To have empowered, informed, motivated and enlightened young Pakistanis, willing and prepared to take leadership roles in various walks of life and to be the agents of change for promoting social, economic and political justice.
Our mission is to promote the intellectual growth, activism and leadership skills of Pakistan’s youth by encouraging open discussion and freedom of thought about socio-economic issues using workshops, seminars, messages through media and other appropriate means, thus harnessing their energies to bring about a positive social change in the country.
1. To engage young Pakistani in an open dialogue about the social and political issues facing the country in an atmosphere of tolerance and respect for divergent views and non-conforming opinions.
2. To provide youth with an accessible platform for expressing their independent and diverse views across college campuses, through electronic media, and via other suitable forums.
3. To connect youth across ethnic, religious, sectarian, economic and class divides through internet and social media.
4. To identify and promote effective measures that will empower Pakistan’s young men and women to develop their leadership skills and to act as catalysts for needed change.
“The man who seeks to create better order of society has two resistances to contend ith: One that of Nature, the other that of fellow men. Broadly speaking, it is science that deals with the resistance of Nature, while politics and social organization are the methods of overcoming the resistance of men."
Bertrand Russell in “The Proposed Road to Freedom”
• The political leadership of the country has not only failed to grapple with and address these issues but has actually exploited them to create further schisms among people to gain political/personal benefits. So, it is futile to expect any meaningful solution from them. This has created disillusionment and a sense of hopelessness in the young generation.
• According to a report released by the British council last year. (Pakistan: The Next Generation) despite this frustration, young Pakistanis love their country and want to play a positive role in building a brighter future. They want to be good citizens and overall do not subscribe to older generations discriminatory/racist attitudes. Many are not willing to wait for others to act. They want to build a peaceful and prosperous society.
• According to UNDP, number of youth in Pakistan, defined as persons between the ages of fifteen and twenty four years, is 36 million and 103.698 (63%) million are under age twenty five. There is a need for a fresh start. Across the world and throughout history, it is always the young people, who are a force to bring a positive social change, drive political movements and challenge the status quo. The next generation has to reclaim Pakistan and fulfill the promise of social, economic and political justice for all her citizens. For that to happen, we need to invest in the next generation and harness its energy to achieve this goal.
• Pakistan is a resource rich country which has not achieved its full potential due to leadership crisis since inception. Country has been ruled by a small select group which has monopolized the resources and basically kept the average Pakistani out of the loop.
• While there are many NGOs and charitable organizations which are trying to fill the gap, left by the state, in the provision of services in terms of education, access to healthcare etc, there is no organized effort to address the core social issues mentioned above.
Pakistan is facing multitude of challenges today. Twenty or thirty years ago main problems that the people of Pakistan had to contend with were lack of education, access to healthcare and poverty. However things have become much more complicated since then and situation has worsened because of the following core social issues:
1. Rising Class difference and income disparity. One of the main reasons for the creation of Pakistan was to promote economic prosperity for the Muslims of India. Before partition, Muslims were economically depressed and excluded from financial opportunities. Idea of having a separate homeland gave hope for financial prosperity and empowerment to the millions of Muslims. Sadly, these hopes have been shattered. Rising inflation and increasing poverty has made life unlivable for the poor to the point where they are forced to either commit suicide or sell their children. This has created an environment of hopelessness and loss of faith in future. Major victim of this mind set has been the young generation. Lack of access to jobs and means to earn a decent living has eroded their confidence and affected their self respect.
2. Religious intolerance: We have witnessed growing intolerance in Pakistan not only at interfaith but also at intra-faith level while religious minorities feel unsafe and alienated in Pakistan.
3. Growing Ethnic divide. Pakistan consists of diverse ethnic communities. This can be a very enriching and strengthening factor. But, whereas differences in language and culture can be mutually complimentary, they can also become a source of conflict. The situation is made worse when people are competing for meager resources. Population explosion, hich is labeled as “population bomb” by some, has definitely adversely affected the situation.
Rise for Pakistan is an initiative:
1. Aimed to engage young Pakistanis in an open dialogue, in an environment of respect and tolerance for diverse opinions and perspectives, on the issues identified above as well as others that may arise and promote free and critical thinking to counter some of the religious and non-religious dogmas thus inspiring them to become catalysts for change.
2. To promote grassroots awareness and activism, especially involving young Pakistanis thus bringing about a paradigm shift in the thinking of people where, instead of waiting for a charismatic leader to save them, they become the leaders and rather than becoming tools to be exploited in the hands of the powerful, they focus on the core issues facing them and insist that they are addressed by the decision makers.
3. Change in action happens only after there is change in the mind set. No one has ever disputed the intellectual strength of the People of Pakistan. There is a need to harness that strength to create a better life and future for them and their children. We know from experience that Pakistanis, world over, have created success stories under most adverse of conditions. There is no reason that they cannot do the same in Pakistan.
On the other hand, we fully realize that it is not going to be easy. There are many hurdles and opposing forces. It will be time consuming and resource and effort intensive initiative. There is also no question that the causes of most of the problems are complex and deep rooted. There may be external and internal forces who want status quo for their own interest, but we believe that the solution of Pakistan’s problems is in the hands of the people of Pakistan. There is no lack of conviction and passion among Pakistanis to do the best they can for their country but they have to be equipped with knowledge, information and skills.
We are fully aware of the fact that what we have set out to do is much more challenging than feeding the hungry, opening a school, providing healthcare to the poor etc. It will take time to see the results. But we are also convinced that most Pakistanis, resident or non-resident, have begun to realize the importance of such an initiative and are looking for such a platform.
To achieve these goals, there is a need for a financially sound organization that is run by people who are passionate, committed, skilled and intellectually capable. Your financial support is critical towards building a progressive, tolerant and equitable Pakistani society. We are quite confident that through unity, Faith and Discipline we will be successful.