Young Leaders Conference Held in Lahore

Youth rising above imposed mental barriers
Young Leaders Conference Held in Lahore school of leadership fnf pakistan ismalabad friedrich naumann foundation for freedom

The Young Leaders Conference (YLC) is Pakistan’s first leadership program for the youth that amplifies their unexposed potential and helps them excel in life. The unique aspect of the YLC is that it aims to break barriers — cultural, religious and social — and has done so consistently.

The YLC 2019 was organized by the School of Leadership. In its 18th year, it is one of the most sought after six-day residential training program for the youth between 18-24 years from across Pakistan. This year the theme of YLC was ‘How youth can and should raise their voice and amplify their message’.

It starts with self-realization. “You should know yourself first – that what are you carrying with yourself, explore yourself, go and act in the field make the change so that other people can see your potential”, said the renowned motivational speaker, Kamran Rizvi at the opening of the conference.

Over the years, the YLC has become an event where young participants discover constructive strength through a rigorous residential training program. Every year at the conference, young aspirants embark on a journey that transforms their way of thinking, challenges their preconceived notions and encourages them to be their best version.

“I can say for myself that I can no longer ignore disability. Spending a whole day with my legs tied, moving from one session to another while dragging myself around—it changed me!” says Javaria Urooj. She along with 325 other participants spent a whole day experiencing the everyday challenges of differently abled people through simulations.

Among the cross-cutting themes for each day, such as personal development, leadership development, diversity, inclusion and technology, economic leadership, history, culture, politics, and social activism, one theme which the FNF office in Islamabad considers very significant and which has direct consequences for youth, is climate change. Birgit Lamm, Head of the Country Office, was one of the panelists for the discussion on how climate change is affecting our day to day life. Speaking about household waste management, she explained how organic compost is better than chemical fertilizers.

Youth across Pakistan face many social and mental barriers that challenge their personal and professional growth. For the past 18 years, the YLC has been trying to help its participants to move past these societal and mental barriers.