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Researches and scientific studies establish that youth is synonymous to energy and potential. If this energy and potential is channelized properly it may lead to sustainable peace and development, otherwise, the untapped potential may indulge into destructive activities. The theme of youth becomes especially important when youth outnumbers other segments of the society. it is noteworthy that Pakistan is passing through a demographic transition where a large chunk is already in the age bracket of youth (15 to 29 years) and more population is entering the structures, a state called youth bulge. Youth becomes a central theme in a country that is passing through a wave of terrorism and extremism and where youth does not have opportunities to participate and engage in social, economic and political spheres of the society. Such alienations and isolation causes raise in frustration and insecurity among youth. After 18th amendment in the constitution of Pakistan, National Youth Policy was defunct and it was the need of the hour to work for provincial youth policies. Bargad as a leading youth organization of Pakistan took the initiative in collaboration of UNFPA to provide technical assistance to the Government of the Punjab to formulate youth policy of the province. The policy process is marked with participation and engagement of youth. It will be the ever first youth policy of the country in which youth are consulted and context specific approach has been adopted. The process includes consultations, interviews, survey, media campaign, advocacy and lobbying for successful formulation and launching of the youth policy. The input of youth is also taken through a dedicated website and a facebook group. In addition to youth policy initiative, Bargad also successfully organized activities across Pakistan on: Woman Leadership on Campuses, peace and youth cooperation and life skills trainings.

The issue is dedicated to our volunteers who are working for youth development across the country. Our volunteers are our most valuable asset who plays a key role in planning and implementation of our programs and projects. During the year the organization successfully upgraded the Volunteer Management System which will further assist us in reaching out youth.

In this issue and upcoming issues we are including, “Your Corner” which will feature your interviews and write-ups. So, if you are youth then send us a write-up (200 words max) and tell the world about what you have achieved at info@bargad.org.pk.

Finally, we would greatly appreciate your valuable feedback for improving the e-newsletter.

Ø The Punjab Youth Policy: Bargad and UNFPA are providing technical assistance to provincial governments in formulating provincial youth policies and Punjab Youth Policy will be the first ever provincial youth policy in history of Pakistan which will provide a comprehensive framework to constitute and build the strategies for youth development and participation. In this regard, series of activities were planned and executed. During the quarter, a series of consultations, interviews and reviews etc. were organized and surveys were conducted to take the input of youth to be incorporated in Punjab Youth Policy Draft. Sessions were organized in different districts with youth, parliamentarians, youth researchers, practitioners and marginalized & vulnerable youth groups. The process helped in identifying youth issues and also provided opportunity to youth to propose solutions to the issues identified during the consultations.

Ø Baseline Survey on Youth for Women Leadership on Campuses: During October to December 2011, Bargad implemented a project, entitled “Youth for Women Leadership on Campuses” under Gender Equity Program of Aurat Foundation. A number of consultations, focus group discussions with faculty members, administration and a baseline survey were carried out in the 10 focused universities from all 4 provinces of Pakistan. Baseline was conducted through Structured Survey Form by taking a sample of 1335 people which includes students, teachers, administration staff etc. The goal of the survey was to analyze the mechanism, composition and perceptions of gender disparity on campuses for improving women leadership.

In this regard, One week visits, from Oct-Dec 2011, were carried out in all concerned universities of all over Pakistan for the baseline survey and networking. Project team members supervised the activities organized to conduct survey, trainings etc. Networking meetings were conducted with registrar, director student affairs and different head of the departments. Project orientation was given to the youth organization as well. Project and BARGAD also introduced to youth and women development ministers.

Duniya TV Channel exclusively arranged a program on the issue of Harassment focusing the findings of Baseline, Curricula, field visits and Policy Brief of Bargad under the project. Representatives of National Youth Leaders Network and Bargad were the panelists of this program.

Development of curricula on Youth for Women Leadership on Campuses

The curricula designed to promote the knowledge on gender equality concepts among students and to highlight the issues related to harassment and women leadership on campuses. It aims to change the behavior ensuring gender sensitivity and building a positive attitude leading to actions which make campuses women friendly. It also discuss for increasing resources for faculty members of universities.

Consultant was hired to develop the curricula and literature on youth and gender was reviewed for the first draft. Then a series of meetings/consultations were carried out individually with youth experts and gender experts like Neelum Hussain and Dr. Raana Malik to finalize the first draft. Meetings with academia, civil society, youth & gender experts and youth were conducted to take the further in-depth input on curricula and second draft was prepared. It was decided that final draft will be prepared after the TOT on Youth for Women Leadership on Campuses that will be held with 20 participants of faculty members from different universities. Program of the training was also finalized where Neelum Hussain from Simorgh suggested that training should start with a session on gender equality on campuses so that the understanding of participants with issue being measured and a thorough ground can be built.

Peace and Youth Cooperation

Bargad organized a series of activities under project “Peace and Youth Cooperation” in collaboration with Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung during months from October to December 2011. Jawan Bargad groups were formed and educated on themes of extremism, civic education, social responsibility, volunteerism, cooperation and more through different trainings, meetings, consultative sessions and visits. Objective of these sessions and meetings was to aware the youth about their strength, rights and responsibilities so they can work in their full capacity and can add value towards development of society. Some of the detail regarding the activities under this project are;

  • Meeting held with students of universities on Oct 26, 2011 where feedback was taken about executed activities and input was taken for future planning
  • Meeting held on Oct 27, 2011 on Political Activism of Youth with students’ leaders of Balochistan who belong to different organizations
  • Ten meetings held during three visits to set the objectives of the group, analyze the issues of youth of Balochistan and what sort of initiatives group must take for development of Balochistan youth. Issues of political activism, representation of students on campus, conflicts among Balochistan and Punjab youth and women quota for leadership positions were discussed

  • Jawan BARGAD Lahore organized four activities during October to December 2011 on issues of youth development, youth bulge, role of democracy, women leadership, women and youth friendly policies, volunteerism and others on 4 Oct 2011, 23 Oct 2011, 4 Dec 2011 and 28 Dec 2011
  • Meeting of Jawan Bargad Sargodha held on December 14, 2011 on Youth Policy of Punjab.

Aghe say Agay ()

The project aims to inculcate and promote a culture of equal opportunity for girls, developing leadership skills of adolescent girls by involving female teachers of high schools to impart life skills education comprising of life skills, social empowerment, sexual reproductive health information and economic empowerment in addition to regular curriculum.

Workshop on Women, conflict and Peace

From October 14 to 16, 2011 a consultative workshop organized by ASR Recourse Center at its office in Lahore. The organizations working directly on peace and resolution from across the country participated. Purpose was to bring into light those who have worked or can play role in thematic areas for rights of women, minorities and other marginalized communities. Ms. Bushra Sadiq (Senior Program Officer) represented Bargad at the occasion.


Consultation with Group of Working Women/Community Girls

Bargad organized a consultative session with a group of Working Women/Community Girls on November 3, 2011 at Bargad office, Gujranwala. Ms. Sabiha Shaheen facilitated the session and briefed participants about policy in context of their problems and issues. Participants highlighted transportation and mobility as the major issues for women in society. Working women shared their views about security, freedom and raised their voice to register the complaint of being harassed during work situations. Community girls highlighted the point of early marriages and expressed their desperation for the situation when they are not allowed to take decisions.

Consultation with Community/Rural Young Boys

November 04, 2011 was concluded with the consultative meeting on Punjab Youth Policy with a diverse group of young boys of community from city and outskirts. Meeting was held in Bargad office, Gujranwala.

Issues in the education system and the quality of curricula were discussed. Disparity within educational institutes was criticized by the participants and pointed out the problem of self esteem and self actualization which could be handled through different capacity building trainings and programs on civic responsibilities.

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Consultation with Minority Youth

Bargad arranged another consultative session on November 18, 2011 with the minority group of Francisabad, Gujranwala within their vicinity and Khuram Shahzad was the facilitator. Francisabad is a town 20 KM away from the city where Christians dwell predominantly. Existing members and volunteers put their efforts in organizing the meeting as it was important to take minorities on board in consultative process for Punjab youth policy. The group was comprised of students and young activists and gender balance was ensured though.


The facilitator at the outset introduced the project and partners who were working on the project and sought their feedback over the initiative as well as minority perspective with regard to the Punjab youth Policy. It was highly appreciated by the group of taking the minority perspective in these consultations and discussing their concerns as they are not mainstreamed ever in any of the developmental process. It was discussed that although socio-economic disparity is prevalent across the province/country but minority is specifically affected and there are fewer employment opportunities for minority youth.


Consultation with Academia, Students

Ms. Sabiha Shaheen (Executive Director, Bargad) facilitated the consultative meeting in Bahauddin Zakriya University, Multan on November 18, 2011 with academia. The purpose was to take feedback and perspective from academia fraternity and students. The vice Chancellor of BZU appreciated the initiative by the civil society to go side by side with the government machinery in formulating the Punjab Youth Policy.

Progress in formulating the policy and the goal of the project was shared with the students and faculty members where they also put some questions regarding progress of the whole process. It was primarily meant for the orientation of the group so they can proactively participate in the following session and could share their feedback. The group raised their voice and highlighted the youth issues with special reference to the needs of youth in South Punjab. Majority of the group highlighted that education system and institutes are neglected and few in number all over southern Punjab. From the portal of Punjab Youth Policy, academia demanded to initiate such programs that can foster harmony and cooperation beyond all lingual, cultural and geographical biases among the youth. Also it was recommended that incentives should be announced for the youth in less privileged and under developed areas of the province

Consultation with Youth Organizations, Rawalpindi

Ms. Bushra Sadiq from Bargad facilitated a one day consultation with youth organizations in Rawalpindi on November 23, 2011. Purpose was to collect the views of people belonged to different vicinities of Rawalpindi. Discourse on youth issues and their possible solutions were initiated after a brief introduction of the project. Gender discrimination and mobility issues related to females were highlighted and demanded a better infrastructure. It was also suggested that government should start and promote local industry and vocational institutions should be built. Government should also initiate programs for civic education as well.


Consultation with Civil Society Groups/Activists

Bargad organized a consultation on mapping the youth issues with Civil Society activists on November 24, 2011 at Hotel Pearl Continental, Rawalpindi. Ms. Sadia Atta Mehmood from UNFPA started the session and discussed youth issues, possible solutions with some recommendations as well. She emphasized that youth must understand politics for their personal development as well as for the collective benefits of the society.


Youngsters should initiate sessions of informal education in peer and focus group discussions and by conducting trainings of street youth. She further elaborated that all the areas of health, education, economy and politics are very much interlinked and dependent on each other. We will have to adopt multiple strategies to address the varied needs of diverse youth groups.


Response from the audience was appreciative and added value to the prospect of subject matter. It was responded that youth of today need to realize and figure out what role (s)he wants to play in society in any domain. We cannot ignore any aspect, life skills, education, decision making, socio-political awareness and a good sense on economy for youth development. There should be a separate section on legal rights of youth that could comprise further sub-categories on different aspects. Promotion of indigenous skills is very much inevitable for economic growth, youth need to feel proud on these skills to learn and practice.

Zaheer Abbas from AMAL gave a short presentation on Social Empowerment of youth. He highlighted the key issues & challenges faced by youth like SRHR, curriculum, parental support and forced marriages etc. along-with strategies for youth mobilization and involvement in active citizen programs that youth should concentrate and some recommendations like trainings and awareness programs as well.

Audience also appreciated and seconded the suggestion by Salma Rehmat of having a mapping at Punjab level that would bring about demand and levels of employment in various sectors.


Consultation with Youth at Khanpur, RYK

A consultative meeting with youth of Khanpur, Rahim Yar Khan was arranged by BARGAD and Ms. Salma Rehmat, a youth expert, facilitated the meeting on November 28, 2011 and divided the consultation in three sessions

During first session issues & challenges related to political empowerment of youth were highlighted, and discussed, that youth need to assess the political system and should take interest in electoral system. It is a fact that discontinuity of local government system gives way to political frustration and hence we don't see any political activism on the part of youth. Dearth of young leadership and less opportunities and learning are the outcomes of stated issues. Awareness programs on political rights to sensitize youth about political system must be initiated and local governance system should be vibrant. Also, reserved seats in provincial assemblies and parliament must be insured to motivate the youth.

Second and third session belonged to Social & Economic Empowerment where participants expressed their views and gave valuable suggestions. It was agreed that youth lack in social mobilization and need to have respect for skill based professions. At government level, technical and vocational training centers, higher education institutes should be built to support and educate youth. Seminars on social mobilization and awareness of basic rights can also add value. On the other hand, as a long term strategy, small industries should be built for the skilled youth as well. Furthermore, merit based selection, scholarships and funding for co-curricular and extracurricular activities will definitely motivate the youth to strive for excellence. Government should also formulate career counseling cells and create opportunities for formal and non-formal education for student consultations.

Consultation Meeting with Youth of Bahawalpur

Consultation with 40 participants was arranged and Ms. Salma Rehmat went to conduct the meeting at Department of Political Science & Gender Studies, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur on November 29, 2011. Session was conducted in different aspects of political, social and economic empowerment of youth.

Ms. Salma started the consultation by introducing Bargad and the project of provincial youth policies. She chalked out some issues and problems youth facing today and inquired participants for their input as it would be easier for Bargad in mapping youth issues and solutions.

 

It was highlighted that lack of awareness about rights and responsibilities among youth is the cause of youth exploitation. Political and social environment lacks youth involvement which causes imbalanced relations and information transformation among people and institutions. As we move towards fringes, problem gets worse and outcomes are drastic e.g. gender discrimination, unemployment, lack of recognition about skilled labor and more. Participants responded to the situation and said youth forums and social dialogues should be organized for civic education and there is a strong need to create participatory platforms to sensitize the youth as well. We live with the mindset of male dominated society which should be criticized and resources should be allocated equitably. Further, government must take positive measures to ban extremist & fundamentalist groups. To strengthen the economic conditions we need to acknowledge and encourage skilled labor and vocational education. Government should initiate steps to broadening the employment base and syllabi need a revision as per emerging needs as well. Small and medium size enterprises can be established and encouraged to broaden the market structure.


Consultative Session on The Punjab Youth Policy with Female Youth , Lahore

On December 2, 2011 UNFPA organized a meeting on age related issues of adolescent girls with youth focused organizations. Ms. Sabiha Shaheen and Ms. Bushra Sadiq represented Bargad in the meeting. Objective was to highlight the problems younger girls face especially in far flung areas and to come up with positive solutions to educate and sensitize the people. The health needs of adolescent girls are ignored in many developing countries. There is an urgent need for expanded access to information and services that address the specific reproductive and sexual health issues of young people, especially the poorest and most vulnerable girls.

Training of Master Trainers on “Political Activism of Youth”

Under the project of “Peace and youth Cooperation” Bargad organized training for master trainers from December 16 to 18, 2011.

The sessions on various issues like extremism, killing in the name of blasphemy law, capitalism, socialism, cold war and upcoming elections of Pakistan, importance of mandates of parties, peace, and gender gave a deep understanding to the participants. This training was among one of the steps of Bargad leading the youth towards the leadership positions. Training was the ever first training for the participants where they got the opportunity to understand the culture of different parts of the country. The participants belonged to Jamshoro Sindh, Panjgour Balochistan, Peshawar Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Multan, Gujrat, Faisalabad, Miawali, Sargodha, Hafizabad, Dera Ismail Khan, Khanpur, and Lahore. Hence the training brought the flavor of different culture.

Through capacity building, the organizations seek youth of Pakistan to accelerate the process of development whether it is their personal development or social development independently, which could be accomplished by personal and intellectual grooming, confidence, understanding with issues and ways to resolve them. To achieve this vision, BARGAD started to form core groups in different areas of Pakistan with the name of Jawan BARGAD. The members of these groups prolonged their advocacy of peace and cooperation in their respective areas and linked things at provincial and national level.

Consultation Meeting at Department of History and Pakistan Studies, University of Sargodha

In continuation to Punjab Youth Policy, Bargad organized a meeting at Department of History and Pakistan Studies, University of Sargodha in which total number of audience was 150. Dr. Naudir Bakht, Chairman Department of History & Pakistan Studies was the moderator who introduced project to the participants.

Discussion about the first draft of the youth policy was made and different views and reviews were presented on the draft during the consultation. Majority highlighted that draft speaks less about the province of Punjab, its culture and specific issues related to it. Statistical analysis of youth with respect to Punjab province should be highlighted in the draft and mechanisms to avoid brain drain were the discourse of meeting. It was suggested that there is a need to provide recreational activities to youth especially rural youth and curricula must be revised. There was a long debate on the role of media and commented that media need to avoid bringing more frustration among youth and should promote positive aspects of society to encourage youth in social life.


Consultations with Members of Provincial Assembly

Three meetings were held at Punjab Provincial Assembly building, Lahore on 21st, 27th and 29th December 2011. Sessions were facilitated by Ms Salma Butt and Ms Sabiha Shaheen. It was a breakthrough in the whole consultative process where another stakeholder from the Government machinery not only taken on board but it also offered cooperation for further taking the process.

The collaboration with Provincial Assembly of Punjab is an outcome of the understanding with Chief Minister Youth Mobilization Committee of which Khawaja Saad Rafiq is convener and Deputy Speaker RanaMashhood Ahmad Khan is focal person.

The consultative meetings were presided over by Deputy Speaker, Provincial Assembly of the Punjab and each meeting was attended by no less than 25 MPAs.


Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly Visit to Bargad Office:

Mr. Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan (Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly) addressed to volunteers and Bargad team on December 26, 2011 during his visit to Bargad office and explained the problems, government faced, in addressing youth issues and to create productive environment for youth and country development. On the contrary, youth was also very eager to get satisfactory answers in this changing political scenario of Punjab. They asked rigorous questions regarding the performance of Punjab Government especially to addressing youth issues. Mr. Mashhood briefly explained the


challenges they had to face and the achievements even in these adverse circumstances. Notables of Gujranwala, Ms. Samina Zarrin Advocate and Mr. Khalid Chisti, Chairman Private Schools Association were also present on the occasion along-with more than 100 participants.


Meetings with Department of Youth Affairs, Government of Punjab

A series of meetings were held at Youth Affairs Department during months of October, November and December 2011. Khurm Shahzad from Bargad facilitated the sessions with government officials.

Meeting was held with Additional Secretary, Mr. Syed Tahir Raza Hamdani and Deputy Secretary Mr. Maqbool Malik on 18th Oct 2011. The meeting was intended to share the progress at both ends and to further planning the activities for execution of the project. During the meeting it was shared by the officials that Youth Affairs has been separated from IC&YA department and a separate department is being created.

On 4th Nov 2011, meeting with Tahir Raza of Information and Culture department was organized to seek his support for taking forward the Punjab Youth Policy work with the newly established Youth Affairs, Sports, Tourism and Archeology Department, Government of the Punjab.

In continuation, another meeting was held on 10th Nov 2011 with Additional Secretary Mr. Rana Tahir Akram and with Mr. Salman Tanveer Section Officer of the department. They were briefed on the project and developments that had been going on with their predecessor department.

The Additional Secretary Mr. Rana Tahir Akram was further requested to call on and a meeting was held on 3rd Dec 2011. Ongoing consultative process and the consultative meetings in the pipeline were discussed and conjured. Mr. Khuram also requested him for ensuring the departments' representation in the upcoming consultative meetings and to arrange a meeting with Secretary of the department.

Finally, the Secretary Dr. Allah Bakhsh Malik of Youth Affairs department consented to meet on 19th December 2011 and briefed on the developments with regard to the Punjab Youth Policy project. Deputy Secretary, Mr. Maqbool Malik prolonged his support to go further on all levels.

Mapping of Youth Projects with Government of Punjab

This activity was aimed to take on board the government officials on the Punjab Youth Policy consultative process and to have access over public documents relating to the youth projects across the province of Punjab. Ms. Sabiha Shaheen and Mr. Khuram Shahzad from Bargad organization conducted eight meetings in total with the concerned officials in various departments of the Government of Punjab for the advocacy and lobbying of Punjab Youth Policy. Below is the brief detail of meetings held with different stakeholders who have been facilitating the process or have promised to render all due support.


Name
Designation
Maryam Nawaz Sharif

Representative Muslim league (N)

RanaMashood

Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly

Rana Sana Ullah

Law Minster Punjab

KhuramGulfam

Member Provincial Assembly (MPA)Punjab

Col. Saif

Coordinator to CM Punjab

Shahid Iqbal

Deputy Secretary to CM Punjab

M. Mohsin

Law officer Punjab Assembly

Dr. Allah Baksh

Secretary Archeology, Sports, tourism and Youth affairs

Muhabbat Shujja Rana

Sr. Officer Punjab Assembly

Rao Salman

P.A to RanaMashood

Saima Farooq

P.A to Maryam Nawaz

Atif Mayo

Representative Muslim league youth wing

Qasim

P.A to SaadRafique MNA-PML (N)

Mrs. Rana Mashhhood

Mrs of Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly



Volunteer Corner

Naila Yaseen belongs from Bahawalnagar and an active volunteer of Bargad since long. She is performing her duties as a principal of Hameeda Shokat Ali Foundation in Sherakot Gujranwala. Besides, her workload, she mobilizes students, community girls and females for their responsibilities as an active citizen. She also works in promoting and educating females about women rights, conduct different sessions on gender equality and other awareness programs. Moreover, she also facilitated Bargad in “Aaghee se Agay” during the visits, meetings, sessions and trainings.


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Muhammad Usman Asvad
Ahmad Zeb
Asad Javed
Razia Parveen
Sumaira Sadiq