Balochistan, a historically underrepresented province in Pakistan, is passing through further challenges as three types of conflict are putting the entire province at risk: extremists’ ideologies, separatist movements, and tribal conflicts. Due to these conflicts, young people are not only disappointed with different systems in the province but they are hopeless with the recent increase in violence in the province. Engaging these young people is essential so the effects of these conflicts can be replaced with positive actions– to combat extremism and other means of violence, and contribute to the development of the province .
Youth and Gender Development Network joined hands with YES-Network Pakistan for an initiative called, “Youth Social Enterprise on Peace.” This initiative helps young people to start their own ventures for peace in the province. The best ideas cultivated through this initiative will receive seed funding to start peace initiatives and contribute to the development of the province through their own actions and efforts.
The participants were selected for their interests and wide range of expertise in their respective fields. The participants, seen here, were not only keen to learn but they were very excited to give many ideas to promote peace in the province. Each participant hoped that their idea would be the best idea.
Participants enjoyed the introduction session. Some of the participants wanted to form teams for the ideas they had, so everyone was interested in finding the right team. Imran Khan, 2012 ELP Fellow, moderated the session.
Imran is explaining the difference between business enterprise and social enterprise. This was a new concept for participants, and a powerful lesson to differentiate both in future.
The picture captured a bright moment, when the organizers realized the importance of this topic. Some participants were holding the opinion that social enterprise is a new concept in Balochistan, and it might not work according to expectation. Here, Imran was explaining social enterprise with clarity and examples, so each participant has a fair chance in the competition.
Personal Theory of Change was discussed in detail, and amazing experiences and personal theories were brought to the plate. Every participant was connecting the slides to their day to day life and more ideas were discussed openly. It was amazing that every participant was taking the responsibility of being the agent of change by starting it from themselves.
Ideas Submission forms were discussed in great detail, so each participant was clear on the form. The idea submission form includes the problem identification, mission and vision, budget, relevant work experiences, etc. The participants were given these forms to begin submitting their ideas. In the coming months, the best ideas will be selected by Youth and Gender Development Network and YES-Network Pakistan, and will receive seed funding, training, and mentorship.