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5 Pakistani Youngsters Win Prestigious Diana Award For ‘Inspiring Youth’

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In a heartwarming development, five Pakistani youngsters won the prestigious Diana Award 2020 for inspiring youth and making exceptional efforts for the vulnerable segments of the society.

The awardees include Lahore’s Raina Khan Barki, Faisalabad’s Umer Mukhtar, DG Khan’s Nabila Abbas, Rahim Yar Khan’s Muhammad Ahmad Toor, and Muhammad Shohaib.

Raina, an 18-year-old girl hailing from Lahore, has been awarded for her efforts in female empowerment, health, education, and social entrepreneurship. She is founder and CEO of a non-profit organisation called ‘Zenana Foundation’. According to Diana Award Roll of Honour 2020 website, “Rain Khan has worked with hundreds of fundraisers and volunteers around the globe to set up free schools, start a skills training program for women and build an online marketplace for trainees to sell sustainable garments.

Umer Mukhtar, an 18 years old boy from Faisalabad, bagged the United Kingdom’s award for his services to end inequalities through the power of literacy. His earliest initiative, the ‘Kitaab Foundation’, provided under-funded schools across Pakistan with tens of thousands of books. According to Diana Award Roll of Honour 2020 website, “Umer’s Sadaqat Foundation raised $30,000 to build schools in areas where young people were lacking access to a quality education. Sadaqat Foundation is managing two schools and giving regular funds to hospitals, schools whilst managing a tree plantation drive.

Nabila Abbas, a 23 years old girl from village Choti Zareen in Punjab’s DG Khan district, has been conferred with the Diana Award for providing education to the women and girls of rural areas. “Nabila, from rural Pakistan herself, believes that women and girls shouldn’t be at a disadvantage due to economic and political instability, or educational and cultural constraints. Nabila also created the initiative Aviation Literary Forum, which provides a space to encourage other girls to realise their dreams,” reads her profile on the award’s official website.

Mohammad Ahmad Toor, a 23-year-old young man from Rahim Yar Khan, has won the global accolade for empowering thousands of youngsters through his organisation ‘MAPS’. According to the award’s official website, “to date, Mohamamd Ahmad Toor has organised over 250 community empowerment seminars on the importance of, not just education, but physical and mental health, and the need to build a stronger society in which everyone supports one another.”

Muhammad Shoaib, a 24 years old young man from lower Kurram in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, received the award for promoting peace, education and working on healthcare initiaves. Shoaib is CEO of ‘Kurram Welfare Home’, an NGO set up to counter violent extremism in Pakistan. “Shoaib established his NGO to motivate young people to use their skills to tackle these issues head-on. To date, he has supported over 500 young people to promote peace across various sectors, including health, education, disability, sports and democracy,” according to his profile.

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Naya Daur