From Shy Student to Empowered Advocate: Jameela’s Inspiring Journey

Jameela discovers her passion for discussing critical issues and her ability to lead change.

A Project of
Fostering Religious Tolerance for Peace (FRTP)

Meet Jameela, a remarkable 20-year-old Afghan girl whose life has transformed from a shy student to an empowered advocate, thanks to her involvement in the “Khushboo Group” in Swabi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Jameela’s journey is a testament to the power of community engagement and her unwavering commitment to making a difference.

Jameela’s story begins with her completion of studies up to the 12th grade (FA in Pakistan), a significant achievement for a young woman facing the challenges of life as an Afghan refugee. Her life took a transformative turn when she became an active member of the “Khushboo Religious Tolerance Discussion Group” (RTDG). Through this incredible journey, Jameela discovered her passion for discussing critical issues and her ability to lead change.

The RTDG meetings became a platform for Jameela to expand her horizons and think outside the box. Initially hesitant and shy, Jameela found her voice with the encouragement of the group’s facilitators. She not only contributed to leading the group sessions but also engaged in discussions on a wide range of topics, from the challenges faced by Afghan refugees in Pakistan to rights and freedoms, peaceful coexistence, tolerance, and the host community’s role and contributions.

Jameela’s public speaking skills and confidence soared with each recurring group work session in the RTDG meetings. She emerged as a beacon of change and a vocal advocate for her community.

While I was aware of UNHCR and their work for refugees, I now have a better understanding and more knowledge about other organizations aiding Afghan refugees.

One of the critical issues that Jameela passionately discusses is the challenges faced by documented Afghan individuals. She sheds light on the limited number of Proof of Registration (POR) card holders and Afghan Citizen Card (ACC) holders, emphasizing the need for advocacy to address discrepancies in date of birth records.

Jameela is determined to raise awareness about this issue in the various platforms where she volunteers.

"Many refugees have their date of birth written as the title above the date of issuance of their POR cards provided by authorities in Pakistan. This creates significant hurdles for Afghans. I plan to discuss this issue with the organizations I am affiliated with as a volunteer, emphasizing the need for district-level solutions. Currently, individuals have to undertake the cumbersome journey from Swabi to Peshawar to rectify this discrepancy." Jameela

Jameela believes that her engagement in discussions about critical issues, rights, freedoms, and organizational structures through RTDG meetings has empowered her. Armed with this knowledge, she feels more confident advocating for her community’s rights at every level of engagement. Her journey is an inspiring testament to the potential within each individual to rise above challenges and become a driving force for positive change in their community. Jameela’s story is a true example of great success, and her impact on her community is immeasurable.