The Institute for Advancing Careers and Talents (iACT) is a not-for-profit career development center that offers training to underprivileged youth from marginalized areas of Karachi for better career prospects. Established in 2008, in Saudabad, Malir, it is a public-private partnership initiative between Habib University Foundation and local government of Karachi. Last Monday, iACT organized a display of Social Action Projects by their students under the Karachi Youth Initiative (KYI), at Regent Plaza hotel.
Around 120 young participants from Saudabad and Model Colony were enrolled in the six months training program called ‘Lead the Way’. These participants not only got training for their projects from the program officers at iACT, but also implemented them in their communities, schools, colleges, and hospitals. The projects included Anti-Smoking and Anti-Drug Campaign, Women’s Right in Pakistan, Cleaning Campaign, Child Labor Awareness, and Awareness Camps about Traffic Rules, Education Walk, Library Conception, Motivational Sessions, Renovating Learning Spaces, Tree Plantation and many others.
The event hosted guests from all walks of life. Ms. Shamim Mumtaz - Minister Social Welfare Department, Rizwan Jaffar - Founder Chairman Youth Parliament, Mr. Feroz Khan – CEO Omar Jibran Engineering Industries Ltd. and principals of the schools from where the students belong were the most noted guests. The participants got a chance to discuss their stories with these esteemed guests and showed them the progress they have made in their areas.
The reason behind organizing the ceremony and inviting guests was to appreciate the efforts of participants and to encourage them, so that they can continue with the development work in future. The participants painted speed breakers, placed manholes covers, set-up awareness camps for education, traffic rules, child labor; they conducted several informative sessions at government schools and colleges, cleaned roads, hospitals and also renovated classes of government schools. Talking to the students revealed that they are eager to carry on with this work on their own as well. The project not only involved them in peace promoting and healthy activities, but also educated them about the matters of utmost importance in community building.
The reason behind implementing the projects was to enable vulnerable youth to fight against terrorism and extremism. It is not only terrorism that has affected Pakistan, but several of its by-products are also threatening the peace of our society. Violence and extremism are the two gradually growing aspects of our society that need to be countered with peace and harmony.
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