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Pakistan Youth Leadership Jam 2018

You are invited to the 4th annual

Pakistan Youth Leadership Jam

outside of Karachi, Pakistan  
January 26-31, 2018

Read the 2018 Pakistan Jam invitation in Urdu! (as a PDF)

Download and fill out the 2018 Pakistan Jam application – in Urdu – and either mail to the given address or email to pakistanyouthjam[at]gmail.com

Or, apply online with the application form in English!

PRIORITY Application Deadline: December 15, 2017

FINAL Application Deadline: December 30, 2017

NOTE: If you are receiving this information after December 30, 2017, please contact us at <pakistanyouthjam[at]gmail.com> before applying to make sure there are still spaces available for the Pakistan Youth Leadership Jam. 


Why ‘JAM’?

In music, a “JAM” is a creative, live gathering of talented musicians who together spontaneously create a new sound whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Similarly for us, a JAM is a place where young change makers make ‘music’ with their passion, vision, openness and courage. They bring what they have to the space and create together with no preconceived script. It requires that all the players are present and ready to deeply listen to each other and co-create with each other, to weave layers of sounds, experience, knowledge and spirit together. In the realness of this connection, magic can be created.

To date, more than 100 JAMs have been held on five continents, bringing together young leaders from more than 85 nations. The Pakistan Youth Leadership JAM is also being organized by JAM alumni in Pakistan, and is being supported by YES!, a nonprofit organization that connects, inspires and collaborates with change makers towards creating thriving, just and sustainable ways of life for all. To know more about YES! and previous JAMs that have been held, please visit http://www.yesworld.org.

I think you are the turning point for me and in my life. I felt that you are the first ray of sun which enlighten the earth and give new hopes. Same as for me – that you make connection between my soul and body. You provided me the opportunity to be focused and revisit my life, share my sorrow and worries and get inspiration, motivation, strength for tomorrow. You provided me such a platform to live among beautiful and pure souls and persons, to listen to them and speak what l am feeling, thinking, understanding. Questions in my mind got some answers, to clear some queries. And, last but not least, thank you for such nice moments, friends and everything which l learnt.”
– Naseem Ara, 29, women’s development worker, Islamabad


What to expect at the JAM?

The JAM is a unique gathering, co-created by the participants and facilitators together.  It is not a conference, seminar or a typical meeting. The event specifically tries to address the three levels: the internal, the interpersonal, and the social/systemic, to offer an opportunity for deep, holistic exploration. Through activities like facilitated dialogue, sharing circles, dance, music, artistic expression, organized networking, games, yoga, participant-led workshops, outdoor adventure, and lots of free time for spontaneous interactions amongst the participants, we will together explore our own experiences, questions and dynamics. Through these activities, exchanges and just plain hanging out together, we get a chance to take stock, see things from new perspectives, activate our imaginations, creativity and curiosity, to align our vision and values, face our fears and overcome our blocks, to heal, and to find new friends and partners in our journey.

JAM impact on the personal level:

Participants have a place to share and reflect on their life journeys and their work in the world. It is a time to replenish, recharge and renew, and to gain specific and practical tools for self-care and personal sustainability. It is also an opportunity to grow in self-knowledge, to ask meaningful questions, to unlearn our fears and blocks, to realize our gifts and potentials, and to co-create new possibilities in our lives and work.

JAM impact on the interpersonal level:

The group comes together to share our cultures, stories and struggles with each other, to deepen in our understanding of each other and of ourselves. The JAM values diversity and seeks to bring together as diverse a group of people as possible. During the week, the opportunity is provided to discover our commonalities and celebrate our differences. Given the conflicts happening in the country, it is not always easy to hold onto a vision of cooperation that exists beyond the narrative of ‘us’ vs. ‘them’. The JAM seeks to create dialogues that build on what is common among us, in which our differences are engaged, not with antagonism, but with a spirit of shared learning. We see the JAM as a chance to move from the demon-ization that is so prevalent today, to the human-ization we so desperately need for a healthier future. The intention is to build trust and friendship, in a meaningful (not superficial) way. This means challenging stereotypes, being present with each other, speaking truth, working through tough places and being open to giving and receiving support. We feel that the more authentic our relationships are, the stronger the foundations we will have for developing new collaborations and synergies within our country.

JAM impact on the systemic level:

Through the JAM, the group becomes clearer about our vision and works in Pakistan and in the world. We get a chance to link issues that aren’t commonly linked, to notice crucial intersection points, and get a clearer picture of the whole. We come together to learn from each other: about what is working, about what mistakes we have made, about where we need help. We have a chance to share tools and ideas to support one another. In turn, we hope this helps us to generate a body of collective wisdom for positive action in the country. We also hope it will enable each participant to feel deepened in their capacity to affect meaningful change and carry their dreams forward.

I take out 5 days from my busy life for you, to understand you and me as well. I won’t believe how these five days changed my perception about me and people. I explore myself in these days and made the connection of my soul with my body. I do not have the words to express what l am feeling this last night but l am feeling that today l am real, original, and myself. You equipped me with some Jam tools, and I’ll always use them in my home and work place. I am feeing honored being a Jamily now. Thanks for all your love, respect, and the space you provided me with to open.”
– Samar Sultana, 27, trainer, i-ACT, Karachi

Why JAM in Pakistan?

1900480_956297717736311_2040745527986754170_oPakistan carries the brunt of youth population, which has been excluded and vulnerable due to lack of direction and opportunities for positive engagement. Subsequently, youth is wedged into militancy and conflict that triggers violence. The profound lack of institutional capacity in conflict mitigation and peace building, combined with shrinking opportunities for dialogue and engagement, leave communities incapable of understanding and resolving the complex mix of conflicts that impact their daily lives. It’s also believed that the local youth institutions do not have the legitimacy or the capacity to play a decisive role in resolving the conflicts. Traditional tribal dispute resolution processes have become ineffective, space for dialogue and negotiation is restricted.

Pakistan has one of the largest youth populations in the world; half of the country’s population is below the age of 24. Different forces within society are competing for young people’s attention and allegiance, not the least among them being extremist groups who are eager to radicalize young people and recruit them to participate in acts of violence. Extremism in Pakistan is threatening the very viability of the state and continues to destroy the social cohesion and traditions of communities across the country. Based on our interactions with these youth, we know that there is a very fine line between the decision to join a peaceful, positive path to change and that of violent extremism.

Youth need opportunities to participate in local development activities and decision-making. They need to be involved in productive roles, which enable them to effectively communicate with the systems. Young people need to feel a sense of belonging through organizations owned and led by them. Their optimism, energy, and genuine desire to transform society provide opportunity and hope.

The past 10 years have been very critical for the country with the emergence of sectarian violence and Baloch insurgency in the province of Balochistan. The external factors and perceived involvement of neighboring Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arab and India are elements that have been confusing for young people of Pakistan.

The role of media is another important factor which has greatly influenced the mind-set and opinion of young people. The information that reaches youth through a variety of media sources is raw and biased and therefore sometimes counter-productive.

Seven Pakistani youth from all over the country were part of the World Youth Leadership Jam and the Middle East Jam in the last 11 years. From those experiences, there had been discussions to open such kind of spaces to other youth too within the country.

The Pakistan JAM will unite a group of 30 diverse young leaders who are working for economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and healthy relations between diverse peoples. These 30 thirty outstanding young leaders from different parts of the country will gather for a week of networking, leadership development, and community building. Young visionaries whose life and work is already bringing much to their communities come together to see how, with support from peers and sharpening of their strategies, they can do even more to better their communities and their world.

About Karachi, the hosting city

Karachi, especially, is staggering under the consequences of ethnic, sectarian, tribal and religious conflicts. Therefore organizing JAM in Karachi will provide bases to connect the dots. Youth play a significant role in these conflicts, often because of their political and social marginalization. They lack confidence in key government institutions – including national and local government, the courts and police – while expressing hunger for meaningful opportunities of dialogue, engagement, and options to contribute effectively as change makers.

Who can attend?

11074583_1046593032035742_5998266618757960725_oWe are generally looking for participants between the ages of 20-40, Individuals involved in a social change process in their communities. However we are not too rigid about age and glad to make exceptions if there are suitable applications. If you are open to learning from each other, excited about making new friends, and willing to push the limits of your comfort zone then probably this event is for you.

I was in a great doubt about attending youth jam mainly because so many learning events were happening in Pakistan which were monotonous and repetitive that my desire to learn through learning session almost vanished away. This is ironic for me as well since l myself am a professional public speaker. There are thousands of reasons why now l would call it an eye-opening experience. The Jam allowed me to deepen my relationship with my inner core, my soul. I would like to thank the Pakistan Youth Jam for supporting me to connect my with myself, to understand my concerns, and encouraging me to open the doors of my heart to trust people and make friends. Thanks for making me feel alive once again.”
– Zain Goplani, 24, organizational development trainer, Karachi, Pakistan

Dates, Venue and Contribution

The JAM is usually held in a naturally beautiful place, away from the hustle-bustle of modern life, so that it is both inspiring and rejuvenating. The Pakistan Youth Leadership JAM will be held in a beautiful farmhouse, just outside of Karachi.

We ask the participants to make and cover their own travel arrangements, and also contribute Rs. 8000/- toward their food and accommodation and program expenses. We were able to do some fundraising to bring the costs down to this rate; however we also realize that this is still a significant amount for many people, and we do not want money to be an impediment to your participation. So if you are able to contribute more – wonderful! The extra amount will go towards our scholarship pool. And if you are not able to contribute as much, we want you too! We can work out scholarships and/or work-trade arrangements as needed.

Apply today!

Read the 2018 Pakistan Jam invitation (as a PDF)!

Download and fill out the 2018 Pakistan Jam application – in Urdu – and either mail to the given address or email to pakistanyouthjam[at]gmail.com

Or, apply online in English!

PRIORITY Application Deadline: December 15, 2017

FINAL Application Deadline: December 30, 2017

Please feel free to contact us at pakistanyouthjam[at]gmail.com if you have any queries. We eagerly look forward to hearing from you.

We look forward to Jamming with you!


Saima Gul, Quetta

Hashim Khan, Islamabad

Noorudin Merchant, Karachi

Asif Lehri, Quetta

Sherhan Khan, Quetta

Shilpa Jain, Berkeley