This summer, 160 Ismaili students and volunteers gathered in Mombasa to take part in Global Encounters 2015. Now in its third year, the programme brought together youth and young professionals from 24 countries to renew a tradition of global citizenship and experience living as part of an international community.
In November 2014, the Right Honourable Kim Campbell, Canada’s 19th Prime Minister, delivered a lecture at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby on the topic of Building Civil Societies: The Role of Women Leaders. Ms Campbell is the first woman to have become Prime Minister of Canada as well as the country’s first female Defense Minister and Minister of Justice.
Global Encounters, an international camp for Ismaili youth, is about making connections, serving humanity and exploring Ismaili Muslim faith and values. Applications for the 2015 cycle to be held at the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa are being accepted until 7 February.
In Pakistan, young Ismailis are receiving knowledge and inspiration from elite-level athletes in a sports fellowship programme organised by the Aga Khan Youth and Sports Board. In addition to training and mentoring, the youth are coming away with a new sense of what they can possibly achieve in sport.
Former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell — Canada’s first female prime minister — delivered an Ismaili Centre lecture in Vancouver in November. She spoke passionately of the need for more women in positions of leadership at all levels of society and the importance of ensuring their voices are heard.
This summer, Ismaili secondary school students from countries across the globe will have an opportunity to get to know one another as they take part in the 2014 Global Encounters programme being held at the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa. The international programme is currently inviting applications from Ismaili students all over the world.
In July 2013, 64 students with roots in 13 countries gathered at the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa to participate in Global Encounters, the first summer programme of its kind for Ismaili youth from around the world. Students engaged with pressing issues in global development, contended with real-world challenges, broadened their world views, built new friendships, and nurtured a sense of self-discovery.
Young Ismailis from across Pakistan grappled with the challenge of re-imagining their country’s future last year at the National Youth Camp 2012 held in Karachi. Some 80 participants aged 18 – 22 engaged in dialogue about differences and commonality, reflected on how to make positive life choices, and learnt how they might transform their hopes for a better world into reality.
Prominent female entrepreneurs, business leaders, policy makers, and academics shared their experiences, challenges, and opportunities, at a launch event for Technovation Challenge, held at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby. The Technovation programme, which is sponsored by the Aga Khan Education Board, is designed to inspire teenage girls to explore studies and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Sparks Academy in Kabul is a catalyst for community development and learning opportunities for people of all ages. When Tahmina Shayan began volunteering with a community-based early childhood development programme of the Ismaili Council for Afghanistan that was supported by the school, she discovered new opportunities for herself and an avenue to make a difference in the lives of other young Afghans.
Each year, many Ismaili youth from all over North America spend their summers at camps organised by the Jamati institutions. They learn about the importance of being responsible members of the society, compete at various sports and games and take on leadership roles – all while growing, discovering, playing, and making friends.
Nasim Devji is the Group CEO and Managing Director of Diamond Trust Bank, Kenya – an affiliate of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development – and the first woman in the Kenyan banking industry to hold that office. She has garnered numerous career recognitions, including being named Leading African Woman in Business in 2010. Yasmin Madhani recently spoke with her.
In May 2010, Naveed Somani was named to the Steering Committee for the Royal Commonwealth Society’s Nkabom International Youth Leadership Programme. Focused on equipping young people with conflict resolution skills, the programme took him to Rwanda where he witnessed the legacy of a national conflict and its resolution. He shares his impressions and experiences.
Good debaters are not only eloquent speakers but also quick thinkers who can mould, evolve and expand a concept in order to challenge their opponent. Three North American Ismailis with a record of outshining the competition in the debating arena at state, provincial, national, and international levels, describe how the ability to intelligently dispute an argument has helped them succeed in other aspects of their lives.
The Ismaili youth of Afghanistan have a new place where they can play, learn and socialise. The two-storey Youth, Sports and Social Development Center in Kabul, opened its doors in December 2010.
A number of Ismaili women have devoted their careers to elevating the status of women – particularly those who are disadvantaged – by improving the quality of their lives and those amongst whom they live in communities across the globe. By leveraging their own potential and fulfilling a desire to make a difference, they are providing inspiration for others to follow their lead.
Each year, companies and charities offer more than $2 billion in private scholarships, which, in addition to being an attractive form of education financing, are also a prestigious form of recognition. But many scholarships go unfulfilled because nobody applies for them. Three students share tips from their scholarship successes.
This year, the Girl Guide movement turns 98. Over the years, the organisation’s impact on the physical, mental and spiritual development of girls and young women has been phenomenal. Many Ismaili Muslim women who are part of the movement have become inspiring role models and leaders in their communities and the world.
In December, ten Ismaili Muslim Boy Scouts in Texas earned the prestigious Eagle Scout Award for performing outstanding community service that demonstrated initiative, commitment to help those in need, and extraordinary leadership skills. This prestigious rank is achieved by only five per cent of all Boy Scouts in the United States.
Concluding a two-part series, Eboo Patel, the Founder and Executive Director of Interfaith Youth Core, discusses how his organisation overcomes the faith line and promotes religious pluralism by bringing young people together to engage in dialogue and service to the community. (Read the first part of this interview here.)