Based at the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa, Global Encounters campers from Jamats around the world engaged in community service, explored Kenyan culture and visited AKDN projects in the surrounding region.

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.

Former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell enters the Ismaili Centre social hall with Ismaili Council President Malik Talib. Azim Verjee

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 campers gather around a bonfire in Zanzibar. Saraan Jiwani

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.

Ismaili athletes take part in a Sports Fellowship programme organised by the Aga Khan Youth and Sports Board for Pakistan. Ismaili Council for Pakistan

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 delivers an Ismaili Centre Lecture in Vancouver. Azim Verjee

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.

Meeting people of different cultures and traditions reshaped the way participants view the world around them.

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.

Ismaili friends enjoy each others company as they take in a view of the Great Rift Valley.

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.

Participants take a keen interest in the music session during the National Youth Camp.

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.

Panelists share their thoughts at the Techovation Challenge launch hosted by the Aga Khan Education Board for Canada. From left to right: Kimberly Voll, Shaherose Charania, Louise Turner, Frenny Bawa, Alexandra Fedorova, Karimah Es Sabar, and Cybele Negri

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.

Children play with everyday food items as they learn about the world in which they live, at the National Council Sparks Early Childhood Development Program in Kabul.

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.

A counselor helps participants tie-die shirts during a self-expression activity at an Ismaili summer camp.

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 presented with “CEO of the Year” at the Capital Markets Awards 2011.

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.

His Excellency President Paul Kagame of Rwanda joined members of the Nkabom Steering Committee, including Naveed Somani (far left), for consultation.

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.

Champion debaters Iqbal Kassam, Shakir Rahim and Shama Barday argue that debating has improved their self-confidence, built their knowledge on a large variety of subjects, and equipped them with valuable tools for the future.

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 two-storey Youth, Sports and Social Development Center opened its doors in Kabul, Afghanistan on 16 December 2010.

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 are courageously taking the initiative to pave the way for the empowerment of the underprivileged, of which women and girls constitute a substantial portion.

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.

More than $2 billion in private scholarships are available each year to deserving students for filling out some paperwork, writing an essay or two and occasionally being interviewed in person or over the phone.

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.

A tribute to the Girl Scouts in Savanah, GA, where Girl Scouts USA founder Juliette Gordon Low was from.

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.

The keynote speaker, Congressman Pete Sessions, addresses the audience about the importance of scouting and community service.

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.

Following a talk he delivered at The Institute of Ismaili Studies in December 2009, Eboo Patel converses with audience members about the work of his Interfaith Youth Core.

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.)