Nominated Asian Girl Ambassador 2013: Zehra Shah (Finalist)

Syeda Zehra Shah's Photo

Name: Zehra Shah

Organization: Pakistan’s Human Resources Organization (HRO)

Awards/Achievements: 1) Facilitator for non-formal education; 2) Human rights education trainer; 3) Volunteer with different non-profit organizations

 

 

Introduction

I am from a Pathan family (same ethnic group as Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by extremists last year). In Pathan communities, girls are discouraged from going to school, and they face early marriages. I started volunteering at the age of 14, when I saw the discrimination between girls and boys. I have conducted seminars and facilitated sessions on young women’s empowerment and leadership. I also facilitated training for girls at government schools to help them understand their fundamental rights, as well as help develop their communication skills.

I want to continue this struggle for girls’ rights, so that women in my country will also be included in democratic processes in every sphere of life. I want to be a role model in my society and promote education, women’s and girls’ rights, young women’s leadership, and civic education among women and girls.

My organization, the Human Resources Organization (HRO), is an NGO formed and led by young, professional, well-educated activists from Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. All of the founding members were under 20 when the organization was created in 2008, so they did not immediately register it, but after two years, they wanted to have a legal identity and expand its work.

HRO started its work from human empowerment initiatives and started small, community-based educational institutes, providing free computer and language courses. HRO works with various education institutions to offer scholarships to poor students. HRO also works to improve the lives of poor students, child laborers and street beggars by providing skills-based training in things like automobile repair and the beautician field.

Today, HRO is a leading organization for other small-scale organizations. It also works on initiatives like advocacy and capacity building for SRHR and HIV/AIDS. HRO is harnessing the strong support of young people to work on anti-drug and harm-reduction awareness campaigns through different media outlets and networks. HRO involves young people in policy-making dialogues and supports them to raise their voices for their rights.

The Asian Girl Rights Ambassador program will be an opportunity for me to increase my exposure and experience, allowing me to learn from people around the world on how to fight for people’s rights. I will also share my experience of people in my country, so that others can understand our situation too. I will share my knowledge about my community work, how we face gender discrimination, how I implement my projects in the community, and the issues I face in my work, which arise from the negative stereotypes about girls who are active in the community system.

Human Resources Organization (HRO)

Human Resources Organization (HRO) is a non-profit, non-governmental, and secular registered organization formed and led by young and professional well-educated activists of KPK (Pakistan) in 2008. The motto of the organization is “Working for Human Welfare” because the founders and pioneers of the organization have passion to support humanity and take some serious steps for the welfare of their community.

HRO started its work with human empowerment and began small community-based educational institutes within private schools where students were getting free computer and language courses. They also began offering scholarships for poor students with partnerships of different Education Institutes in the Free Education Program. HRO worked on giving skill-bases training like cellphone repair and beautician courses for poor students, child labors, and street beggars so as to improve their life style.

Today, HRO is working as a leader for other small-level organizations. The organization has also started work on some more initiatives such as advocacy and capacity building for SRHR and HIV/AIDS. HRO is more actively working on awareness campaigns against drugs and for harm reduction through different media and networks with strong support from younger generations. HRO involve youth in policy making dialogues and giving them more support to raise their voices for their rights.

Vision: Human Resources Organization envision a healthy, educated, social and peaceful world where people live with love, harmony, and have equal human rights.

Mission:  The mission of HRO is to promote community for a social change by providing quality free education and empowering people, especially younger people, for future challenges. The organization plans to raise the capacity of people and help them advocate for their rights.

Goals and Objectives of the Organization:

  • Promotion of Education in community for young people and children, by organizing special free education programs, skill-based training, and also providing scholarships to poor and talented students
  • Working for Human Rights and with a special focus on Women’s and Youth Rights
  • Promote awareness and work on SRHR and HIV/AIDS through raising capacity of young people and also through campaigns and advocacy programs
  • Strong support of the Anti-Drug and Harm Reduction issues and will work for them by raising and strengthening the capacity of people about these issues
  • Promote Peace by working for capacity building and conflict resolution.

Organization Focus:

  • Education
  • Youth
  • Human Rights (specifically youth and women’s rights)
  • SRHR, HIV/AIDS
  • Peace and Harmony
  • Drugs and Harm Reduction

If you would like to learn more about HRO, please visit: http://www.facebook.com/hropakistan or http://www.facebook.com/hropeshawar

Image