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Islamabad

November 6, 2018
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Unicef brings generation unlimited youth challenge to Pakistan

Islamabad

November 6, 2018

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Islamabad: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has launched the ‘Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge’ in Pakistan which will offer young people an opportunity to receive grants to test innovative ideas and solutions and stand a chance to win a grant of up to $20,000 for their initiatives.

The challenge, which is taking place in collaboration with the School of Leadership, has been launched in 16 countries, and aims to provide training and employment opportunities to youth with secondary education by the year 2030.

Each participating country will focus on creating solutions that will support the three key pillars of Generation Unlimited: secondary-age education; skills for learning, employ ability and decent work; and empowerment, with a focus on girls.

The focus of the challenge in Pakistan is on ‘Improving Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM)’ for women and girls. The challenge encourages youth between the age of 14-24 to present innovative ideas to improve menstrual hygiene management for women and girls to ensure them a better future.

A key element of cultural practices in Pakistan surrounding reproductive health, including menstruation, is the ‘culture of silence.’ Studies show that girls’ knowledge around menstruation and hygiene practices is inadequate. Teachers are often reluctant to discuss the subject leaving mothers and elder sisters as the primary source of information for girls. Unfortunately, this information is only shared after the girls have had their first period. As a result, most girls start their periods unprepared.

“Proper menstrual hygiene contributes contributes to achieving gender equality by allowing girls to participate in social, educational and economic activities by placing improved focus on their health and well being,” said Thewodros Mulugeta Water, Hygiene and Sanitation specialist from UNICEF.

Ambareen Baig, Project Manager for the Youth Challenge at School of Leadership said, “School of leadership has been working on youth development for many years and we are happy to be bringing this challenge to Pakistan. Winners will engage with diverse stakeholders working on menstrual hygiene from both the public and private sector by presenting their ideas and concepts to a panel of experts and will have their ideas profiled in various social media platforms which is a huge opportunity for the youth of this country. Not only that, top 5 winners will win a seed funding of $1,000 to execute and scale their ideas.”

The challenge is open for submission until 9th of November, after which the selected participants will be invited to join boot camps to improve their ideas and apply for a final grant in the global challenge.

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