1) Register on the Global Change Makers website: .
2) Wait for the activation email which should arrive within seconds of registering.
3) Sign in the website.
4) You’ll find the application – fill in and submit it online!

You stand a great chance to become a Global Change Maker. Don’t miss it!
The last date is:
6th August 2010 – HURRY UP!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

British Council's new Online Newsletter.

Dear All,

No need to hold the Magazine, No need to keep the Copy "Safe n Sound" from Coffee spilling or pages tearing!!!

You can now read the British Council's Newsletter Online!

Yes, just log on to our website and have a go at it...

Follow this link to your online copy : .

You can't lose it now!! :)

Congratulations to all the ACTIVE CITIZENS!!

Dear All Active Citizens,

Congratulations!! Your project, Active Citizens Pakistan, has won a "British Council Staff Award 2010" :)

The British Council Staff Awards are the most prestigious awards of all times. These awards are given to the best project, looking at it from every angel - from the participation of the stakeholders to the Marketing bit of the project. Active Citizens has been able to secure this award mainly, because of the Next Generation Report, a project in which - YOU - the young Pakistani generation has participate with full vigour and enthusiasm.

It’s because of your efforts, your comments and participation that Active Citizens have been given this honour.

I'd like to thank you all for your hard work and support!! The projects that your have started - some are mentioned on this blog too - are simply superb and manifest your love for Pakistan.

Keep up the good work and keep these Social Action Projects running - who knows you might just win another award?! :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

An Active Citizens goes on Off Screen Expedition.

Muhammad Ali Paracha is an Active Citizen from Islamabad, who is now a part of Offscreen Expedition too. The Offscreen Expedition is a project that takes a team of young people from Pakistan on a journey of a lifetime to the UK. The aim of this expedition is to create greater cultural understanding between the youth of Pakistan and the UK through arts.

Ali attended a workshop organised by us (British Council's Active Citizens Programme) back in January 2010 and founded “The Awakening” an organisation that raises awareness about community issues amongst the youth. The workshop involved different activities, lectures, and social interaction with young adults from different localities and schools of thought.

“The Active Citizens programme provided me the platform I had been searching for. I realised that it is we [the youth] who can make the difference, and this difference is my hope for the future”, says Ali manifesting his enthusiasm to bring a change.

We were flooded with applications as soon as we announced the Offscreen Expedition and Ali’s application was amongst the short listed ones. Our interviewers’ got hooked with his passion to serve the local communities immediately, and were pretty impressed with his composition “Duniyadri” that reveals a young person’s fears and confusions about his religion, family and society.

Ali’s efforts paid off when he was selected to join the Off Screen Expedition team to the UK. “This is the platform of learning and education that I had been waiting for. I hope to make the most out of this journey by interacting with artists, musicians and writers, all working for the same cause and the love of humanity.” A very happy and eager Ali expressed before the start of the expedition.

We have selected 5 other young citizens from Karachi and Lahore for the Offscreen Expedition. These youngsters along with youth from Middle East and UK will travel through London, Birmingham and Yorkshire exploring cultures, religions, environment, music and politics.

They will use the latest communications technology to create a visual travelogue of their ‘expedition’, broadcasting their experiences live via satellite to their peers in hundreds of classrooms in their countries.

Sounds interesting?

We’ll hear from Ali soon and he’ll give us an insight to what’s been happening in London so far and how the English are responding.

Till then stay connected to this blog space, but if you’d like learn more about the Offscreen Expedition and read daily updates from the team, please visit: .

Monday, July 12, 2010

Start Commenting People!!

Hello Every body!!

I hope you enjoy reading the heartening stories of Social Action Projects that young people are running.

We'd love to hear your comments on their efforts, your suggestions and your stories....

Also, you can share how you feel for your beloved Motherland, since 14th August isn't very far!!

So start writing and show your support to these industrious youngsters :)

Happy Reading and Writing...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Women rights

We've all heard the politicians, human rights activists, various NGO's emphasising on Women Rights, but if you visit the rural villages of our country - be it Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan or KP - you'll find that many women aren't even aware of their rights, let alone practising them. These women are still under the "men rule" and are made to sacrifice at every step, most of the times reluctantly.

The question that comes to one's mind is: What are these activists doing then? Why aren't NGO's helping these women?

We can't answer these questions, but probably deep inside we all know the answers; however some young people have taken notice of the appalling situation. These young people have developed an organisation called "AIM" and are spreading awareness about "Women Rights" in the rural areas of Pind Dadan Khan.

The AIM group is led by a young person, Ubaid Malik.

"I attended the British Council's Active Citizens Workshop and gained the passion and enthusiasm to do some thing for my country. I know many other young people are working for environment, education and career counselling for youngsters. I saw the women are deprived of their rights in Pind Dadan Khan. This looked like a great opportunity to spread awareness about "Women Rights" and even practice them," Ubaid indulged in a detailed explanation about his reasons of spreading women rights' awareness. He spoke with a conviction that is hardly found in any political leader's voice.

Hence, he induced practicality to his ideas and started campaigns where women were informed about their basic rights. These campaigns were organised in a village meeting areas called "Bethaks" which were easily accessible to the females. Many of them were shocked when they found they had the rights to acquire education, vote and even earn their own living.

"I thought we - women can't gain education, i always thought our lives were bound to revolve around household chores and serving men," an elderly village women said shaking her head in disbelieve. There was sadness in eyes as she further added, "I spend my entire life with no education. Now, I want my daughters to be educated for sure."

Ubaid Malik and his AIM colleagues did a poll during the campaign. They asked the women to clap if they (women) think they are given all the rights which were under discussion. Unfortunately, there was a very faint clap which indicated women weren't given those rights! Many women unanimously said they would clap after today, when they would go back home and protest for their rights!

Such an enthusiasm was infused amongst the women of Pind Dadan Khan.

Ubaid and his fellow friends have done their work, they have spread awareness and knowledge. All we need to do is hope these women accomplish to practise their rights and gain freedom!

We wish the women of Pind Dadan Khan all the best in their efforts!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Emerging Light Group

Remember there was a cartoon series back in 90's called the Captain Planet? Captain Planet was fighting on the planet's side to save it from pollution, deforestation and an eventual distinction.
There were Planeteers too, helping save the earth from the bad guys. Captain Planet would always say, "The power is yours..."

Well, there are a few youngsters who seem to be carrying Captain Planet's legacy forward. They call themselves "The Emerging Light" and are working to save the environment from man-made disasters. The group attended Active Citizens Workshop and got inspired to do something for their country. This group has started working in Multan, raising awareness about environmental pollution and its hazards.

"We put quite a lot of thinking into starting to work for the environmental problems. We thought when will the citizens of this country realise they are harming the atmosphere brutally? They are chopping the trees, their cars emit black smoke, they use plastic bags which take ages to dissolve," said Sana Kunwal, a member of Emerging Light when we asked her the reasons of starting this project.

The Emerging Light group held exhibitions in different colleges and their university, displaying paper and cloth bags and encouraging people to use them, instead of the cheap and readily available plastic bags. They've even launched a campaign to abandon plastic bags in their university.

Besides environmental work, these young people are striving to help those who can't afford expensive medical treatments. The group has signed contracts with various pharmaceuticals who provide them free medicines and vaccines to distribute amongst the needy people. This way the group is helping community people too.

"We are endeavouring to make our communities healthier. We want to save the elderly and kids from 'death due to sickness' as they couldn't afford treatment," said Farhan Siddique, another member of The Emerging Light group.

The Captain Planet cartoons were watched by millions of kids through out the world, but I wonder how many would have understood the message that cartoon series was trying to convey? The Emerging Light Group is trying to bring a change in one of most important things that we neglect most of the times - The Mother Nature!

The members of Emerging Light Group are:
Sana kunwal
Zoya khan
M.Nasir kalam
Farhan siddique
M.Naveed anjum

Way to go young Planeteers and remember: "The Power is yours...!" :)

Maternal Health Assistance by CDA

I'm sure all females wish to become mothers at some point in their lives. Becoming a mother is a beautiful feeling and a blessing, but many a times we've noticed that mothers-to-be aren't as careful about their's and baby's health as they should be.

In Urban cities, mothers-to-be are given numerous facilities like ambulances, constant and undivided attention by the female doctors, the family's usually supportive and so on. Our media is also playing an important role in raising awareness about the do's and don'ts while one's expecting.

Nonetheless, females in the rural areas are still deprived of these life-saving conveniences. Many couples rely on Mid-wives only, who aren't well equipped in dealing with the complicated delivery cases. As a result, the mother or the new born dies or in some cases, both.

Therefore, to combat the increasing percentage of female deaths during pregnancy, Channan Development Association (CDA) has decided to step forward and take action.

"We decided to help the women who are expecting because we noticed an alarmingly high rate of pregnancy deaths. Awareness will do women good," Alyas Rahmat explained his reasons for starting a project of such nature.

CDA executed a three month project called "Save Pregnant Women and Infants" at Nishat Colony in Lahore. They held seminars and group discussions - raising awareness about the precautionary measures that should be taken during the pregnancy and at the time of delivery. They encouraged couples to seek medical assistance at the right time, rather than delaying and involving Mid-wives in child birth.

We interviewed Alyas and he informed us about the execution of his project. "Government dispensaries have agreed to arrange free medical assistance for females. They've started counselling couples and so far 7 out of them have agreed to regularly visit the lady doctor. Apart from this, Dr Shahida is going to do free routinely medical check-ups of the pregnant women between 4.00 till 6.00 pm, twice a week," he said with bright eyes and a proud face.

The work that CDA has undertaken is very important for the development of a healthy society. Only healthy mothers can give birth to healthy infants.

Mother and infant health is one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) identified by the United Nations. I'm very glad that our youngsters are promoting and working towards MDGs.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

JaGoo Pakistan!

The youth group “JaGoo Pakistan” came into being in Multan a year back – thanks to the Faisal Idrees's untiring efforts. He attended the British Council’s Active Citizens workshop in 2008 and started his Social Action Project to show his sincerity towards his community.

He recalls, “I was inspired with the concept of Active Citizens introduced by the British Council and decided to do something for my community. Hence, I started a "Free Computer Literacy Center" in my home with only one computer.”

Faisal wanted to provide technical education to the unemployed boys of his community, who had acquired elementary education but lacked technical skills to get a decent job. Initially, he started his "Free Computer Literacy Center" with three students and conducted an hour's class daily in his house. Gradually, a few friends joined hands and together they embarked on what they now call a “Free Computer Literacy” Journey.

“My inspirations were my students, I was extremely happy when two of them got jobs because of the skills they’d acquired in my Literacy Center. This boosted my confidence and I involved more young people into another project called “Think Green” through which we are endeavouring to rehabilitate a community park - by planting trees and getting rid of the trash,” Faisal commented.

Since September 2009, this youth group has executed a number of tree planting activities in different parks and streets, involving many young local people. This initiative was noticed by the forest office and they started providing JaGoo Pakistan free plants and assistance.

In December 2009, a member of JaGoo youth group attended the British Council’s facilitators training and got inspired for their third venture “Light of Wisdom” – aiming to provide free education to the working children.

The members leading “Light of Wisdom” are: Hamid, Farhan, Shazia, Nadir, Noman and Faiza.

Faiza justifies reasons for starting the "Light of Wisdom Project" and says, “During Active Citizens training, we learnt every issue can be resolved by using the resources that are available locally. We- the youth- is the power that can bring a positive change in society. We are thankful to British Council and Youth Parliament of Pakistan for providing us this platform.”

JaGoo Pakistan has more than 300 members working in different communities - utilising resources and planning to begin other Community Development Projects too.

Recently, a Bilateral Xchange took place between Lahore/Multan and Scotland, UK. The Scots visited all the projects under JaGoo Pakistan’s umbrella – Free Computer Literacy Center, Think Green Project and the Light of Wisdom- and were extremely impressed with Faisal and his group’s efforts. They wrote emails to Faisal which they said:

Scott Campbell said in his email:

“I am very inspired to see your work. When I had heard about your work, I didn't believe that you could run all these projects simultaneously?
But when I visited Pakistan, I was amazed to see your SAP. They were running perfectly well. I'll not just appreciate you, but would say that if you continue this work with full zeal and zest, one day you will bring a huge change in this community”.

Kate Finally said in her email:

“One thing that I observed and learnt is: your youth group is very cooperative with one another and that’s a sign of unity. When you work on something, unity is very important to bring a change. I really enjoyed the plantation activity - when your team cleaned the park and we planted different types of plant in the soil.”

Neil Burn said:

“Amazing, JaGoo Pakistan is an amazing youth group. I am very inspired by your IT education work, sewing center, think green, child labor school etc- no body could have done this but you!!

I am glad to see your work. The project child labor school makes me very sad. We are very glad to see that these children were studying in your school.”

Every Cloud has a Sliver Lining!

“Silver Lining” is a group of young people who are based in Mirpur/Kashmir and are helping the orphans with their school education.

The Silver Lining group- led by Zakia Lodhi realized that orphans are more prone to pessimism and depression, therefore they decided to spend a day with these kids, who vary in ages- from 5 years to 15, hoping that they'd be happy for a while.

The group visited an orphanage located in Kashmir, where approximately 100 orphans are being looked after. They discussed the possibilities of spending a day at the orphanage with the institution's teachers. The teachers gladly accepted their offer.

The group thought of some activities and exercises that they could do with the kids and dove-tailed them with the help of orphanage's teachers.

“I was a little nervous to run the activities we had planned. What if the children didn’t like them? What if they got out of control? There were plenty of “what-ifs” in my mind, but thank God it turned out pretty well. Kids thoroughly enjoyed each session and the teachers have requested us to come back soon with many similar activities,” commented Zakia when I asked her about pre and post session feelings.

The Silver Lining group put kids into absolute action when they introduced numerous communication, arts and crafts, painting and team building activities. It was heartening to see happiness on every child’s face; their faces glistened and it seemed that even God was enjoying with the kids. HE had opened every channel of happiness for them!

“We enjoyed as much as the kids, and this activity has boosted our morale to work for humanity,” said Haider Ali, a member of the group.

What made this trip even more special was the presence of two English ladies- Alice and Mary, who were visiting Mirpur as a part of Bilateral Xchange. They were very impressed to see the Pakistani volunteers helping these orphans and themselves participated in some of the activities.

The Bilateral Xchange gave English an opportunity to see the Social Action Projects running in this part of the world and how numerous people are been influenced every day through them.

Friday, May 21, 2010

There is HOPE!!

“HOPE” is a youth group formed by the students of Multan University of Science and Technology (MUST). The group got its motivation and inspiration to design a Social Action Project (SAP) after attending British Council’s Active Citizens workshop in January 2010. They decided to work for the children living in slums and began a SAP called HOPE (helping oppressed people everywhere).

“It is a dream project that pays attention to "Personal Hygiene and Health awareness" in slums children and the students of Middle Government Schools,” said Nimra, a member of HOPE. Other members are: Danish, Talal, Basit, Ahsan and Zeeshan.

The youth group started their “HOPE project” by visiting slums areas near their university and delivered some very interesting and interactive sessions on Health, Hygiene and Cleanliness to the slum kids, who absolutely loved this practical education. These young community champs also assessed the living conditions of slum kids, their activities, their every day problems and developed strategies to help them overcome their shortfalls.

After careful observations, the young team has decided to engage slum kids regularly in health and educational activities.

Their group leader Talal said, “We want to focus on the people who are neglected by our society at a larger level i.e. slums. We want to give them basic awareness about their health and want to make them realize that they can be become active citizens for their community too. We’ve started by targeting the children so we could groom and activate them.”

The group has also engaged Parents, School Administrators and Community Leaders who are helping these young volunteers to make this project more sustainable and feasible.

The young volunteers are giving "HOPE" to the slum kids that there is a "HOPE" to survive!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Angel's Medical Camp...

There is a youth group in Hyderabad who sets free medical camps for Hepatitis B & C patients in Mori Mangar, Tando Hyder - a small village outside Hyderabad, every three months. This youth group has started organising medical camps after they attended Active Citizens Workshop back in January 2010 and are proving themselves to be Active Citizens!!

But why are they doing this?

Because every year numerous precious lives get wasted due to these killer diseases, and the locals aren't much aware about the causes and prevention of these diseases, let alone seeking remedies.

The village is located near an industrial area. This is the very place where red bricks are baked and are supplied to the entire country for various construction purposes. The poor village men and women work day and night diligently to bake as many bricks as they can to earn more money, as they get paid for every brick they bake. Unluckily, these innocent creatures aren't informed that the chemicals they use in baking bricks can and does cause skin cancer.

Hence, the free medical camp provides skin check-ups and prescribes patients free medicines too. The preparation for each medical camp begins at least a month before it's execution date.

The young people working on this project calls themselves "Angels Youth Group". The angels begin their work by looking for funding. It isn't an easy task to generate funds since not many corporate organisations are willing to work in this part of the village. The group goes from door to door, asking for funds and liaises with pharmaceuticals for medicines and vaccines.

"It has always been a task to obtain sufficient funding for this sort of medical camp, where we need at least 300-400 Hep B & C vaccines and three skin doctors to examine all the attending patients. The doctors work with us on voluntarily basis hence reducing costs slightly, but we purchase the medicines," said Murtaza Shaikh explaining about funding.

Once, the funding has been attained, the next phase commences, where the youth group looks for a place to set the camp. They bear in mind that the camp should be accessible to every one and should be organised on a holiday such as Sunday so that maximum number of people can benefit from this benevolent act.

This task is a tad easier than the previous, however requires a lot of communication. The best and easiest communication method these days is the "cell phone", however the numerous, ever-increasing bills are paid by the group itself.

"It takes a lot of money to communicate over cell phones. One of our members goes to the city to purchase medicines and vaccines. He stays in touch with the rest constantly. Secondly, one of us co-ordinates with the local authorities for camp's place and logistics that are required. Thirdly, one of us becomes in charge of Marketing the Camp and any issues are communicated via phone. So you see, phones are the prime way of staying in touch," justifies Adeel Shah giving us an overview of how they get things working- the team working is absolutely superb!

Once the camp commences, managing it becomes a priority for all the members. They look after all the patients visiting their camp, allotting them token numbers to keep law and order in place. The doctors and volunteers are provided free refreshments and lunches during the medical camp.

The medical camps are Angels Youth Group's way of working for humanity and reducing their problems. Through these camps they have managed to treat many patients who were suffering from Hep B & C silently, and saved precious lives of those who could have been potential targets of killer diseases.

So far more, they've organised two medical camps, and more than 1000 patients have received treatments. Angel Youth Group is aiming to have another medical camp next month, through which they believe they will save more lives.

Let's improve Education in Government Schools..

This project is being organised by a group of nine members in the main Mirpur City, most of whom are primary teachers in government schools. After working in schools for a considerable amount of time and attending Active Citizen Workshops, the group was inspired to take up the task of improving educational standards among the teachers in primary schools.

The rationale behind this project is to develop their teaching methods and meet increasing needs of the pupils. This is achieved through the mentoring and counselling of primary teachers (in order to gain better understanding and easy to do since they are less in numbers).

The job of counselling is undertaken by group members who are teachers themselves, and have access to wider information pool and material through the Active Citizens platform and/or other partners. This is vital to facilitate the improvement of quality education in terms of structuring the syllabus and critical thinking among the students.

Since the Teachers Association, is one of the largest associations in the division, lack of proper teaching methods and knowledge transfer is very minimal; therefore the group supervises knowledge transference from teachers to students, helps improve and polish the teacher’s interpersonal skills and lastly helps the community through producing evolved teachers that can pass it on to others.
The project at present is only two months old, and is currently targeting only two government schools in the region out of a large number. In the beginning these trainings start with only ten teachers, which will benefit three hundred teachers through cascading of materials and resources to their peers.

The group has collected ‘Feedback Forms’ filled by teachers and students as a form of measuring the success of the project. Teachers are being tested in terms of their teaching experiences before and after the training sessions, whereas students were asked to share the differences between pre and post counselling.

The main costs incurred are the transportation and stationary items, with some additional expenses for multimedia equipment; and so far the expenses have been met through the group’s personal capacity.

The group has adopted several methods in terms of the project’s sustainability; one of them is to include the sharing of new ideas and issues during teaching experience in their regular meeting sessions.

Parking Awareness!

In the backdrop of narrow roads, in between the main city market Chawkswari Bazar Mirpur, commuters on vehicles are seen parking at “No Parking” area and in front of the doors. Reckless driving and bad behaviour on behalf of the drivers have also caused loss of precious lives and property. This also creates many traffic jams at the main artery of the city which causes wastage of time for other commuters and also results in congestion to the main city centre.

We have all seen it and at some point in time also been party to it.

A group of 7 people realised this problem and decided to help their community men. The group had attended Active Citizens workshops and started a project on creating awareness about traffic rules via walks, posters and open discussions with the passerbys about do's and dont's of driving/biking/cycling and parking.
They also empahsised on the effective use of sign boards and their significance for smooth and safe travel on the streets. The group took the project a step forward by working with traffic police, shop owners and associations of the various markets along with business community.

They endeavour to clear the major artery of the city’s main market, which will not only allow increased flow of shoppers (improving buying power) but also provide safe and uninterrupted commute for passengers.

Although still in its infant stage, since the project was conceived a mere 2 months ago, the group has managed to create considerable contacts for future endeavours; for example an agreement with a shop owner to build a proper parking plaza nearby. These contacts will go a long way to help sustain this campaign; and in turn increase participation by members of the community like youth, drivers, transporters and concerned shops.

Sustainability of the project is also being funnelled through keeping police officials updated in regards to enforcing traffic laws and streamlining the driving license procedure. This will help generate awareness of proper parking among the masses with proper monitoring, and help in measuring the success of the project.

The group has also been able to generate enough funds to finance arrangements and preparations for banners, organizing walks and holding meetings (travel and equipment costs) by themselves.

Free Eye Camps on the Roll....

Saad.S.Hussain, 22, Karachiite, is running a series of “Free Eye Camps” for those who can’t afford expensive eye check ups and treatments.

Saad attended a "5- day Active Citizens workshop" back in January 2010. During an activity-where participants were asked to identify their community problems- he realised that eye aliments are a common problem in his community. Many people are suffering from different eye diseases and they don’t consult doctors, either due to high fees or simply due to the lack of awareness about eye diseases.

Saad wanted to help these silent suffers, however, numerous hurdles lay in way. No funding, no moral/physical support, no doctors, and no medicines – in short nothing was available.

“I haven’t had the slightest of idea of how things will work when I decided to run a free eye camp during the workshop. Nonetheless, I stayed firm with my decision and started discussing my vision with my workshop mates. Luckily, they understood my idea and we began working for eye camp together,” said Saad.S.Hussain, a bachelor student.

The ride wasn’t very smooth as Saad had initially thought. He approached a corporate organisation “The Maximizers” and presented his proposal. Corporate organisations aren’t an easy catch, but his persuasion, enthusiasm and sincerity made them succumb to his vision. They finally agreed to help in financial terms.

Together, Saad and “The Maximizers” began looking for a government school to set the camp, but before that, there was another major obstacle to overcome. They had to arrange for Eye Specialists who could administer the patients voluntarily.

Where there is a will, there is a way- Indeed; The Maximizers contacted “Khalid Eye Clinic” and after much persuasion they agreed to participate in the eye camp voluntarily. They provided two doctors and three junior doctors to provide professional medical care.

With combined efforts, Saad, The Maximizers and doctors from Khalid Eye Clinic set a Free Eye Camp at Rehri Goth in February 2010. They accomplished to treat 300 patients for eye ailments and asked the patients with serious eye problems to visit the clinic for proper and complete treatment.

Another eye camp is planned in June 2010, where the team is expecting to treat more patients free of cost for eye ailments however this time round Saad didn’t have to persuade anyone.

Its young people like Saad who have the courage, capacity and compassion to help their fellow men and spread the message of peace. Saad invites other young people in his neighbourhood as well to join this benevolent activity and spreads the spirit of volunteerism.

Rabia's Surprise Packet!!!

Remember how our classroom looked like back in school? Colourful, vibrant, lively, with loads of our art work pasted on the walls and teachers appreciating how well we’ve done!

Well, every one’s classroom doesn’t look the same as yours and mine. It could be a scary, prison-like, torture room with teachers’ having a don’t-you-dare-speak-a-word attitude. The government schools usually foster such classrooms without even realising the damage they’re causing to the young pupil’s career and at times, damaging their personalities for lifetime!

One person has taken a step to tackle this serious situation. She’s committed to bring a change. Change: in government classrooms, in teachers’ attitude and most of all – Introduce English Language in the grey-and-white environment! She’s become a true "ACTIVE CITIZEN" after attending British Council's Active Citizens workshops.

Rabia Shaukat, a young girl from Lahore, is an emerging entrepreneur who’s venturing to begin a “Surprise Packet Company”. As the name suggests, it’s a company that generates surprises! We all like surprises, don’t we? Except that her surprises aren’t materialistic. Her surprises focus more on improving the quality of life that people in her surrounding live.

Rabia is worried about the fate of the students studying in government schools; therefore she has decided to visit Boys High School, Township regularly. Her surprise for the pupil is: introduce them to a foreign language called “English”.

“I’ve always observed the students graduating from the government schools. No wonder, these kids are left behind in today’s cut-throat competitive world as they hardly know English and have no hands-on information about the current economical and political situation of the world,” Rabia comments.

Rabia indulged in a chain of conversations with the school’s headmaster, who, after numerous explanations got convinced that what she’s doing is for the betterment of his pupil.

Rabia started by observing every English Language lecture given in the school and gives feedback to the teachers. She advises them on bringing creativity and innovativity to English Language teaching; encouraging teachers to speak English as much as possible.

Simultaneously, Rabia’s also trying to introduce new English Language books in the current curriculum so the kids can have a variety of books to read from and improve their English.

Though, it has been less than a month that she’s initiated this, her surprise is already gaining momentum. The teachers’ and headmaster look pretty content with the way she’s bringing this commendable change. But most of all, the pupil seem to enjoy it.

“Kids are enjoying learning English Language. They are eager to read English books though are a bit shy in speaking English. I’m endeavouring to improve their writing, reading, listening and speaking skills. They are very bright, I’m sure that correct guidance will make them future Active Citizens of Pakistan,” Rabia replied when I asked her about the impact of the work that she’s doing.

Indeed, working selflessly for the prosperity of this country’s future is a praiseworthy effort. I’m convinced that she has proved to be a ray of hope for those who were patiently waiting for an opportunity to knock their doors.
I wish her all the best for future efforts!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Social Action Projects Selection - The Interviews!

Clad in a crisp black suit and a nervous smile, Saad Hussain waits patiently for his interview call. The judges have just gone in and were carrying voluminous files. Only 5 minutes are left for his interview to begin.

Half an hour later: Saad emerges from the board room, exhilarated. He’s very happy and confident that the judges are convinced of his Social Action Project (SAP) being sustainable and dynamic.

Saad and his friends from a group called “The Maximizers” are one of the eighteen contestants vying for the Active Citizens award. Their SAP revolves around the prevention of Cataract- a killer eye disease that is rampant in the remote areas of Karachi.

We arranged Social Action Projects interviews on Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 April for all the short listed contestants from Karachi and Hyderabad. There were 5 SAPs from Karachi and 13 from Hyderabad altogether. Each group was allotted 20 minutes to make presentations about the work they were doing for their community’s welfare and answer judges’ inquiries.

It was overwhelming to see each group’s energy and passion to make their communities a better place to live in. If one group was providing free medical assistance to the needy, the other was endeavoring to save Mother Nature.

“We are trying our best to make Qasimabad pleasant and greener. Therefore, we cleaned a park in our neighborhood and planted trees. Many locals joined us in the activity and are still helping us in taking care of the park and plants,” remarked M.Hussain Vighio, the group leader of “The Challenger Group” who has accepted the challenge to work for Climate Change.

“Who will help our neighbors if we don’t? Most of them aren’t aware about the causes of Hepatitis B & C, let alone seeking medical assistance for these diseases,” said Murtaza Shaikh, who organizes free medical camps in the rural areas of Hyderabad and vaccinates the locals for Hepatitis B & C.
The Social Action Projects interview panel included Shireen Naqvi, CEO- School of Leadership, Saima Khan, Director- School of Leadership; Nasir Nazir, Project Manager- British Council Lahore; Nabeel Alvi, Head of Programmes- British Council Karachi; Shazia Khawar, Head of Programmes - British Council Islamabad and Obaid Khan, Project Manager- British Council Karachi.

“This country belongs to you; you need to take care of it. We can show you the path, to accept it or decline it - is your choice,” encouraged Shireen Naqvi while speaking to the youth groups. She was thoroughly impressed with the efforts of young people and offered them her project mentoring services for free.

Social Action Projects Certificate Distribution Ceremony

The Social Action Project Certificate Distribution Ceremony was held in the afternoon of Wednesday, 28 April. Dr M. Shah, Minister of Sports and Mr. Shoaib Siddiqui, Secretary Youth and Sports were the Chief Guests of the event.

We organised this certificate distribution ceremony to praise and acknowledge the hard work and efforts of young people who were bringing a positive change in the communities of Karachi and Hyderabad.

We presented them with a "Certificate of Appreciation" which encouraged these youngsters to keep up their spirits of community work.
All the youth groups had set up and decorated stalls showcasing their project work, reports, pictures, souvenirs and videos.

Mr.Shoaib Siddiqui personally visited each stall and boosted the morale of the stall owners. “The efforts of young people are very inspiring, motivating and productive. I refer to British Council’s Next Generation Report every time I devise a strategy for the youth, trying to make good use of this very rich and abundant resource. My department is striving to utilize this “opportunity window” for the benefit of this country and I can see that the British Council is already doing it very successfully,” he expressed while commending our efforts.