According to Harriet Beechar,
Women are the real architects of society
And it’s always good to see when such quotes are brought to life by events like iACT Women’s Day Celebration, which not only advocates women but also acknowledges and promote the efforts put forward by the women of our society.
What really touched the chords of my heart was the fact that the event was organized at an institution like iACT where youth from underprivileged backgrounds is the fulcrum.
For record, The Institute for Advancing Careers and Talents (iACT) is a non-profit career development centre aimed at providing world-class education for better career prospects. Located in Saudabad, Malir, it is a partnership between Habib University Foundation and the City District Government Karachi (CDGK).
As I entered, I was amazed by the place. I did not expect it to be this huge with an in-house gym and garden. As I found my way into the building I met Ayesha Afridi for the first time, who happens to be the Marketing & Communications Manager at iACT, I must add that she in one graceful lady. Until then I was so full of curiosity that I almost forgot why I was there and all I wanted to know was more and more about the institute and how are they helping the youth. I had a good long discussion with Ayesha on it. I knew I wont be able to explain it to my audience better than her so I quickly recorded it. You guys should and must listen to what she has to say about iACT in the video above.
It’s always a pleasure to meet people who have been through the darkest of times yet their positivity remains intact and whose motto doesn’t deviate from radiating those same positive vibes. And Ayesha was truly one of them. Sad for me I was not able to take a selfie with her.
I was a little early, so I had sometime on my hand and that I spent talking to some students and staff members of iACT , I came across some of the most inspiring women of my life, who truly left me awe-stricken with their level of tenaciousness. A massive shoutout to iAct for facilitating youth at a time when both them and Pakistan is in dire need of some able hands.
We have a small message from one of their teacher and a success story of a very talented student in our video. Make sure that you do check that out.
So moving on to the event, the actual reason I was there for. We had 5 women entrepreneurs as the guest panelist and some equally inspiring women as guests, each with a hard-hitting story. My mind boggles by even imagining myself in any of the circumstances these women have had been through and even emerged victorious; sitting here leading the crowd.
How many times do you see a woman in Pakistan defying the odds and also even bringing those odds into her own favours? Well, Faiza Yousuf, the techno maestro, did it! As a child she suffered from Dyslexia , she not only fought it but made sure to enroll herself in Software Engineering and followed her passion all the way to the ladders of success. Many a times, in her professional journey she was tried to put down by men and their misogynistic remarks, but she stood firm and took everything in stride.
Running her own company where she teaches women how to inculcate digital media in their businesses, Faiza Yousuf is truly an epitome of inspiration.
Sukaina Abbas, owner of Enchante jewellery, whose world turned upside down when her husband was shot and suddenly everything was on stake for her. Her Husband Alhumdillah survived but this left her thinking about her own identity and place in society as a woman. So instead of letting down her guard, she gathered her wits and embarked on the journey of exploring herself. Through her husband’s and family support, Sukaina runs a successful business from within her home and is a perfect example of women of substance.
Samina Faisal Khan, CEO at Fori-Fix, who once enjoyed a hi-life in Middle-east, was suddenly struck by circumstances and found her 13 year old self in an undeveloped village of interior Sindh, where she and her sisters were looked upon as burden on their father. But she was bold enough to be that change which will in future would bring success and happiness to her and her family.She time and again has proven that hard work with a dash of determination always pays off. She single handedly dealt with each and every difficulty and managed to educate her sisters. Today, she and all her sisters are at top notch positions in their respective fields, making their parents and Pakistan proud.
For Atiya Abbas, it was all about fulfilling her dream rather than only fantasizing about it. Her dedication towards her goal is commendable. Atiya with her struggle and determination made it to Fullbright Scholarship and did her Masters in Journalism from a leading university in US. She came back with a resolution to do something for girls and women who need help in Pakistan. She now is a volunteer at Girls at Dhabas which is a group of Desi feminists and women defining public space(s) on their own terms and whims.
And oh my GOD! We also had Ayesha Zafar and Javeria Wadood Khan from Pakistan’s International Women’s Cricket team. Not being a very big fan of cricket I surprisingly found myself so excited to meet these wonderful young energetic ladies. I felt so proud just by looking at them because yes, they are pride of Pakistan.
The best part about the whole afternoon was that it was not like those events where panelist talk and audience listen . It was a big healthy discussion where everybody participated equally, sharing their stories, discussing problems and challenges we all face being women and learnt how to stay determined in the face of hardships.
All in all, I, as an individual, was extremely moved by the event and its message. It drove a new sense of will inside of me and gave me courage to carry forward my aspirations with all my might.
I would like to extend my heartiest gratitude to iACT for organizing such an enlightening event. It made me realize how for-granted we take our lives and how we should always remain thankful for everything He has ever bestowed.
Also before I end this I would like to congratulate each and every person behind iACT for coming forward and realizing the importance of educated youth in a country. And for not just stopping at the realization but moving on to make this a reality for Pakistan.
Until next time,
Love and Glitters.