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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Blogging down barriers

Originally from Baluchistan, with a Sindhi name, and a resident of South Punjab, Momal knows first-hand the advantages of diversity. In her view diversity adds value to a community and should be celebrated. But not everyone in Pakistan is as open to diversity as Momal. The major shortcoming is the lack of networking between and socializing of people belonging to different cultural, financial and political backgrounds. This lack of communication leads to stereotyping within different communities.

Keeping the growing popularity of the internet in mind, Momal started researching internet marketing to provide a platform for young people from diverse backgrounds to network, share ideas and build trust. She formed a group with a group of friends and together they laid the framework for a blogging website which she named The Voice of Youth (tVoY).

During this period Momal and her friends also took part in an Active Citizens Training. According to Momal, after completing her training she took a renewed interest in her website. She now approached the online community as a Social Action Project which enabled the users – who were from different areas of Pakistan – to share their thoughts with one another on one platform.
Soon tVoY turned into an online community mostly populated by students from different parts of the country. It gives users a forum to express and discuss their opinions about different issues, and is helping them in increasing their exposure to new ideas and removing old stereotypes.

Momal goes on to say that initially when a controversial topic was brought up, people put forward their opinions in a forceful manner and at times conflict arose. Gradually with moderation from the tVoY team this behaviour declined. Community members are now much more respectful of each other’s opinions and participate in dialogue rather than arguing.
As the users of the websites grew so did the tVoY team. Talented individuals from different regions of Pakistan now work together to promote the acceptance and celebration of diversity.
Momal believes the future of Pakistan lies in the hands of young people as according to one report, 66% of the total population is less than 30 years old. She aspires for tVoY to act as a forum that helps harness the true potential of Pakistan’s young people. This SAP is a result of her motivation to give back to the community.

Regardless of limited resources and facing various obstacles, the tVoY team is using their passion for internet marketing to benefit young people all over Pakistan.

1 comment:

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