Once upon a time… okay, you’re right, this isn’t one of those stories. Our story began with a problem: our founders had a problem with the large reserves of youth energy going nowhere. They wanted to channel it for good and direct it towards more fruitful pursuits and so the Young Leaders Conference was born which has been our flagship since. We were supported more than we expected and the groundwork for SoL was laid.
Youngsters responded. Schools valued. Corporates strengthened. We designed modular trainings for schools. There were exercises. There were videos. There was laughter. Youth had not experienced such learning before. Alongside our seniors, the youth became agents of change. With passionate youngsters, we lived Iqbal’s dream of the youth taking flight.
There were those who believed in us, became patrons of our work, enhanced it multifold and took us places: the sponsors, donors, philanthropists and experts. They helped us develop from a tiny passion-driven organisation into a titan of youth and teacher leadership development.
Many more youngsters dived in. They replicated, elevated and escalated the concept of youth leadership development in their domains. We partnered with many and, to our pride and joy, many spread their wings and learned how to fly, growing bigger as we watched.
Some ventures work while others don’t survive the test of time. Failure has been fundamental to our success. We have risked more than we could at times. However, through it all, we have created impact for the beneficiaries and always found learning and greater learning when we failed.
Youth working with us, whether in the organisation or outside, wanted to pursue their passion and found an incubation space in our empowering environment. With SoL as their stepping stone, they launched themselves into the world and began to do great things in their respective domains.
We lived what we preached and created succession within the system. Our youth became board members, management team members and executives. Their energy and ideas pushed us to become bigger and more impactful all across Pakistan.
Today, we have worked with over half a million people in 25 districts. Like every good story, we too have a ‘happily ever after’ except ours is constantly undergoing changes and upgrades!