By Muhammad Qasem Jami
In April 2016, the US Mission in Pakistan and the Pakistan-US Alumni Network (PUAN) organized an Youth Activism Conference which brought together about 200 professionals and youth from Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, and Afghanistan. The aim was to provide a platform to this group of young leaders between ages 18-29 years and inspire them to make a bigger difference in their communities, create new regional networks for youth activists, and train in valuable digital skills needed to expand their ideas and projects.
As a representative of Afghanistan, I had the privilege of speaking about Pax Populi Academy at this conference. The participants were amazed when I told them about our one-to-one tutoring program and that, as Pax Populi coordinator in Herat, I connect students in Afghanistan with their English tutors in the US and India. I talked about how this kind of interaction fosters mutual understanding among people of different nations and can make the world a more peaceful place to live in.
I participated in the Youth Activism conferences which focused on raising awareness of social, cultural, civil, political rights, and opening opportunities for the participants to connect with like-minded people from across South Asia. Education, human rights, climate change, extremism, inter-faith harmony, political engagement, social media, social entrepreneurship, leadership development, communication and campaign design, fundraising for social Change, digital storytelling and visual diplomacy were the key issues that were discussed and debated upon at the Islamabad conference.