Today, we speak with Scholar, Nazeer Ahmed (Cohort 11, Pakistan), who joins Atlas Corps as part of the Atlas Corps: Pakistan Emerging Leaders Initiative. This special initiative is a dynamic collaboration between Atlas Corps and two Atlas Corps Alumni-led organizations: Accountability Lab Pakistan and CaterpillHERs, with the goal of building community across emerging professionals in Pakistan by building the capacity of local leaders and community-based initiatives.
Nazeer is an Educationalist and Women’s Rights Activist, and is currently working with the Education Department Government of Balochistan, Pakistan as a Secondary School Teacher and Teacher Trainer.
Name: Nazeer Ahmed
Home Country: Pakistan
Current Organization: Education Department Government of Balochistan, Pakistan
Role at current organization: Secondary School Teacher and Teacher Trainer
Social Issues: Quality education; Gender Equality; Peace, justice and strong institutions
Please tell us a little bit about the type of work that you do at your organization and the impact it has made in your local community.
In the organization, my responsibilities involve planning and delivering lessons for students, preparing teaching materials for effective instruction, and designing and facilitating programs for Teacher Professional Development for teachers’ continuous growth and improvement in their teaching abilities. Besides, I volunteer programs for women’s educational empowerment to support women and youth, especially girls to have a stronger voice within Balochistan, Pakistan, and become more confident and effective peace brokers within their homes, neighborhoods, and communities.
What inspires you the most as a leader?
I am a leader in education and a pioneering women’s rights activist. I have dedicated my career to ensuring quality education for all, championing the rights and empowerment of women, and breaking down barriers that hinder women’s progress. I commenced my career as a dedicated teacher in a rural and marginalized community, where social norms and cultural beliefs prioritized boys’ education over girls’. Motivated by this inequality, I deeply committed myself to transform the education landscape, with a specific focus on empowering girls and women. I have implemented many volunteer innovative programs and initiatives to address such issues and equip girls and women with the tools they need to thrive academically and socially.
What has been your favorite part about the Virtual Leadership Institute so far?
The Atlas Corps Virtual Leadership Institute not only equipped me with valuable and applicable content, but also enhanced my skills and abilities as a future leader through informative and practical resources in leadership development. My favorite part of the Virtual Leadership Institute was the initialization of the Leadership Project which provided me with valuable opportunities to build up my theoretical and practical professional foundation in designing a leadership project and flourish the understanding and skills that project initiators make use of in the process of developing projects globally.
What is your best quick tip that you can share with us about how to succeed in the Virtual Leadership Institute?
My best quick tip to succeed in the Virtual Leadership Institute is to have continuous connections with the institute instructors, fellow Scholars, and Peer Coaches to discuss and share insights with and collaborate on leadership projects.
What is your Leadership Project about and what impact will it have on the community you serve?
My Leadership Project is about educating and empowering adolescent girls and young women in rural parts of Balochistan, Pakistan through life skills and leadership training programs in communication and interpersonal skills, decision-making and critical thinking skills, and coping and self-management skills. In a conflict-riddled region where women and youth, especially girls, have meager access to education, and youth networks. In order to bypass the historic neglect of women’s education and to empower the region’s youth, my leadership project aims to equip adolescent girls and young women with the skills and confidence to become advocates within their homes and communities for a traditionally marginalized group in their societies. My proposed project will on the one hand give these marginalized groups considerably more leverage to play stronger and more positive roles within a conflict-ridden society, and on the other, help to generate new opportunities for them, exceeding their previous social, economic, and educational limitations.
What are your plans after the Virtual Leadership Institute and how will this experience help you achieve these plans?
After completing the Virtual Leadership Institute, my plans would likely involve putting my newly acquired knowledge, skills, understanding, and experiences to practical use by pursuing career growth and assuming greater leadership responsibilities within my community to make a positive difference in societal realms. In addition, I am eager to build valuable connections with international organizations in order to not only work in an interconnected world to serve as a catalyst for achieving my ambitions, but also engage in social impact initiatives to become an influential leader.
What message would you like to send to individuals (Volunteer, Donors, Board of Directors) who support Atlas Corps?
The Atlas Corps is truly the organization that creates emerging leaders with a sense of purpose and determination to contribute fresh perspectives, drive positive change, and pave the way for future generations. It becomes our collective responsibility to support the Atlas Corps financially and voluntarily as it is the only organization in the world that is making young leaders’ dreams come true.
Thank you, Nazeer, for sharing your leadership journey with us. We are excited to see you continue to inspire positive change in the future!
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Photos from Nazeer’s personal archive.