"Change your thoughts and you change your world."
I have been working directly with rural and urban youth since the past four years and one of the major challenges and barriers I foresee in creating change in community is the mind-set of adults and value of supporting young people in strengthening their communities. It’s high time now that Communities should start paying attention to the importance of ensuring that youth find their roles meaningful. This is the same reason why Youth Advisory Panel at UNFPA was created and Youth Dividend ( an ngo led by youth in Lahore) was made to introduce a space for youth, particularly young women to participate actively in national policymaking, and negotiating with law enforcers and policy makers to be more considerate towards gender equality and youth issues.
As I mentioned before that Pakistan has documented its 1st National Youth Policy in 63 years of existence, which is yet in the implementation process. The policy was made without a formal consultation of young people. The policy makers in Pakistan have failed to make sustainable plans for the Youth of the country which constitutes more than 50 % of the country’s population. The lack necessary skills to develop multi-sectoral policies and programs from a youth and gender perspective. I think that the next 10 years are crucial for Pakistan since it is passing through threatening demographics - a youth bulge of 36 percent. While women constitute more than half of the youth population of the country, their contribution towards the income growth and GDP of the country is low. If we could make sustainable plans for the coming generation, particularly young women, then we can ensure economic development of Pakistan/
Some of the possible solution to this problem is technology. Today, technology is a significant driver behind change, and sometimes plays an important role in innovations in educational design and delivery. I strongly believe that innovation plats a constructive role in improving educational and job opportunities for billions of people around the globe and can be a catalyst for the rapidly development world. I have a full time job and I seldom get time to go to the communities myself so I use the internet to spread awareness through educational programme.
Recently I have launched an e-course on ‘Youth and MDGs” which aims to empower people from the communities to make a difference in context to the Millennium Development goals. At the end of the programme top 5 youth projects which will be designed during the course will be given a small grant to run the project. I think this will not only empower young people but also set an example in their communities at a larger level.
Course announcement: Open till 4th November, 2010
I use the internet to run small projects, Kwik surveys, online discussion boards, social networks, yahoo and google groups etc to run such programmes. I also look for partners in the developed world who can help me run similar projects in Pakistan.
Pulse wire is a vast network of inspiring women and it will not only be a platform to share knowledge and education but can also be used to create educational opportunities for women in marginalized communities. Over the course of 4 years I have developed strong international and national partnerships with women and youth networks and I think I can really contribute in bringing pulse wire in the limelight and highlight the important issues being addressed by this exceptional platform. Through this platform I can expand my knowledge of empowerment of people in communities through networking and knowledge sharing.