Minority Youth Exposure Program (MYEP) 2019
MYEP 2019 was a Minority Youth/ Educational Exchange Program which provided the opportunity to Minority Youth/ Students of Educational Institutions (with age limits of 18-29 years) throughout the province (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) to spend a week long time and visit various parts of Pakistan in order to share ideas, explore new opportunities, see historical, cultural & heritage sites and to have social interaction with new people, policy/ law makers, diplomats, experts of various fields, educationalists and youth. Minority Youth Exposure is designed to increase dialogue about building the capacity of underrepresented minorities and understanding of their religion and culture. Guided by the principle that positive and social change rest on groundwork of understanding and acceptance, particularly of different communities and cultures, such exposure programs create opportunities for youth to develop confidence and build capacity.
The cross cultural program which spanned over seven days not only offered students an opportunity to be exposed to diverse cultures, but it required them to live among people from different faiths and respect them equally.
- Youth development and to strengthen skills and commitment to diversity
- Youth have better understanding, deeper respect for other religions and to develop sense of interfaith harmony
- Youth to develop positive work attitudes and multi-discipline approach and behavior skills.
- Youth gain valuable work experience through mentoring with professionals.
- Youth gain sense of acceptance, tolerance and learn to respect other religions.
- Youth to connect, build capacity, expand minds, broad perspectives, gain awareness
The Department of Auqaf, Hajj, Religious & Minority Affairs Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is committed to reaching out to marginalized and underrepresented minorities from all faiths. Through MYEP, the department provided exceptional opportunity for young and energetic people to learn about different ethnicities, politics, business and much more.
The department is dedicated to ensuring diversity and inclusivity and to increase the number of minorities entering various fields. Focused on the well-educated youth who have been studying in the educational institutions, youth exposure program provided selected participants the opportunity for an interactive session with motivational speakers, politicians, businessmen and academics. The purpose of the Exposure was to equip the youth with the skills to become civil-minded leaders and to expose the underrepresented minority to interact with other age fellows from different faiths, learn from experience by meeting people and places and things that they would not normally or easily experience in their daily life.
On April 8th, the Department of Auqaf, Hajj, Religious & Minority Affairs Khyber Pakhtunkhwa kicked off its first Minority Youth Exposure Program. As many as 100 students from different faiths including Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Bahai and Ismaili participated in the one week long program where they participated in a variety of lectures, discussions, mentoring sessions and hands on activities with the goal of capacity building and practice of tolerance and acceptance. The three delegations commenced their journey with visiting chief minister house, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and Governor House. At the CM House, Adviser to CM for Science and Information technology Kamran Bangash welcomed and congratulated them for their acceptance into the MYEP, stressing that the one week program provides them skills which build their socio economic development. He ended by wishing them success and stressed that the onus was now on them. The 100 students then headed to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly where they spoke to Speaker of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Mushtaq Ghani. He showed contentment and stated that they are not minority; they are non-Muslim Pakistanis, adding that the incumbent government is working on various projects that involve the development strategies and empowerment of non-Muslims. After the session concluded, they toured the KP Assembly and watched a live session. Later they visited Governor House. After visiting Peshawar, the delegations began their journey to three different destinations;
Trip to Karachi
The delegation that visited Karachi was comprised of 26 energetic students (all males) hailing from various districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. On the first day, they visited Manora Island, a well-known leisure place, small peninsula is a group of associated islands of Pakistani coastline along the Arabian Sea. The island lies approximately 15-20 minutes by boat ride. To celebrate the rich and varied cultural heritage, the delegation visited Shri Swaminarayan temple, Shri Varun Dev Temple, Gurdwara and All white painted All Saints Patrick Church. The students were briefed about the traditions and services followed at the holy sites and shared archeological importance and social hierarchy. The boys visited Insaf House and met opposition leader of Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi and MPA Khurram Sher Zaman, MPA Dr. Sanjay and MPA Ramesh Kumar who offered sessions on rights of minorities and how to halt the forced conversations of minorities. The officials appreciated the initiative taken by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and termed it a success for youth of minorities. On the second day, the Minority youth visited Institute of Business Administration Karachi where a meeting was conducted between Kamal Siddiqi, Director of center Of Excellence for Journalism. The interactive session explained the role of media in reporting issues of minority, citizen journalism and ethics of journalism.
Located in the vicinity of Saddar, the students visited National Museum of Pakistan that was established in 1951 in historical building of Frere Hall. The museum holds most diverse range of arts, paintings, relics, sculptures and models that depict history. The next day, they visited Karachi Stock Exchange where the Marketing manager Ubaid explained the procedure of stock exchange, the mechanism of shares & taxes and daily market summary. The second last day, they visited the curiously shaped Mazar-e-Quaid, the commanding mausoleum holds the remains of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. They visited Neuplex Cinema and watched Captain Marvel. They also visited World Food Program where the Karachi head Sheraz Ghazi and Deputy Home Manaher Abdul Haseeb briefed about the aim of WFP and how they ensure food safety. A productive question/answers session took place that encouraged the students to inquire about the ingoing activities at the WFP. On the last day, they visited PAF Museum Karachi where Aftab Ahmed briefed in detail about the aircrafts, weapons and radars displayed at the museum. They also visited Dolmen mall and Alladin Park. Participant Faraz Neakakhtar says he had the best experience to avail such exposure program as it taught him the message of peace. “We can live peacefully regardless of our religions, culture and different practices. I would really want to thank Auqaf department, liaison Corporation for their proper arrangements, providing us Maximum possible facilities and managing the conflicts between participants in way to keep the unity among them.”