Our Stories

  • Building civic engagement in marginalized communities
    Jun 15, 2017

    Uzaira Tasneem is completing her bachelor’s degree from the University of Education, Lahore. True to her name, when she heard about the UN Volunteers programme, she decided to apply. “I always aspired to become a volunteer because it would get me closer to the community and the people,” she says.

  • Expanding horizons through volunteering
    Jun 15, 2017

    It was always Tahir’s dream to be a social worker and to serve humanity. The son of a manual labourer and the youngest of five children, he had the opportunity to gain an education and is now completing a master’s degree in education management in his hometown of Lahore, Pakistan. When the opportunity to become a UN Volunteer and provide civic and voter education to youth and marginalized communities, especially women, came up, Tahir seized it. As one of 36 UN Volunteers in Pakistan, however, he has found that his horizons and passions have expanded more than he could have realized.

  • Building responsible citizenship
    Jun 15, 2017

    Forty-two young people file into a classroom at the University of Management and Technology in Lahore, Pakistan. The two young women standing before them are only a few years older but, as the session begins, the group listens respectfully and with increasing interest. As the young women conclude their presentation, the questions comes quick and fast.

  • Young volunteers spark civic engagement
    Jun 15, 2017

    Before Anita Ilyas, a United Nations Volunteer in Lahore, Pakistan, began conducting a quiz, she expected that few of the participating students would have been motivated to read through the readings on civic engagement that she and her fellow volunteer had provided. She was in for a surprise. As the questions came, every student gave correct answers. By the end of the quiz it was a five-way tie. “We were all so surprised to see that our future generation was so well informed and have enough knowledge about their country and the systems of the country,” says Anita.

  • Passion for change
    Jun 15, 2017

    Amna was born in Lahore, Pakistan, where she studied education. Today, she is completing a postgraduate MPhil degree in Education, and has also taught for several years. When she heard about the UN Volunteers programme, she immediately applied. “It was a good opportunity for me to do something for the betterment of society,” she says.

  • A young adult rejects violence
    Apr 10, 2017

    “I saw a six-year-old boy get shot by accident during a gang fight on a street in Lyari” says Haris Usman Ghani, narrating his heartbreaking experience. Belonging to Lyari, one of Karachi’s most violent areas, he was almost in tears when he shared his story. Threats, violence and frequent strikes in his neighborhood forced his family to shut down their small boutique. This resulted in an unending deficit and overdue loans.

  • Community mobilization to install solar water supply in D.I.Khan
    Apr 3, 2017

    In village Ruknao in union council Zandani of Dera Ismail Khan, people’s use of contaminated canal water resulted in the spread of water-borne diseases. UNDP worked in 2016 under the Youth and Social Cohesion Project (YSCP) to complete a tube well installation project. UNDP provided a solar water pump that local community members incorporated into their construction of a water storage tank.

  • Women lawyers take the lead in Swat
    Apr 3, 2017

    Ever since she was a child, Samreen Hakeem’s ambition had been to become a lawyer. Growing up in Swat district of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, she observed how the women around her needed to be made aware of their basic rights. Yet, with virtually no trained female lawyers – and few educated women generally – accessing legal advice, and then acting on it, was a distant dream in this highly segregated society.

  • First woman school teacher from village Bejowra, Swat
    Mar 13, 2017

    Shazia, a Bejowra resident, took advantage of the new road. She became the first woman to accept a teaching job in a neighbouring village now accessible by the new road. A mere 20 minutes away, the village children and she walk every day to a school where enrolment has increased because of the road.

  • Theatre performance in Dera Ismail Khan
    Mar 13, 2017

    The play, ‘Mela’ focused on the revival of a local festival in Dera Ismail Khan after it was called off due to militant threats. The performance highlighted youth roles in developing a counter-narrative of peace, tolerance and inclusivity in a conflict-affected area. It also underscored the need for collective action and engagement with relevant government authorities in addressing conflicting interests and local development problems