X-Venture – Adventure, Leadership and Learning
Young minds are the greatest asset of any nation. They serve as change agents and catalysts towards social improvement and economic development of a country. X-Venture is a leadership program by the School of Leadership in collaboration with Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Pakistan that aims at empowering these change agents to realize their ability to make positive social change and explore their hidden potential. The program is designed to give youth the opportunity to attain freedom with responsibility, develop their visions, leadership and entrepreneurial skills. This unique program is aimed at imparting practical training in critical skills to help them sharpen their leadership capacity in a challenging yet supportive environment.
X-Venture or Extreme Venture is a 3-day wilderness-based leadership program. Participants undergo a life changing experience out in Khanpur Dam, Khyber-Paktunkhwa. The program involves spending three days and two nights living in a camp, surviving in the harsh environment, adapting as per the resources available and embodying leadership in the toughest of situations. This years’ program started off with Uzair Ausaf, the lead facilitator of School of Leadership, officially welcoming all the participants, giving them a layout of the venue and sharing a few ground rules for security. He then went on to give a motivational talk encouraging participants to let go of their fears, break their boundaries and redefine their potentials.
The program for Day 1 included archery and caving and the activities planned for Day 2 were paragliding, cliff-diving, and jet-skiing. These activities not only pushed the participants beyond their comfort zones but also made them realize the importance of goal-setting and reflect upon their choices in life. The activity for Day 3 was one of the toughest for the participants and required support and encouragement from fellow participants – thus inculcating in them the spirit of team-building. In this activity participants had to let go off the pole and become parallel to the cliff while taking small jumps controlled by a lock on their harness. Participants that, were able to perform this hiked back up to encourage those who were still reluctant. At the end, each participant did a brilliant job and conducted the activity well and came back trekking towards the camping site with amazing reflections.
Post-lunch the program was concluded by participants sharing their initial apprehensions and their final experiences. Mr. Asad, a participant explained how he was initially reluctant but was later the first one to volunteer for paragliding “I was very apprehensive about the whole experience, but then I decided to get out of my shell and do something out-of-the-box – the experience has been life-changing”. Another participant said that “The whole concept has been a confidence booster and helped me find my leadership abilities that I never knew I had”. Uzair Ausaf, who conducted the whole program, thanked all the participants and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for supporting the three-day program.