On October 20, 2020, The Young Peace & Development Corps (YPDC) UOL Chapter under the guidance of Annual National Dialogue Forum’s (NDF) hosted the Punjab Convention at The University of Lahore Defence Road Campus.
Over 150 representatives of various universities across Punjab attended the event that comprised of four sessions namely; YPDC’s Engagement Plan 2020, Conflict Resolution, Capacity Building and Guest Speaker session.
The event commenced with the brief introduction about YPDC and NDF. Ms. Varda Rasheed (Program Manager, NDF) explained that the National Youth Outreach Program named as Young Peace and Development Corps is a project of National Dialogue Forum that was launched by Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform. She added that YPDC focuses on engaging youth in the development discourse and conflict resolution processes as a policy tool to guarantee socioeconomic inclusiveness and a youth responsive approach for the prevention of conflicts in Pakistan.
Ms. Rasheed and Mubashir Ehsan (Program Coordinator, NDF) elucidated on the management plan for YPDC which was translated into role of youth, focus training, campus engagement and roles & responsibilities of YPDC representative. Both speakers recommended for the initiation of different campus engagement activities such as dialogues, debates, policy making competitions, literary and cultural events.
After speeches, Dr. Tehmina Aslam Ranjha (Assistant Professor, School of Integrated Social Sciences (SISS)) facilitated a training workshop on conflict resolution in which she highlighted the role of youth in the development of the country. She said, “We must step forward to build conflict resolution and develop great listening skills, flexibility and willingness to bring positive changes in the society”.
She further called for the development of a strategy to tackle the conflict of interest by defining and identifying the problems and to focus on the eradication of terrorism. “We should create opportunities to understand opposing preferences, values and hostility between individuals or groups”, she added.
Later, Mr. Abdal Mufti (Education Consultant) engaged the audience through different interactive activities and explained that people from different sects, religions, cast, creed, and cities have some common points of interests. “In a broader perspective we just do not want to understand each other and never try to reach out to the person next to us. So, we should try to take out some time and sit in solidarity for our own catharsis”, he added.
Mr. Jawad Ahmed Khan (renowned Singer, Motivational Speaker & Politician) facilitated the last session in which he illustrated the sensitive issue of unequal distribution of power in Pakistani politics and motivated the youth to join it for the betterment of the country.
“Our collective goal should be to give prosperity and facilitation to the common man. The root cause of every problem and injustice is the unequal distribution of rights and power among the people”, he articulated.
Dr. Rabia Akhtar (Director, CSSPR, UOL) concluded the convention by giving her graceful remarks about the honorable guests and advised the youth to generate the potential in themselves so that they could bring a positive change in the society. She also applauded YPDC UOL Chapter’s efforts in organizing such a fruitful event. At the end, Dr. Akhtar presented the shields to the guests.