Asiya Javed, Founder Change Makers of Pakistan, talks about the kind of impact she envisions to create for Pakistan, in this exclusive interview with Karvan.

1. Tell us about yourself?
My name is Asiya Javed. I am from Lahore Pakistan and was raised in Dubai and the USA. My family comes from very humble backgrounds. I was the first university graduate from my family. I completed my bachelors in 2012, in Healthcare administration. I thought my life was pretty set and I thought I would work a 9-5 job in the corporate healthcare IT field, save money, build a house, enjoy my weekends and take two weeks off each year for vacations.

However, everything changed in 2016 when I discovered my passion for helping those in need. I quit my job and spent 5 months in Surkhet, a small town in Nepal. I was volunteering as a schoolfellow and helped out at the school and the children’s home. Upon my return to the US, I knew I wanted to do something to give back to Pakistan.

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2. What is the mission of “Change Makers of Pakistan?”
Change Makers of Pakistan is a US-based NGO that promotes and empowers NGOs, social enterprises and individuals (Change Makers) in Pakistan for their contributions to the community. Change Makers of Pakistan provides a platform for such change-makers, connects them to donors internationally and nationally to create a lasting impact within their communities. These change-makers empower individuals and their communities, break stereotypes, or have overcome personal disabilities and challenges.

3. How did the concept of “Change Makers of Pakistan” come into existence?
Upon my return to the USA from Nepal I knew I wanted to do something to give back to Pakistan. I couldn’t figure out exactly what I wanted to do, who I wanted to help or in what sector. I would stay up late nights restless, trying to figure out how I could give back to Pakistan. One day it clicked, I realized instead of starting something specific to help one area or sector, why not help the NGOs and individuals already working in these fields. I wanted to empower them, give them a collaborative platform and recognition for the work they were doing.

4. Who are the members of this group and how can one become a member/volunteer?
Our core team is of 5 people including myself, Mariam, Khamis, Uzair and Haseeb. Our volunteer network comprises 100+ people and they range from Lahore to Rahim Yar Khan and all over Pakistan. To join us as a volunteer please email us at: [email protected] or send us a message on Facebook.

5. What future do you think the youth of Pakistan have ahead of them?
I feel optimistic about the future of Pakistani Youth. I see how driven and motivated they are to make a difference. I saw first hand during this year’s iftar drives when the volunteers showed up every single day and how committed they were. I think the key to success is to receive education in any capacity or form. I don’t mean a formal college education, but more so a keen sense of seeking knowledge from all around you. A lot of us want to go abroad for better education and opportunities. I think that’s great but if your circumstances allow, think about how you can implement your education and experience to better Pakistan.

6. What impact do you envision creating for Pakistan’s youth?
Creating an integrated volunteer network and knowledge source where people in the social impact field can learn to rely on each other.

7. Your message for the youth of Pakistan?
Don’t lose hope in the lack of opportunities or disappointments you face. Your true strength of character is seen during times of adversity. How you chose to act when times are tough becomes your story. It is how people will remember you and more importantly how you will remember yourself. So ask yourself do want people to feel sorry for you or do you want them to respect you.

KARVAN envision to showcase the best and the brightest talent from Pakistan. If you have achieved an academic, personal or a professional milestone, or know someone who did, do send us a brief profile at [email protected].

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