By: OUR EDITOR
LAHORE: Young leaders represented Pakistan in the world’s biggest gathering on HIV and AIDS – International AIDS Conference in Montreal, Canada. Young leaders from Pakistan who participated in the grand gathering were Joshua Dilawar (Founder — Institute for Social and Youth Development — ISYD, Laraib Abid (Founder — MASHAL), Umair Asif (Founder – Kafka Welfare Organization), Abishay Gill (Creative Director – Institute for Social and Youth Development — ISYD), Samreen Sohail from CHANAN Development Association, Mahnoor from Khawaja Sara Society, Dr. Sara Gill and other activists.
These young leaders won full scholarship award to represent Pakistan, present their ideas and work they have been doing in Pakistan and to conduct different activities focusing youth, health, and wellbeing.
Almost 12,300 people from 161 countries took part in person and/or virtually in this first fully hybrid IAS-organized conference on AIDS. It is an end and a beginning. Over the past five days, they re-engaged their collective expertise in science, policy and activism to make progress towards the shared vision of a world in which HIV no longer presents a threat to public health and individual well-being.
These young leaders participated in different ways throughout the conference presented research papers, conducted different sessions, spoke in different panels, and performed a Pakistani cultural performance at Global Youth Village of the conference which was a huge opportunity to show culture of the country and region as well.
Joshua participated as a guest speaker in a session organized by Montreal Youth Force, “Achieving Youth Empowerment and Strengthening Young Voices”. Joshua also presented his selected abstract on youth and HIV/AIDS. He met and shared the young voices with Hon. Jean – Yves Duclos (Federal Health Minister — Government of Canada) and Hon. Carolyn Bennet (Minister of Mental Health and Addiction).
Umair participated as a speaker in a session on Sports and HIV/AIDS advocacy held in Global Village and Youth Pavilion. Also, he was a part of Montreal Youth Force, Global Village and Youth Pavillion Committee and Youth Pavillion Working group.
Laraib spoke at a Panel of ‘Young Leaders’ under Montreal Youth Force. She not only presented her work but also shared the importance of youth voices and meaningful youth participation from grass root to policy level.
Abishay, Joshua and Laraib also organized a cultural performance at the Global Youth Village to highlight the culture of Pakistan and the region.
These young leaders also met Hon. Rene Gracia (Senator – Government of Canada) and highlighted the work of youth in Pakistan and emphasized on creating more opportunities for Pakistani Youth.