A day-long youth camp with reference to the Women’s Day was arranged by FACES Pakistan, a community development organisation, at the St Peter’s Church in Kot Lakhpat. This youth camp was part of month-long activities by FACES Pakistan for its celebration of women’s day. The focus of the camp was to promote women empowerment amongst the youth.
The youth from different areas of the provincial metropolis participated in the event to create awareness regarding gender inequality, health insecurity and professional exploitation. Dr Suzanna Johnson and Dr Johnson Massey from the Best Diagnostic Lab pointed out health measures with the participants and asked elders especially parents to give proper care and equal status to their children, both girls and boys. FACES Pakistan Programme Manager Nida Malik, Assistant Programme Manager Nouman Khan, Programme Officer Maqsood Frances, Pastor Yusuf Samuel, Saleem Anayat and others also spoke on the occasion.
The young participants, hailing from different faiths i.e. Islam, Hinduism and Christianity, not only participated in the activity but also shared their experiences with their colleagues and suggested various solutions to different problems, faced by the youth nowadays. Creating a consensus, they also agreed that the gender equality means that women and men, and girls and boys, enjoy the same rights, resources, opportunities and protections.
“We can observe throughout history that where gender inequality exists, it is generally women who are excluded or disadvantaged in relation to decision-making and access to economic and social resources,” said Javaid William, the president of FACES Pakistan, in his message on the occasion. He suggested that there is a need for all institutions to build strong alliances with women so the entire team contributes to organisational success.
“We have to know first that both men and women are equal and they can play a vital role in nation building so men and women should receive equal treatment at all level,” said Elaine Alam, deputy general manager of FACES Pakistan. She said that empowering women was also an indispensable tool for advancing development and reducing poverty. Empowered women contribute to the health and productivity of whole families and communities and to improved prospects for the next generation, she said.
Along with sensitising youth about women empowerment and importance of gender equality, a health camp was also established to create awareness about importance of women’s health. The participants were provided basic information about health and hygiene; blood tests were carried out to give participants a better idea about their health profile. To highlight issues related to young girls and boys, two documentaries were shown on the occasion.
At the end, Nida Malik informed the participants that the FACES Pakistan would engage the youth in its upcoming health camp. Also the organisation is to continue to promote volunteerism among the young generation. She also said that their main theme behind setting up the youth camp was to create awareness to eliminate discrimination from the society as well as to exchange of ideas with the generation next.
After the event, Manahil Saleem and Neha Yusuf, both the student participants, said that they were able to learn something new in the youth camp, and expect that future discussion would support them to understand issues and solutions to various problems around them. On the occasion, Reeba George and Rimsha George said that they now believe that they can get help from the other society members after getting awareness on various issues, related to girls and women.