The Youth Voices series’ goal is to highlight young people’s inspiring work and positive initiatives in their communities.
Meet Amna: Amna Habiba is a 16-year-old Pakistani, founder of Global Creative Hub (GCH), an international speaker with more than 50K views, STEM enthusiast, and an advocate for girls’ education, digital transformation & STEM. Recipient of Voice of GenZ Award, Young Achiever Award & runnerup for Young Voices Award, featured by UN & Malala Fund, spoken at World Bank, UNESCO, IFC, and more; she is passionate about using digital for social good and the UN SDGs. Learn more about Amna here.
What was the first moment of enlightenment that encouraged you to take action for the society you live in?
COVID-19 changed my life. When exposed to the vast world of e-learning, I dived deep into gaining the skills impossible to gain in the offline world due to being a girl living in a society where girls are discouraged from exploring fields like STEM and forced into child marriages.
Looking at my community (Pakistan, where 17 million girls aged 15-24 reside, but only 18% of women represent STEM fields), I was inspired to leverage my skills and the power of technology to pay it forward and give back to my community.
What are the projects you are currently working on? What are the challenges you and your organisation are facing today?
Inspired to pay my e-learning forward, I launched Global Creative Hub, a social development initiative working towards building the next generation of female changemakers in Pakistan. The initiative does this by changing the narrative and supporting girls to break stereotypes and continue their journey in education, digital transformation, and STEM. From hackathons, collaborations, to training programs, we focus on how the girls can use the power of storytelling and technology for social good and work collectively towards the global goals.
GCH has directly impacted 1000 girls (many from rural & underprivileged areas) from across Pakistan and reached young people and teachers from across the globe. Across social media, we have received 140K impressions, a 90K page reach, and ~3000 followers.
I also have many projects that I am working on in accordance with empowering the girl child, giving young people a voice, and building a better future, together.
I have often faced challenges while working as a young female belonging to a developed country: ageism, stereotypes, traditional mindsets, and more. But I always break through every barrier in my way by believing in myself, having a supportive role model (my mom) and surrounding myself with people who believe in me.
How can we make intergenerational collaboration between youth and decision-makers happen?
Who are we developing the future for? The next generation.
But why is it that young people are not represented while policies and decisions are made? Why are the voices of younger people neglected while decisions for their future are made?
As an international speaker, I have been invited on global platforms to talk about bridging the gap between the voices of young people and decisionmakers. A lot of these talks revolve around the importance of giving young people, especially those who are underrepresented – i.e females and people of color – the opportunity to voice their thoughts, concerns, and decisions, while making big decisions for the world and the future.
By cultivating spaces where such intergenerational collaboration takes place, decision-makers across every sector can ensure this.
What would you like to tell decision-makers?
Including the generation that you are building the future for is important.
Young people have the power within them to bring change in the world. Giving voices like mine a platform to advocate for what matters is important, and we can do so by promoting diversity and inclusion.
It is high time that decisionmakers are aware of the importance young people bring to the table and include their thoughts, opinions, and work to bring change in the world and strive towards building a better future, together.