WHO IS FSAHAT HUSSAN?
Fsahat U.l. Hassan is the founder and current Chairperson of the Youth Advocacy Network, a national level youth-led democratic and volunteer-driven organization in Pakistan with more than 1,500 members across the country.
Fsahat recently received the prestigious Youth Excellence Award from the President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan for his work with young people. He also chaired the first youth-led regional level conference for youth in 2014 and represented Pakistan and the region in multiple other venues.
You can connect with Fsahat here:
IN TOR 039 YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT:
- The Young Advocacy Network, among the few initiatives looking to shape policy towards youth in Pakistan, starting from sexual and reproductive rights and spreading into other areas that affect the youth.
- Fsahat’s early career of youth rights advocacy, even before completing school, and the many organizations that helped him along the way
- The organizational challenges of moving through the bureaucracy and a Parliament where the youth is not represented in proportion to the population; and the victories and accomplishments Fsahat and the YAN have accrued despite their odds.
OUR CONVERSATION INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:
- Young Advocacy Network (YAN)
- Aids Awareness Society
- United Nations
- 2012 Global Youth Forum in Bali
- Youth oriented policy
- Sexual and reproductive health and rights
- Lahore, Pakistan
EPISODE CRIB NOTES
Oversees projects, advocacy.
YAN works for youth participation in policymaking.
Health, education and population. Pakistan is a largely young country. The future should be decided by them.
YAN has influenced state policy.
Presence throughout all of Pakistan’s states, 1,500 members, balanced across genders and regions.
Focus has been expanding across youth issues.
’05 Sexual reproductive rights.
’10 A proper youth organization. YAN is born. Broadens the agenda: democracy, human rights.
A 16 year old into sexual reproductive rights
He joined Aids Awareness Society (AAS) in school.
They selected him for volunteering, then he applied and got selected to a workshop.
There are a lot of restrictions in Pakistani society, but they have reached adult people who agree about spreading knowledge.
It is difficult to continue finding support. But more people have become more involved.
’10 At a meeting he was representing young people, wanted to include young issues in the education curriculum. Most people were bureaucrats and parliamentarians. He was not getting a response. This went on for three more meetings.
Mostly proposal writing. Recently they have started contacting the private sector.
Previous donors invited them. They also look online, or through colleagues.
The board meets twice a year.
His most difficult task is fundraising, particularly about exchange of ideas.
Monitors projects and prospective partners. Conference, networking.
“I have been working since school.” He has discussed ways to help their communities with a friend.
’04 graduate, talking with a student, he agrees on the importance of HIV and AIDS education, Fsahat would give a lecture in presence of people from abroad. But the teachers forbid him to give the lecture. He talks to his father, and teachers. Students get 20 minutes for the lecture.
Making YAN work
Tools are strategies are discussed in board meetings.
Day to day is simple, lots of reporting of on the ground activity from projects.
SMS, calls, emails for ongoing communication with board members all over the country.
Lots of interaction with the community, and with national and international experts.
YAN has received a lot of support including from universities, they have launched a Conference.
The government has given some support.
“I want to move forward and give this opportunity for other people. I see myself working on higher level projects, or with the government.”
Fsahat is a social person. He is young, still has many open doors in the government or the UN, even in local organizations.
Looks to stay in school.
Connecting with the world youth
YAN is in contact with groups in East Asia, Europe and the U.S.
’12 YAN was the only Pakistani group in the Global Youth Forum in Bali.
“We really need to be connected as youth, to make our voices more effective.”
“If you believe in something from the heart, you have to start and do that.”
“Have a team, people on board.”
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