The SEPLAA Young Leaders’ Club (SYLC) was set up as the first International forum run by children for children in Pakistan in 2012 by Amal Malik (9) and Dina Malik (7). It has to date made a number of notable achievements in:
Jasmin Irisha Jim Ilham from Power Shift Malaysia writes about the participation of the SEPLAA YLC Co Founders at the 5th Asia Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum held earlier in Colombo:
‘Dina and Amal Farooq Malik are no ordinary children. Unlike any other 11 and 13 year olds out there, these two sisters are deeply passionate about the environment and strongly advocate for environmental education and awareness – they are also the co-founders of the Seeds of Education, Policy and Legal Awareness Association (SEPLAA) Young Leaders Club in Pakistan.
It is easy to spot them at the 5th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum in Sri Lanka. They were the only children who attended the forum! It is very refreshing to see two vibrant, joyful girls going around collecting pledges among the crowd of serious looking adults in formal attire.
Ammara Malik, the mother of Dina and Amal, made a bold statement during the Opening Plenary’s Q&A session by stating, “Where are the children?” She made a courageous point that within the countless panel discussions with high end and educated speakers who stressed on the importance of education, awareness and capacity building in tackling climate change, yet there are no children involved or participating in the process of consultation, dialogues or decision making.
“SEPLAA Young Leaders Club carry out workshops and classes to underprivileged children, not only on environment but on healthcare as well,” explained Amal.
It was their first time at an international conference. They admitted that they initially thought that it would be boring, but it turned out to be fun. They went around collecting pictures as pledges for their project.’
“I believe that children hold a strong voice in decision making, a big part of inclusiveness,” expressed Ammara.
Indeed, children and youth voices are often under-represented when it comes to decision making at both local and international platforms. Children and youth led organisations like SEPLAA Young Leaders Club, among many others, are instilling faith by moving forward with the knowledge transfer and information sharing. For a better and informed future generation, we need to start from young.
Written by Jasmin Irisha Jim Ilham, Powershift Malaysia.
Creativity & Education:
The SYLC Adopted various schools for creative activities in 2010, 2012 and 2016 and has reached across to over 900 underprivileged school children who took part in creative capacity building sessions on peace, WASH and sanitation, art and self expression.
Since 2016, the SEPLAA Young Leaders are also conducting creative activities with special children. To date they have reached across to over 100 special children in Lahore.
- Amal Malik, Co Founder SYLC got selected to be the only Girl Rising Pakistan Child Ambassador in 2013 along with many other notable experts and outstanding Pakistanis.
- Amal Malik and Dina Malik gave their recommendations to UNICEF Pakistan at the ‘UNICEF Consultative Session with Civil Society’ where the representatives of over 30 NGOs were present in 2013.
- SYLC completed the 1st Child Leadership Development Summer Program in 2013.
- SYLC completed the 2nd Child Leadership Development Summer Program in 2014.
- SYLC completed the 3rd Child Leadership Development Summer Program in 2015.
- SYLC completed the 4th Child Leadership Development Summer Program in 2016.
- Dina Malik was selected as the youngest speaker and only Pakistani at the Global Youth Forum for Climate Change at Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2016 where she talked about ‘Climate Change Resilience: Promoting Green Architecture & Solar Powered Homes and Offices in Pakistan’.
- The SEPLAA young leaders Amal and Dina, actively helped collect empty water bottles and took part in the nationwide Recycled Water Bottles for Flood Victims Campaign in 2010 which collected and distributed over 6,600 clean drinking water bottles to the victims of the Pakistan Floods 2010 in Muzaffargarh, Hyderabad and Nowshera with very little cost.
- Two Interactive Environment Workshops were held with children in 2010 and 2014.
- A SYLC Child & Youth Policy Dialogue on ‘Climate Change Adaptation & Way Forward‘ was held in August 2016.
- The SEPLAA YLC Botanical Roof Top Garden was developed with the input of children under the leadership of Dina Malik in 2016 to promote green architecture and green solutions.
- The research abstract of Amal Farooq Malik (13) from the SEPLAA Young Leaders’ Club got selected and is published in the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network conference resource book by the UN Environment Asia and Pacific Office, Thailand. Only 81 abstracts have been selected to be published and Amal is the youngest delegate with a published abstract in the book. The abstract is titled ‘Engaging Pakistani Youth in Climate Change Adaptation and Advocacy’.
- Amal Malik and Dina Malik are presently conducting an international advocacy campaign to highlight issues relating to the environment and climate change adaptation called the ‘SEPLAA YLC 100 Leaves’ (#sylc100leaves) on facebook which is being done in Sri Lanka which is also the venue of the 5th Asia Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum.
- Amal and Dina Malik were the youngest delegates selected to attend, from over 800 delegates attending, from over 170 NGOs from 60 countries at the 5th Asia Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum organized in partnership with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Ministry of Environment in Sri Lanka in October 2016.
An ‘SYLC International Peace Semester’ was conducted by from January to April 2016 which reached across to 20 privileged and 200 underprivileged young people through capacity building sessions, workshops, community action projects including art and puppet shows at an adopted school for underprivileged children and an advocacy campaign titled ‘Give Every Child a Chance to Lead’.
Art & Self Expression:
- Amal Malik was selected to give a workshop on ‘Children’s Voice Blog: Writing for Creativity’ during the Children’s Literature Festival held in partnership with the Oxford University Press in 2012.
- Dina Malik and Amal Malik were selected to recite their poems during the closing ceremony of the Children’s Literature Festival held in Lahore in 2012.
- Amal and Dina were the youngest panel speakers at the Khayal Literature Festival held in 2012.
- Amal Malik wrote her book ‘Amalicious- A collection of short stories and poems’ in 2011.
- Dina Malik got was the first Pakistani child to receive a ‘Thank You’ letter for her art work and is in the top 2000 at the age of 7 for the International Painting Competition ‘In My Homeland’ held by Green Cross Belarus in 2012. Out of 15,500 entries from 31 different countries all over the world, only a few hundred got ‘Thank you letters.’
Over 100 goody bags were distributed to child flood victims in Muzaffar Garh made by Amal and Dina Malik as child child representatives at SEPLAA Foundation during the Pakistan Floods 2010.