Learning Social Inclusion: Maryam Iqbal – Alumni

‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ now it became one of the practices of life. It all started when I took part in an Interfaith Harmony Workshop by Youth Development Foundation (YDF). The workshop was highly enriching, mind-opening, and provided a platform where YDF’s alumni to formulate their interfaith projects. The workshop was also an opportunity for all the alumni to learn interfaith dialogue basic skills and engage in a training session with interfaith and peace workers. Upon returning home, I was eager to implement my project. Months later, and as a follow-up, all the alumni of my batch implemented their projects. Long story short in 2019 I came across another opportunity in YDF to go as an Alumni in camp without taking a moment I opted for the chance of being a team member since I always wanted to work with the YDF team. Youth Development Foundation an organization working from the past 10 years where they conduct Diversity Camp. The camp welcomed 36 participants aged 18 to 35 years. The camp was aimed to enable young people of different religions and sects to develop mutual understanding and trust among each other. On each of the three days, the participants offered a safe and understanding environment, free of any prejudices. Through various activities, the team tried to disseminate the idea that the unconditional love and compassion towards the other, no matter how different the other is from us, can eclipse the tragedy and violence of our world. Harmony between religions and intra-faith exchange can become a powerful antidote of the disorder we witness today. Towards the end of the camp, participants felt safe to share their thoughts and opinions, even if these were considered to be controversial. This year I was honored to be a part of the organizing team. We tried to make this year’s camp better than last year’s. Along with consideration of the trainer, we enhanced the workshop to make it more interesting, educational, and fun. What made my heart happy is when the camp participants.


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