Pakistan’s social innovator wins One Young World’s Lead 2030 challenge

By Murtaza Ali Shah
October 16, 2023
Nida Sehikh (left) receiving the winning cheque for One Young World’s LEAD 2030 fund. — Author

LONDON: A Pakistani female social innovator from Lahore has been recognised as one of the top ten winners of the prestigious One Young World’s LEAD 2030's $500,000 fund for Sustainable Development Initiatives.


Nida Yousaf Sheikh, the CEO of Tayaba Welfare International Association (TWIA), who operates from Lahore, was recognised at the annual conference in Belfast last week where she delivered a keynote speech to the audience.

This achievement now places Nida Yousaf Sheikh alongside the brightest young leaders hailing from more than 190 countries, all fervently dedicated to advancing social impact and catalyzing meaningful change on a global scale. The conference was attended by more than 4,000 young leaders from around the world and only Nida Sheikh represented Pakistan.

The award money will implement a range of innovative solutions, including H2O Wheels, Hygiene Kits, and Solar Water Facilities, all underpinned by cutting-edge blockchain technology.

Nida Sheikh (second right) at the youth summit. — Provided by author

One Young World's LEAD 2030 Challenge is a globally renowned initiative driven by leading businesses with a mission to accelerate solutions for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), championed by dynamic young leaders. With an acceptance rate of less than 1 percent, the programme stands as the gold standard for impactful, youth-led initiatives.

Nida Sheikh was recognised in respect to her organisation’s work offering H2O Wheel, a 40-liter sustainable water-carrying device, to a portfolio of six H2O Solutions for water and sanitation. Through these initiatives, TWIA has positively impacted half a million individuals in rural Pakistan.

In light of this remarkable journey, Nida Sheikh shared her perspective, saying, "Despite Pakistan having one of the largest youth populations globally, our representation at the prestigious One Young World Summit has been limited. I encourage young change-makers in Pakistan to step up, embrace innovation, and collaborate for a more significant impact.

Nida Sheikh (first left). — Provided by author

"While I had this privilege this year, I hope to see more Pakistani leaders join global platforms, taking up the mantle to drive positive change. Remember, even small steps can lead to meaningful impact, and don't shy from dreaming big and failing along the way, because failure is inevitable and greater learnings are found in failure that lead to ultimate success."