Meet the 25 – Cohort 2
The Little Art welcomes 25 young women with stories of resilience, fearlessness, and passion to encourage and inspire millions. The 25 Under 25 Award recognizes young women creating a huge impact on their lives and giving back to the society with their exceptional work.
They are inspirational. They are unapologetic.
They are the 25 under 25.
Aelia was inspired to work with cancer patients after being admitted to a pediatric ward two years ago, which incidentally houses oncology patients. After losing her best friend to cancer, she started an organization called Hearts of Gold which gives personalized gift packages to cancer patients. Today, Hearts of Gold is over a year old, and has grown in numerous ways. It has organized hospital distributions, mailed personalized packages to cancer warriors, conducted a slime-making workshop at a hospital, and even sent packages to cancer fighters outside Pakistan, such as in the Philippines and the US. Aelia has also connected with several patients‚ Äô families with whom she still keeps in touch and has the honor of sharing their joys and sorrows. Her aim is to expand Hearts of Gold even further, and to spread even more smiles.
Alina Azhar is a humanitarian and philanthropist from the age of 11. In 2019, she was awarded the highest accolade that a young person can achieve – The Diana Award supported by Prince William and Prince Harry. She has been working on many different causes for transgenders, organizing menstruation camps for underprivileged women and girls from slums and speaking about mental health issues. She founded her organisation – Aasra and had also adopted an orphanage and free school for street and underprivileged kids and supported an old age home on monthly basis. She is doing her undergrad from Istanbul Bilgi University in International Relations and aims to extend her work worldwide. During the COVID-19 lockdown, Aasra distributed ration bags to approximately 400 families of daily wage workers including transgenders in Pakistan.
Amal Farooq Malik
At the age of 9, Amal co-founded the Seplaa Young Leaders Club International, where she has trained over 1000 underprivileged and special children, through critical thinking and art activities promoting climate change adaptation at various schools. At the age of 13, my research abstract ‚” Climate -Resilient Development: Engaging Pakistani Youth in Climate Change Adaptation & Advocacy” was published by the UN Environment Asia and Pacific Office, Bangkok. She has also been able to work with the Human Rights Crisis Centre for Women (GoP) as their youngest volunteer researcher. Her research book “Voices of Courage and Sorrow- 15 Case Studies of Women’s Survival and Resilience” was widely appreciated. Recently she has authored, ‘Girls for Climate Action’ under the Impact World Press, based on 9 years of the Seplaa Young Leader’s advocacy work in Pakistan, Turkey, Philippines and Sri Lanka.
Anha comes from Chitral and studying in class 9. She enjoys creating art in various mediums and aims to work in indigenous art forms using traditional materials such as paper, cloth, gemstone and woodwork. She aims to become a professional artist that serves the community to support and nurture its cultural identity in Pakistan and internationally. Anha received numerous accolades and certificates of her participation in art projects.
Lexus Design Award Finalist, 1st and only Pakistani to receive Lexus Design Finalist Award for her invention ‘Pursewit’ the sewing machine exclusively designed for the visually impaired to empower them by incorporating sewing skills for income generation, Aqsa has a creative force in her. She is also the recipient of the Benazir Bhutto Pride of Performance Award by the International Human Rights Commission. Her contribution, resilience and dedication for empowering women and girls and advocacy to end gender inequalities have earned her various awards and nominations including nomination as Pride of Pakistan award by ISPR 2021 and award as ‘Humaray Heroes’ for HBL PSL 2022 for her achievements.
Asma Tariq is a passionate writer to empower youth in Pakistan. She has been working with Pakistan Leadership Program as Team Lead and is recognized as one of the youngest published authors for writing 5 books. She is also a Global Youth Awards 2021 winner and was nominated for Asian International Excellence Awards. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Asma trained hundreds of young people through online training. She also launched an online Whatsapp classroom for the Rohingya refugees were provided basic digital literacy to hundreds of students.
Ayesha Shaikh is an award-winning social activist, educator, internationally recognized writer, and youth trainer. Coming from an underprivileged area of Sindh, she has made a mark in the world as being a global citizen, her dream is to see more girls like her who have lack of opportunities but are optimistic for a better future for the children of Pakistan and stay strong by playing their part for a positive change they want to create. She believes that everyone irrespective of who they are has the right to live a peaceful life with dignity that’s why she had always been a humble human being who has contributed to various occasions, activities, meetings, and collaborations for the benefit of society. She further says that “the youth of the country have a fire in themselves to bring a revolution, they only need to use that power in a more meaningful way”.
Bharti belongs to Jacobabad, and has she experienced very diverse cultures in her life by travelling to various countries for her education. She believes that everyone holds beauty inside. She believes that if we rise above the identities we have given ourselves in terms of religion, community, gender, we can deal with so many issues much better at a human level. Her passion is to work on the social issue we experience daily, such as people sleeping hungry, kids working on the roads, the pregnant woman working under the sun just to feed the family is my pain.
Eisha Mehtab hails from a small colony in Lahore and works actively to inspire care, peace, and happiness around her. She is a mental health advocate, a women’s rights activist, a creative writer and poetess, a full-time freelancer, and a psychologist in progress. She is a junior at Forman Christian College pursuing a double major in Psychology and English Literature. She is currently running her youth non-profit organization, The Mirror, which has the vision to transform women empowerment and curb gender-based violence in Pakistan through multi-faceted avenues of legal, financial, emotional, and physical aid as well as with education and awareness campaigns. Eisha is also currently mindfulness, personal growth and self-development trainer at Mind Matters. She is currently the President at International Affairs Society at FCCU. Eisha has self-financed her education so far and continues to do so with scholarships and Dean’s Honors Lists since admission.
Ekta’s schooling made her realize how bullying and religious differences end up traumatizing you, but being selected in a medical university was one of her finest achievements. She was further selected as an exchange student to the United States through the Global UGRAD Program. During Covid-19, she participated in 19th Young Leaders Conference in 2020. She has started a menstrual hygiene management project which is saving many women from reproductive age issues. Through this project, she has worked with home-based working women and promoted the use of eco-friendly sanitary pads. She started writing to share her travel experiences and understanding of different cultures that helped her on working for interfaith harmony and minority rights.
Flower Zaheer is a professional Taekwondo athlete and currently National Team member for Pakistan. She started Taekwondo at the age of 12 from the inspiration to her father who wanted to make her a stronger and more independent girl. She did my BS.(Hons) Sociology for the University of the Punjab Lahore and received Sports Scholarship. She has won the gold medal for consecutive 4 years in All Pakistan Inter-University Taekwondo Championships, gold medal at the provincial level for consecutive 3 years and has been National Champion since 2018 till date. She has represented Pakistan in Iran in 2018 and in 13th South Asian Games 2019 Nepal. She is currently representing Pakistan WAPDA at the national level.
Huma Abbasi started her activism at the age of 13, have delivered 100+ pieces of training, sessions and webinars throughout Pakistan, have trained 15000+ young activists, students and community leaders, along with being Nominated for 50+ Awards Nationally and Internationally including Marvi Award, Global Women Excellency Award, Recognition of Outstanding Achievements and Services Award, Sindh Youth Icon Award, Humanitarian Award. She has been recognized at various national and international platforms such as YLC, Interprovincial National Youth Retreat, World Youth Model United Nations and Human Rights Defenders Network.
Kinza Asif is a medical student and founder of an art school “TintsofJoy”. She has been learning avidly about her interest areas such as website development, digital illustration, graphic designing and digital marketing. Her project TintsofJoy was started in 2020 with a mission of connecting artists and passionate students and empowering women, mothers, teenagers and kids with artistic skills. She has managed almost 8 art courses, enrolled 400 plus students not only from Pakistan but worldwide. She also donates books and colours to orphanages and special education school. Her determination comes from her commitment to empowering women and girls so they can be independent and skilful to achieve their dreams.
Lal-ain is a young digital artist, community mobilizer and writer who has been working to raise awareness for youth regarding digital literacy, environmental issues, and quality education in Pakistan. She works to provide quality education and skills training to youth as a student ambassador. Her works inspire young girls by spreading interfaith peace and harmony. Her aim is to connect with people to know them and build a powerful network with them to work on different community engagement programs.
Majida is a shepherd girl from the mountains of Hunza with dreams of providing quality education to underprivileged children. She is the CEO of Voin Pvt. Ltd that works on education, digital marketing and production and develops technological infrastructure and quality content for the next generation education systems. Majida is the recipient of Pride of Pakistan and a nominee for the International Children’s Peace Prize.
Manaal Tariq is a badminton player and struggled through her career to become a successful athlete. Besides her various injuries, she never gave up to continue and fightback for Pakistan. She won the Under 16 National Championship thrice and the Under 19 National Championship twice. She represented Pakistan in Iran in 2017 and recently won the PSL\s Hamaray Heroes Award. She is aiming to represent Pakistan at the Olympics and take the home gold medal. She aims to empower others to ensure that they never feel heartbroken and believe in their dreams.
Mannal Irshad is a full-time student and a part-time empath. She has been affiliated with the education and non-profit sector for over a year now. She started her philanthropy journey as a teacher volunteer with TWS, a social enterprise for underprivileged children. In a year, she was promoted to HR head and today she is working as the Head of Facility. Her biggest strength is her drive to remain optimistic in the face of adversities. Mannal believes in accepting her flaws and imparts the same wisdom to her students.
Noor Syed struggled with depression in her teen years but learned to love herself and how to prioritize her well-being. Determined to help others, she received training from The Connect Hut (Organization in India). The training dealt with providing emotional support to individuals in need through a hotline. She also worked as an intern for a Psychologist where she met many mentally challenged individuals. She is currently working as Information Secretary at YGA (Youth General Assembly). She creates art and takes part in various national exhibitions. Her artwork primarily focuses on capturing human emotions. She also writes, and her first book is available on Kindle (Amazon) that explains the basic guidelines of self-help for students to follow in times of Corona.
Born in conservative Southern Punjab, despite pressure from family to pursue medicine as it is a less male-dominated subject, Rabia Nusrat always knew that she wanted to be an Engineer. After years of struggle, hard work and perseverance, she became the first in her family and community to become one. Recognized for her work, Rabia was invited by UNESCO to speak about the participation of women in STEM. She was also part of the UGRAD program and spent a semester in the United States to study Environmental Engineering and Technology. She is the founder of Earthly Perspective Magazine where she writes on topics related to environmental engineering with her fellow engineers and scientists and speaks to prominent people in her field.
Rumman Qamar, at the young age of 9 years has numerous awards in her credit. She has won various speech contests, the bronze medal at the national level in International Kangaroo Science Contest and cash prize at the national level in a2z creative writing competition by securing 4th position. Riding is her favourite sport and she wants to be a national level polo player in the future. She also aspires to serve the Pakistan army to serve the nation as her family legacy, and become a fighter pilot.
Simal Linjara is working as a Software Developer at Bosch Thermotechnology, UK. She hails from Quetta and lives in Karachi now. She got her first computer at the age of 7 years after pursuing her father as she was curious and interested in computers. She also played international scrabble for Pakistan and held a world record of a highest scorer at Junior World Scrabble Championship, UK 2017. Simal loves creating new tools and recently invented a card game called DMAS©. She is currently writing a short book that talks about the inevitable transitions we all go through as young adults.
Wardah loves supporting children and the community through her work by personal development opportunities, raising awareness on child protection issues and poverty alleviation. She founded a platform named KhudKaar that is enabling underprivileged young girls to continue their education. KhudKaar also has a physical community centre, a digital lab and a library offering self-paced learning to youth via digital courses to enhance their career. She also has been organizing the literary festival in Layyah called LitTechLayyah to showcase local artists, culture and performances. She dreams to transform Layyah into the Creative Capital of South Punjab.
Dr. Zara Arshad, rooting from Quetta, is an enthusiastic #WomenInMedicine #WomenInSTEM. Rare for her locality and age, she is a medical researcher with 15+ scientific publications on her name in good-ranking journals of medicine and public health. At the age of only 21, even with less formal guidance, she had published her first peer-reviewed paper themed around the practices of Student Bullying. Over the next few years her studies were recognized by numerous relevant journals, research platforms and scientific conferences; national and international. Today, she is a known advocate for promoting research education in medical colleges of Pakistan and is also involved in the mentorship of medical students especially females with similar interests.
Zayna Ahsan is a national age-group champion in swimming 2021. She started competitive swimming at the age of 10. At the age of two, Zayna was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. JIA is an autoimmune disorder which has no cure. She has been on treatment for thirteen years now. Keeping her disease a secret, she competed with all other swimmers and proved herself the best against them. Currently, Zayna works closely with Arthritis Care Foundation to create awareness and raise funds for the underprivileged. She has been a registered donor with ACF since the age of five.
Zohreen Taimur Bandey
Zohreen was inspired by a story her father told her about entrepreneurship. She was really inspired by it and hoped to start her own business one day. Her search led her to think about skincare products, and how 2-ingredients products can be made so simply and uniquely. She created the products with her mothers, made the brand with labels, receipts and containers. She is running the virtual shop now and hope to grow her brand in future in Pakistan and beyond.