Youth empowerment initiative launched

A pioneering initiative, the Generation Unlimited Policy Research Challenge (PRC), aimed at empowering and inspiring young activists throughout Pakistan has been officially launched.

Operating under the GenU framework, this visionary project opens doors for individuals aged 12 to 28 to actively engage in research, champion innovative solutions, and play an instrumental role in shaping a more equitable and promising future for society, with a special focus on addressing the challenges of climate change and adaptation.

The challenge, introduced by UNICEF, UNDP, and UNFPA in collaboration with the implementing partner School of Leadership Foundation, embodies a dynamic public-private-youth partnership framework.

It is designed to serve as a platform for innovative thinking and research, enabling participants to understand and propose research areas that could help Pakistan better adapt to climate change. In this exciting challenge, participants are categorised into three age groups: 12-14 years, 15-18 years, and 19-28 years.

The first two age categories will be part of Challenge 1 and are expected to focus their research on climate adaptations in areas such as water, health (with a specific focus on mental health), sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), education, and livelihoods.

For Challenge 1, a residential boot camp will be conducted in Karachi to equip participants from Sindh and Balochistan with the knowledge and skills needed to conduct in-depth research on climate-related issues.

Participants in the third age category will be part of Challenge 2, addressing climate issues related to water, health (with emphasis on mental health and SRHR), education, livelihoods, agriculture, resilient communities (with a special focus on marginalized communities), and infrastructure.

To kickstart their journey, Challenge 2 participants will engage in a comprehensive four-day residential boot camp in Islamabad, representing all provinces of Pakistan.

The winners of Challenge 1 and 2 will have a chance to win up to Rs150,000 whereas the winners of Challenge 3 can win up to Rs500,000.

Moreover, the deadline for this challenge is set for 11th October 2023, providing young activists with ample time to engage in meaningful research and advocacy efforts.

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