A single experience can change a person. A single person can change the world.
It is with this belief that NGP places all its emphasis on interaction-based work. Our volunteers – most of whom come from privileged backgrounds – are forced out of their comfort zones and encouraged to interact with those far less privileged than them. This interactive experience is intended to broaden our volunteers’ worldview, foster empathy in their hearts, and allow them to relate more closely to those in need. We feel the interactive experience we provide to our volunteers is our contribution to a more responsible, empathetic and tolerant Kal Ka Pakistan.
And so, while NGP has evolved over the years, our core purpose has remained the same. What began as an effort towards increasing access to education for less privileged children, has now branched into other important issues of social inequity. NGP also focuses on centering and elevating marginalized communities by working for the rights of women, transgender persons and environmental issues. Through all this change, NGP has remained committed to its unchanging vision of bringing communities together, bridging class divides, and instigating social development, all by mobilizing the privileged youth of Pakistan and instilling in them a sense of responsibility towards the people around them.
What Makes Us Different?
NGP has managed to sustain itself despite its unique and flexible infrastructure.
We are entirely youth driven, from our Executive Council right down to the last volunteer. Only school-going students (those yet to complete their A-Level/FSc) work on our projects as either Core Team members or volunteers. These team members communicate over Facebook or WhatsApp, conduct meetings in coffee shops, and carry out work from homes and personal spaces. Since most of our work is interaction-oriented, we require minimal funds to run our operations. Most of these funds are raised through mall drives, bake sales, and fundraising campaigns in schools.
Another aspect of NGP that makes us unique from most other NGOs is the fact that we are volunteer-driven, in the truest sense of the term. Instead of ideas being imposed from the top, we encourage fishing for them from the bottom. Our volunteers provide ideas that are discussed and voted upon by the entire team. Many of our flagship projects today such as Pehchaan (transgender rights) and Quwat-e-Nisa (women’s rights) started off as ideas put forward by volunteers. This ability to influence NGP’s direction and initiate an idea from scratch gives each volunteer a stake in how we are run and what we do. By pooling the collective wisdom of our 200+ volunteer force, we are able to generate diverse ideas which focus on areas of social development that require the most urgent attention.
The genesis of Next Generation Pakistan can be traced back to the winter of 2009-10. In Pakistan, this was a period marked by rising terror attacks, an economy recovering from the global crisis of 2008, and a general sense of discontent.
In this backdrop, a conversation between students enrolled in one of Pakistan’s premier schools prompted the establishment of a youth-driven NGO in Lahore. Their dialogue with each other had led to an important realisation: each of them had a role to play and a contribution to make towards their society.
This simple realisation led the three to pool money and fund books for 51 children at the School of Sciences in Gohawa, Lahore. Their idea had found its first physical form. From there, regular meetings and discussions led to the development of this idea, eventually culminating in the formal establishment of Next Generation Pakistan or Kal Ka Pakistan on the 25th of June, 2010.
Recognition & Contribution
Having received donations from St. John’s College in the University of Oxford, collaborated with reputed organizations such as Progressive Education Network and the Harvard Pakistan Students Association, and received an award of appreciation from Akhuwat, it is safe to say that despite our unconventional system, NGP has managed to make its mark, paving the way for more student-run organizations to be established in Pakistan.