Mishal and STEP to work together on overcoming post disaster disabilities through education and economic empowerment in Pakistan

Mishal and STEP to work together on overcoming post disaster disabilities through education and economic empowerment in Pakistan

Muhammad Atif Sheikh, President Special talent Exchange Programme for the Disabled (STEP) and Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer of Mishal Private Limited, at the MoU Signing Ceremony in Islamabad, Pakistan

The Special Talent Exchange Programme (STEP), the leading non-for-profit organization working on promoting disability issues in Pakistan has signed a Memorandum of Understanding today with Mishal Private Limited, the leading media capacity building institution in Pakistan. Both parties have agreed that they will jointly work for the empowerment and mainstreaming of disabled people in the society.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer, Mishal said that it is extremely important that the media is sensitized on the issues of disabilities, especially when Pakistan is fighting its war on terror. Pakistan is increasing its numbers of disabled persons on a daily basis, as we get casualties due to the terrorism acts and it is extremely important that we bring these people into mainstream through education and economic empowerment.

Mishal has brought together the leading Press Clubs and Journalist’s Associations on a common platform to build the capacity of the media to report on different verticals.

Jahangir also shared that Mishal in collaboration with various institutions will create more awareness and will produce specialized programs on talented disabled youth in Pakistan.

Amir Jahangir said that Mishal Pakistan is working on creating initiatives on inspiring a new generation for developing global citizens of the 21st century. He said that the initiative will create better understanding on what does global citizenship mean, and how can individuals, particularly youth can become responsible global citizens? What the can do youth in the community and country as global citizens?

Jahangir also said that at any age, encouraging and supporting responsible global citizenship improves multiple sectors of our societies, both social and economic. However, the large youth population found in many countries draws particular attention to the challenge of giving these youth the skills, tools or systems they may need to successfully participate as citizens, he said.

Currently, there are approximately 1.77 billion youth in a world that’s more closely connected than ever before. Youth aged 10-24 represent 30% or more of the population of many developing countries, and people under 20 years of age make up about 25% of the US population as compared to 80% in Pakistan.

Mr. Muhammad Atif Sheikh, President of STEP appreciating the efforts of Mishal Pakistan said that “a disabled person becomes more disabled when the society denies him or her, the right to participate by not providing access to the community services and establishments, he also said that media can play a vital role in mainstreaming of persons with disabilities in society”.

The MoU envisages the skill development trainings of disabled persons to improve their livelihood opportunities. Mishal through its platform will engage media entities to produce documentaries, debate programs on post disaster disabilities and carry out more awareness initiatives through multiple platforms.

Both Mishal and STEP will also work on creating research opportunities on post disaster disability and media integration through education as well. Both the organizations will also be creating more awareness on understanding rights, increasing citizen’s participation and expanding accountability. This will include workshops on how do individuals in Pakistan view their rights, roles, and responsibilities as a citizen, what are the barriers citizens face to active participation and how the media views Pakistan’s political and civil engagement and what tools would increase citizen participation in Pakistan? Initiatives on the issues concerning, citizens’ need to support their goals and aspirations and what roles citizens can play in accountability of public funds will also be highlighted.

Mishal has also identified the 10 of the greatest challenges facing the world. Identified by the Global Pulse 2010 initiative of the United States Agency for International Development, which gives a clear outlook for the areas where media needs to concentrate.

Unfortunately the capacity of the media in Pakistan is limited by its exposure to international development initiatives and lack of trainings in the media sector to address the challenges in the right perspective. Mishal has also identified the 10 greatest challenges to be the basic outline for media capacity building and to identify the best journalists and media professionals in Pakistan, who not only understands the issues but also can inspire others in the industry to set benchmarks for creating more public focus on the issues.

Mishal Pakistan was launched in 2003, as the leading media research and capacity building organization. Mishal is working on building media’s capacity to report on issues impacting the society on economic opportunities and empowerment, health and survival, education and political awareness.

Honoured as the Young Global Leader for 2010 by the World Economic Forum for his work on initiatives to improve the state of media and to integrate it with the development issues concerning Pakistan, Amir Jahangir, joined Mishal Pakistan as the CEO in April this year. The Festival of Media, Valencia ranked him among the top 10 media personalities in the world for his work on making media companies more relevant to sustainability issues.

Jahangir is also the Program Advisor to the Stanford Center of Innovation and Communication at the Stanford University, on Journalism and Media in Pakistan.

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