Gulalai Ismail tells a story of a raindrop that inspires her to have the courage to work for peace. Gulalai runs Aware Girls, a local peace building organisation in Pakistan. She started Aware Girls when she was just 16 to challenge violence and extremism among young people in the dangerous border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Aware Girls run programmes and services to better women’s lives. In the last two years, recognising the immediate need, they launched a peace building initiative. They recruited 25 volunteers in each of the last two years to join together to promote tolerance, non-violence and peace. The initiative is proving so popular that last year they had over 150 applicants.
The 50 trained young volunteers are now reaching out to people in their communities who are vulnerable to radicalisation. They hold study circles and one-to-one meetings with these people to develop and promote ideas for a peaceful future for Pakistan. Still in its early stages, the programme will reach almost 1,500 young people in the next three years, building a movement of activists against religious and political extremism. Find out more about Gulalai Ismail’s work.