To be heard...

By Annie Sarfraz

Over 40 people participated at a community meeting in the village of Swabi, KPK, Pakistan, organised by HCR in January 2017. The purpose was to help community understand they have the capacity to bring about positive change in their community. Most of the members said they had never attended a meeting where everyone was given an opportunity to introduce themselves. It was important for HCR to ensure participation from all groups of the community. In particular, youth are generally not encourage to be part of any decision making, something that is traditionally left up to the community Elders. However, this was the first time all age groups had come together to discuss community issues, and for many the first time they were heard.

A senior spokesperson from the community endorsed what was said by HCR's Hazeen Latif, "we have to unite and become an agent of change rather than an object to change". At the conclusion of the meeting, Hazeen was thanked by all, "we have never talked in front of so many people, thank you for giving us the opportunity"!