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Zulfiqar Essa: Contending for the Hult Prize 2019 with a Million Dollar Idea

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Zulfiqar Essa

“My name is Zulfiqar Essa and I’m from Hyderabad, Hunza. I’m the co-founder of TechScape and previously have been awarded the Global UGRAD scholarship. Currently, I’m working on an idea called “Shirijon” which aims to create over 10,000 jobs in the next decade. I’m collaborating on this idea with my team members from Chitral, Punjab, and Germany.

Recently our idea got selected in the top 35 for HULT Prize 2019 from around two hundred thousand global applications received from across 120 countries. In the next round to be held in Amman, Jordan, we will be competing against young entrepreneurs from Harvard Business School, Cambridge, and other globally known institutions. Our idea is the very first Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral (GBC) to make it to the regional round of HULT Prize.

Team Shirijon from COMSATS Islamabad - Hult Prize 2019

Our team from COMSATS University Islamabad is quite excited to participate in the 10th Annual Hult Prize Regional Summit in an attempt to win a $1 million USD as a seed fund. We think that this idea has the potential to change the economy of not only Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral but entire Pakistan as well.”

This story is part of the #GBCProspers campaign by GBee. Send your stories at editor[at]gbee.pk or inbox your story at our Facebook page.

Join GBee to participate in our community forums and discuss topics about Gilgit, Baltistan, Chitral, Kohistan and Kashmir.

Education

Sonaina Hamiya: Working on Preservation of Burushaski Lanuguage

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Sonaina Hamiya - Working on Preservation of Burushaski Lanuguage

My name is Sonaina and I’m from Aliabad, Hunza. I’ve recently graduated from National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore.

Being a Hunza girl, it came to my realization that Burushaski language is being forgotten and young Burusho, especially those who live in the cities, have adopted other languages as the primary means of communication. These days, the influence of other languages on Burushaski is just tremendous.

To make my contribution to on-going efforts of preserving Burushaski, I did my thesis on “The Preservation of Burushaski language“. This project is a vehicle for expressing my ideas that language is the foremost pillar of society to communicate and a creative structural solution can be provided for its preservation.

My motivation to try preserving my own language in a visual form relates to the fact that many people have been fascinated about Burushaski and researchers have found it to be one of the very few isolated languages. Burushaski has still no standard writing system. There isn’t a lot of written literary work but a number of oral traditions have been collected. Burushaski continues to be a language of self-identification among its speakers and despite many efforts, this fascinating language is endangered.

My aim through this project is to preserve Burushaski language through visual means and to ignite the revival of the language in the daily lives of young Burusho living in and outside Hunza.

This story is part of the #GBCProspers campaign by GBee. Send your stories at editor[at]gbee.pk or inbox your story at our Facebook page.

Join GBee to participate in our community forums and discuss topics about Gilgit, Baltistan, Chitral, Kohistan and Kashmir.

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Organization for Educational Change (OEC) elects new leadership

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Organization for Educational Change (OEC)

Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral‘s largest youth-led non-profit initiative Organization for Educational Change (OEC) has elected new leadership for the year 2018-19 during the annual meeting. The new President, Vice President, and Executive Director sworn in at an event held in Islamabad. Imran Ahmed Hunzai, OEC’s co-founder and former Chairperson of Monitory & Advisory (M&A) Council, took the oath from new leadership of the organization.

The annual meeting of Organization for Educational Change (OEC) was held at Kolachi Restaurant in Islamabad on Sunday 2nd December. It was attended by the former Chairman Monitoring & Advisory Council Mr. Imran Ahmed Hunzai, Former Presidents Kamal Uddin and Khayam Beg, former Vice-President and Joint secretary, goodwill partners and new volunteers of OEC.

A report and flashback of the activities carried out during the year 2017-18 was shown that included educational expos and other OEC events.

Team Organization for Educational Change Gilgit Baltistan

Left to Right: Kamal Uddin (Out-going President), Junaid (Out-going Vice President), Karim Ahmad (New President), Saima Kiran (New Vice President) and Akhtar Hussain (New Executive Director)

Karim Ahmad (Daneal) has been elected the President while Saima Kiran has been elected the Vice-President. Akhter Hussain will serve as the Executive Director during the upcoming tenure.

The outgoing President Mr. Kamal Uddin and Vice President Mr. Junaid expressed their gratitude to the volunteers, donors and goodwill partners who have been contributing to make OEC’s projects successful. They also pointed out areas of improvement that could enhance OEC’s overall working. The out-going President and Vice President will continue to give their services under M&A Council as per the organization’s bylaws.

Mr. Imran Hunzai thanked the outgoing team for their dedication and selfless contributions made during the past tenure. He added that the M&A Council expects the new team to carry forward the flag to bring a change in the society through education.

Awards and certificates of appreciations were distributed among the out-going volunteers including the heads of various projects. After lunch, two youngsters and upcoming musicians from Gilgit-Baltistan performed instrumental music and entertained the audience.

Rabab Music Gilgit-Baltistan

The audience is being entertained with live Rabab music.

Organization for Educational Change (OEC) was founded in 2010 by former students of Aga Khan Higher Secondary School (AKHSS), Gilgit. OEC is currently the largest youth-led organization in the region of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral working on six projects including Educure, the only bi-lingual educational magazine in Gilgit-Baltistan & Chitral. The organization has members from almost all districts of GB&C without any discrimination. Volunteers are inducted every year based on their willingness to give time for various OEC projects.

OEC is also providing financial assistance to over 40 primary-level students through its initiative called Investing in Future Leaders (IFL).

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Seminar Held at KIU to discuss the role of ECD in social transformation

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Seminar Held at Karakoram International University to discuss the role of Early Childhood Development (ECS) in social transformation

GILGIT 24/7: The first ever seminar on Early Childhood Development (ECD) was held at the Karakorum International University (KIU) on the 10thand 11th September 2018. The Seminar was the result of collaboration between the Karakorum International University, Rupani Foundation, Department of Education, Gilgit-Baltistan, Department of Health, Gilgit-Baltistan, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), World Learning, Hashoo Foundation, and Allama Iqbal Open University.

The theme of the seminar was ‘Transforming Society through Early Childhood Development’.It featured an opening and closing session, a plenary, two engaging concurrent sessions and a panel discussion.

Minister for Works, Gilgit-Baltistan- Dr. Muhammad Iqbal presided over the opening session. He emphasized the significance of a mother’s health and education in providing a valuable head start to children. He further elaborated that, only an educated and healthy mother can ensure a prosperous nation. Prof. Dr. Atta Ullah Shah, Vice Chancellor KIU said that ECD is an integral component for social prosperity which should be considered on all levels. He also discussed the role of academia to formalize the ECD sector in the context of Gilgit-Baltistan. He also announced the establishment of a state of the art ECD research center at the faculty of education, KIU in partnership with Rupani Foundation. Dr. Sughra Khan Choudhry, Director Education, Aga Khan Foundation, Mr. Ghulam Tahir, Vice Chairman Rupani Foundation, Mr. Jalal-ud-din, Hashoo Foundation and Ms. Khadija Khan, CEO Pakistan Alliance also presented their remarks in the opening session.

Seminar Held at Karakoram International University to discuss the role of Early Childhood Development (ECS) in social transformation

Among others, Dr. Alimna Pardhan (AKU-IED), Dr. Ghazala Rafique (AKU-HDP), Dr. Sadiq Hussain (KIU), Dr. Nadir Shah (SUN) and Mr. Waseem Samad (CEO Rupani Foundation) made their presentations on nurturing care frameworks, importance of first 1000 days of life, nutritional status of GB, and other discourses of holistic development in early childhood. A panel discussion led by Ms. Nadia Karim Shaw, country representative World Learning highlighted the importance of early grades reading. On the second day, the seminar participants visited different public and private ECD models working in the Gilgit City, followed by a reflective session.

Seminar Held at Karakoram International University to discuss the role of Early Childhood Development (ECS) in social transformation

Minister of Education, Gilgit-Baltistan Mr. Muhammad Ibrahim Sanai was the chief guest of the closing ceremony. Mr. Nasruddin Rupani, Chairman & Founder Rupani Foundation reiterated the commitment of RF to the Children of Gilgit-Baltistan in his welcome note. He said the Foundation will extend its unconditional support to the government of GB to promote ECD services. Mr. Majeed Khan, Director Planning, Department of Education presented the key recommendations and way forward. Mr. Muhammad Ibrahim Sanai in his address said that ECD is the key to unlock prosperity and socio-economic wellbeing for the future generation. Mr. Minister further added that the government of Gilgit-Baltistan is very keen to promote Early Childhood Development in all schools of GB. He emphasized on the importance of public and private partnership to ensure access and inclusion.

The seminar brought together policy makers, education department officials, ECD experts, practitioners, researchers, donors and academic institutions to share progress and experiences in the field of ECD in Gilgit – Baltistan (GB). Around 300 delegates including political and government administrative leadership, ECD experts, head of institutions, researchers, academicians and ECD practitioners from 10 districts of Gilgit-Baltistan and from mainland Pakistan attended this two-day event.

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