Civil society organization Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) hosted a meet and greet session at Faletti’s Hotel, Lahore where bloggers, influencers, vloggers, journalists and other social media celebrities were invited to promote a public discourse on the less discussed topic of Life Skills Based Education (LSBE).
LSBE has become an important subject for children and youth as schools remained closed for the most part of the year due to Covid-19 pandemic. In these challenging times where cases of child abuse, gender-based violence, exploitation and bullying are on the rise, it has become more important than ever for individuals to have a sound knowledge of self-protection and their rights. ITA’s Utho Bolo project is working to enhance the knowledge of youth about these important subjects.
The meet and greet was held as part of the project’s social media campaign which taps into different media channels to engage and motivate young people to advocate for LSBE. The event saw a small presentation on the importance of LSBE, followed by an open house discussion on the topic. The participants shared their experiences and helped promote the cause through pictures, shout-outs and by posting related content on social media. The participants also agreed for a need for increased awareness about these subjects.
This is especially important when Pakistan is going through a period of demographic dividend and currently has the largest cohort of young population in its history. According to a recent report by UN, Pakistan has 68 per cent of total population under the age of 30 with 27 per cent of the population between 15-29 years of age and around 32 per cent between 10-15 years. Adolescents and youth lack the necessary information, knowledge and understanding about gender equality, self-protection and the importance of LSBE. The meet and greet was thus aimed at engaging youth to build their knowledge, capacity, and leadership skills besides spreading awareness about life skills based education and inclusion of life skills in curriculum and books.
ITA is implementing the Utho Bolo project that takes young people (aged 10-24) on a journey of self-discovery, transforming them into confident individuals. It uses the holistic approach of positive youth development, and contains activities to build young people’s social and emotional competences. The Utho Bolo Alliance is running a media campaign to sustain these efforts post-2020 by engaging key stakeholders, including policy makers, civil society members, social media influencers, media representatives, community influencers, teachers, government officials and young people through different proposed initiatives.