Mehwish Javaid aged 27 from Pakistan, was part of the 2013 International Leadership Programme (ILP).
Mehwish, who previously studied social sciences and has aspirations to become a policy maker one day decided to focus her Action Plan around the issue of rote learning, common in some Pakistani schools. At the same time Mehwish received an offer for her first job from Pakistan’s third biggest Bank, UBL, Pakistan.
This situation presented two challenges, but Mehwish explained that the leadership skills and knowledge she learnt at the Summit not only helped with her Action Plan, they also helped her to build a strong professional attitude.
“In my professional field the skills I learnt actually provided a competitive edge on others, even over some of my more senior colleagues. Key leadership traits like, self-confidence, tolerance, team work and networking, helped me to gain increased trust and respect form my bosses and colleagues.
“In the future, I also want to use my relevant experience and leadership skills to create awareness about gender bias in Pakistan’s job market,” said Mehwish.
Since the programme Mehwish has become an official volunteer of Injaz Pakistan, which aims to bridge the gap between the educational field and the market place through co-curricular programs that empower youth.
“As part of my Action Plan, I encourage and help students to think outside the box by facilitating various creative activities, including counselling for students and their parents. My main audience are the poorer groups of students attending Government schools. Girls especially are my focus as they are often deprived of basic rights in Pakistan,” said Mehwish.
She visits local schools, interact with students and their parents and carry-out creative workshops that help and encourage students to explore and show their talents. Mehwish also sought help from some established organisations and experts who are already working in this area and now intends to form a team to expand these activities in the future.
Mehwish explains: “My project helps students from poorer areas by increasing their confidence and helping them to believe they can achieve their dreams and fulfil their aspirations.
“Before attending the Summit I was an ordinary girl with many hopes and ambitions to bring about change in my community. But by the end of the Summit I could use the leadership skills I’d learnt to help turn my dreams into reality.
“For anyone passionately sincere about bringing a change, not only in their community but also in their own life, you should apply for Mosaic ILP. By attending the Summit you will get once in a lifetime experiences to develop leadership skills through contact with many successful and inspirational leaders. You also get to work with people from different backgrounds and make International friends.”
Afzal Khan Shinwari was her mentor on the ILP. He said of his mentee: “Mehwish has come a long way from the first day we met. She was visibly touched by the Summit and it made her determined to improve teaching styles in local schools, which presented lots of obstacles and setbacks but she overcame them all. I believe a person’s real test is how they react when faced with failure and I think Mewish has passed with flying colours.”