Apart from the SEPLAA YLC being the first of its kind in Pakistan, it is being run by two very special young sisters Amal Farooq Malik and Dina Farooq Malik.
Amal and Dina were 9 and 7 years old respectively in 2012 when they founded the SEPLAA YLC as a project of SEPLAA (Seeds of Education, Policy & Legal Awareness Association) a social enterprise registered with FBR.
Both sisters wanted to continue the community work they started through their Club when they were just 5 years old and 3 1/2 years old respectively. They have been active volunteers in several SEPLAA and SEPLAA Foundation activities including flood relief, environment activities and taking part in activities at the SEPLAA Foundation adopted school since 2010.
Amal Farooq Malik:
As a Thalassemia Awareness Ambassador for 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, Amal has helped to spread awareness about this disease by speaking at a UNICEF Consultative Workshop in July 2013. As one of the only two children present, she confidently gave out her recommendations to the representatives of UNICEF, Punjab Government and over 30 child rights NGO representatives, on her views about compulsory blood screening of couples before having children.
In 2013, she was selected as the only Child Ambassador of Girl Rising Pakistan and has spoken on various social and literary forums on child rights and the environment.
In 2015, Amal set up Lil’Loomers and is presently developing the social enterprise book project ‘Journey of a Hundred Leaves’ (formerly ‘Inkabutton’) as a Co-Founder with her sister Dina, which works with underprivileged and special children to create new products with recycled material and gives awareness session on climate change adaptation to children from different backgrounds. She was able to talk about her book project at Okan University (Istanbul), Altinbas University (Istanbul, Turkey), Impact Hub Istanbul, ‘Istanbul & I’ and conducted a recycled paper art activity with Syrian refugee children at the Yusra Community Center in Istanbul.
Amal has written some thought provoking blogs on the Environment (‘Litter Walk’) which are published in the Children’s Voice Blog and the ISW Think Tank. She also reports on all the SEPLAA YLC activities and maintains the SEPLAA YLC Children’s Voice Blog as a Content Editor.
As a budding blogger and video maker, she has also made several videos and powerpoint presentations on social issues. Among these she has made a cultural peace video (2012) about the Lahore Museum and a video on climate change adaptation recently as part of her project activity for the ‘SYLC Creativity for Change’ Semester (2016). This video highlights some of her recommendations for climate change adaptation particularly focusing on renewable energy generation.
In October 2016, her research abstract got selected to be published in the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network conference resource book by the UN Environment Asia and Pacific Office, Thailand. Only 81 abstracts were selected to be published and Amal was the youngest delegate with a published abstract in the book at the age of 13. The abstract is titled ‘Engaging Pakistani Youth in Climate Change Adaptation and Advocacy’.
Amal also participated as one of the youngest international delegates at the 3-Day 5th Asia Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum and the Global Youth Forum for Climate Change at Colombo, Sri Lanaka in October 2016.
Amal has a keen interest in IT and engineering focusing on climate change adaptation, peace and social entrepreneurship.
Dina Farooq Malik
Dina has actively contributed to community development in Pakistan since she was only 3 ½ years old. She has actively participated in several activities including Child Leadership Development Workshops, Social Entrepreneurship Conferences, Thalassemia Awareness Ambassador Training , flood relief, environment activities and taking part in conducting art activities at the SEPLAA Foundation adopted school for underprivileged children.
The significance of child development in Punjab, Pakistan was highlighted by Dina at a UNICEF Consultative Session conducted in Summer 2013, where she was the youngest participant to come forward with suggestions to give to representatives of 30 NGOs present. Dina was also the youngest to speak at the Inter School Poetry Competition at the Sharif Education Complex and at the Khayal Literature Festival in 2013.
Dina was the first Pakistani child to receive a ‘Thank You’ letter for her art work on the environment and is in the top 2000 at the age of 7 for the International Painting Competition ‘In My Homeland’ held by Green Cross Belarus. Out of 15,500 entries from 31 different countries all over the world, only a few hundred got ‘Thank you letters.’
In 2016, as part of her project for the SYLC ‘Creativity For Change Semester’, she developed the SEPLAA YLC Botanical Garden by planting trees and developing a roof top garden to help promote green architecture in Lahore. She has also taken active part in youth policy dialogues on climate change adaptation held under the semester.
Dina participated as the youngest delegate amongst 800 international delegates from 60 countries at the 3-Day 5th Asia Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She attended and participated in 8 technical sessions at the APAN Forum.
Dina was also selected as the youngest and only Pakistani speaker for the Global Youth Forum on Climate Change in Colombo, where 200 Sri Lankan and international youth and academics participated. She presented her paper on ‘Climate Resilient Development: Promoting Green Architecture for homes and offices.’
Dina loves to create art work from recycled items and has been creating jewelry and clay models since she was 4 years old. She runs her page ‘Dina’s Crafty Cats’ and is developing her social enterprise book project ‘Journey of a Hundred Leaves’ formerly ‘Inkabutton’ which is based on creating products with the input from underprivileged and special children, with her sister Amal.
Dina is an artist and likes to explore and blog about what art means to her on the Children’s Voice Blog. She has a keen interest in art, green architecture and social entrepreneurship.
Today the SEPLAA Young Leaders Club has a full time team that works on project development, research, creating school linkages and global ties to develop child leaders. SEPLAA YLC has become a platform to bring children, parents and teachers together to compliment each others work to create globally conscious citizens.