IYC 2016 – A New Beginning.

International Youth Conference was held from 1-2 August 2016 by Helping Hands for Relief and development (HHRD) at Margalla hotel, Islamabad. It was a good working experience with the organizing body.  I played myriad roles in it, from content proof writer to media team lead. The love and respect which I received there during my course is unforgettable. I will always cherish the moments I spent with HHRD.

Many a question were raised one of them was; why there was need to have such conference? So, let me be very clear about it. In the prevailing times youth is diverting from the path, indulged in activities which are provocative for physical and mental health. They are facing different challenges and problems and it is need of hour to provide them a better platform where they could get a way forward and resolve the issues and the challenges they are facing.

This conference had a plus point too which was that, they attracted the youth which had no exposure to such events before. They never got the opportunity to attend and share on such big platform. The attendance was very healthy and that was possible because of the fruitful efforts of the team. This covered the multiple paradigms from Leadership skills to Entrepreneurship skill, from Ideology of Pakistan to Social Reconstruction. Everything was there in one plate at one place.

The most astonishing thing about the conference was that as it was a youth conference, people came with preconceived notions that there will be chaos and mismanagement but no such thing was observed by the grace of ALLAH. Youth was well-organized, well-behaved and well-disciplined throughout two days and this was a rare sight.

So, many youth related organizations participated in this mega event. I represented the two societies, International Iqbal Society and Critical Thinking Forum (CTF) and was also the Youth Ambassador from Air University. The young energetic members of both societies seized the day.

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CTF and IIS representatives at IYC 2016

Participant and Volunteer Ms. Asra Zafar stated her views, “Attending IYC not as a participant but as a volunteer gave me a very different and a new lens to evaluate the issues and situations faced by our youth. The focus on our Islamic values, ideology and family institution made the ideas propagated through this conference more relate-able and comprehensible to the participants. For me the success of this conference lies on the multitude of representation from all age groups.  The plethora of ideas presented and discussed by the participants themselves were successfully tackled by the speakers from different spheres of life. The focal point of the conference I.e. connectivity and this shift from “I” to “We” will definitely serve as a seed that will lead Pakistan towards a better future.  I immensely appreciate and encourage such platforms that will help the current and future generations to not only recognize but mobilize their skills and potential. It was an amazing experience for me.”

Another participant Ms. Momina Hafeez shared her views, “It was quite an experience attending the international youth conference organized by HHRD. Going to the conference and attending the sessions opened up new vistas of thought in front of me. It inspired me to look at the things from yet another perspective. It also gave me the confidence to try out new things and gave me the courage to participate in conferences like this one in the future as well. The stay at the hostel was very comfortable. The authorities ensured that we were provided with all the facilities to make us comfortable and secure. The supervisors at the hostels showed great concern about our security and were very approachable and friendly.”

Ms Aniqa Jahangeer; one of our participant – representative of Youth wing of Critical Thinking Forum IIU shared her views about International Youth Conference 2016 as;

“Awesome experience is the cliché I can put after sneezing and flu whole day though I planned I will review the thing. There may be flaws in any human endeavor and so this one bore its fair share. However, I stand by it because at least it mobilized youth and exposed their perception to a new direction. How they incorporate what they heard will be their own journey but it’s definitely a step forward. I truly hope this continues, so that a picture of our Glorious histories is presented along with the point in time we stand at and where we may go from here. Change comes from recognizing we make that choice, for better or for worse.”

We all had panic attacks, relax moments and yes ended up with flu, fever and many a pending treats.  Typing this all while coughing it away the memories, just said on a lighter note.

Core Committee IYC 2016 – HHRD.

The passion and zeal youth and volunteers showed was remarkable. Media team did a stupendous job, hats off; Aleem, Ali, Asim, Bilal, Talha and Khatibi for clicking IYC live. Abid and Imran for print media thing, good job. Content team rocked the day too. The CTF ladies were marked as the brilliant ladies throughout the conference. I am proud of you my girls. Thanks Aniqa, Asra, Momina, Nushra, Namrah and Aruj for making it possible. I made so many memories and will always cherish them. The leads of the session Haris, Zeeshan, Furrukh and Aisha did a marvelous job by arranging fruitful sessions. And IYC Coordinator Mr. Arif remained our strength during ups and downs. Thanks for having faith in us Mr Fazal Rehman, Country Director HHRD. There are always pros and cons of  event but together we achieved a lot, with many a lesson learnt and with hope to do it better in future, we will come back again next year!

Till then Cheers amigos!

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