Prosperity without Extremism
Making a Difference in Pakistan
This project empowers the hearts and minds of 80 youth, who come from localities where extremism is flourishing. Building on their social awareness critical thinking skills and the ability to influence peers, this training and practical driven project will enable youth to judge for themselves the worthiness of groups around them and to make decisions that are pro-survival and peaceful. Irrespective of the strife based on religion, ethnicity, gender or nationality witnessed on a daily basis, students will learn to strive for equality fairness and dignity for human life. Youth will be empowered to carry their learning forward by delivering workshops to their peers through the social action program, which forms an integral part of the project.
The infiltration of extremist groups into the districts of Karachi has placed our youth and their families at risk of adopting extremist values knowingly, but mostly unknowingly into their homes and lifestyles. Lacking critical thinking skills and the ability to distinguish between pro and contra-survival groups and values, these students are prone to accepting anything that is said in the name of Islam and thereby becoming themselves guilty of committing human rights violations.
Unless steps are taken to empower each student on an individual basis we stand at risk of losing this generation to the extremist groups that are widespread in regions close and far. Such groups work for personal gain and without regard for the future of youth, our country or the planet. Help is needed and appreciated to implement this solution that gives due regard to the longterm perspective.
YTHRE program will be helping students to develop critical thinking and assess the motivation of groups that are operating in society. The workshops material is based on the need analysis of the area. It is directed towards improving knowledge, developing skills, instilling positive attitudes in students and making them responsible for their views, actions and attitudes.
Theory and practical activities are directed to give students understanding of the values that support human rights of self and of others. Everything taught, be it human rights, or definition of terrorism, is followed by practical activities to ensure that participants can own the material and judge the value for self and others of what they are learning. The project dissuades from violence and the abuse of the rights of others and it lays the basic foundation for students to take decisions that promote peace.
Through the individual attention given by our trained staff we are able to create an environment where participants can speak their views unreservedly and develop their critical thinking skills to assess situations for themselves.
Studies also show that youth are subject to external peer influences as they seek a sense of belonging, status, and leadership. One study indicates that “Students learn a great deal by explaining their ideas to others and by participating in activities in which they can learn from their peers” (‘Introduction: Making the Move to Peer Learning’, Boud, 2001).
Through our social action project where students are responsible for training their peers, we take the teenagers one step forward in influencing the youth around them. YTHRE methodology and strategy is important as it develops critical thinking skills in our audiences and empowers them to make better choices for themselves and the society at large.
By funding this project we reduce the risk of losing the potential of our youth to committing violence and increasing conflict. By intervening with our programs, we empower the youth to think for themselves now and continue to do so in times to come.
With extremism threatening every doorstep, our project plays a vital part in preventing youth from blindly following groups that are working for personal ends. Such groups, in the name of their religion and as a mark of their faith, direct young and old to work against the rights of other sects, nationalities and ethnicity. The vulnerable, especially women and children become the target of colossal human rights violations.
By funding this project, 80 teenagers will be able to think for themselves and be able to firmly close the door on those that manipulate religion and entice them to join their groups. These students will be empowered to value human rights and to respect people of all faiths and ethnicities. In their communities and in their professional careers these 80 students will become the Advocates of Peace and Tolerance.