22 May | 2024

Lahore, Pakistan

ECHD empowers youth with innovative communication initiatives

Executive Director James Rehmat says skills and knowledge will enable young people to make a significant difference in their communities

Ecumenical Commission for Human Development (ECHD) announced successful completion of the three-day training workshop – Inspiring and innovative communication and role of youth in church and society – in Lahore to empower young people with effective communication skills.

Focusing fostering leadership and communication abilities among the youth, the workshop brought together eighteen enthusiastic participants from diverse backgrounds. Facilitated by Jarida Daily Executive Editor Minhas Justin, senior journalists Emmanuel Sarfraz and Adeel Daniel, ECHD Youth Coordinator Hina Afzal, Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN) representative Kamran Choudhry, and experts, the workshop provided a dynamic platform for learning, celebration, collaboration, and growth.

James Rehmat calls effective communication vital for empowering young people

Throughout the workshop, young participants engaged in a series of interactive sessions, group discussions, and practical exercises tailored to enhance their communication proficiency. They delved into topics such as effective public speaking, interpersonal communication, digital media literacy, and advocacy strategies. By exploring real-world case studies and sharing personal experiences, attendees gained valuable insights into the pivotal role of communication in driving positive change within their communities.

One of the highlights of the workshop was the opportunity for young participants to develop and present their own communication initiatives aimed at addressing societal issues and promoting the values of the church. These initiatives not only showcased the creativity and ingenuity of the youth but also underscored their commitment to making a meaningful impact in the world around them.

Minhas Justin suggests policymakers to empower youth, offer them mentorship, and allow their ideas in conversation just to realize them their potential

Ecumenical Commission for Human Development Executive Director James Rehmat appreciated the young participants for their enthusiasm and passion throughout the workshop. “Effective communication is vital for empowering the youth to become catalysts for positive change, both within the church and in broader society. We believe that the skills and knowledge gained during this workshop will enable them to make a significant difference in their communities,” he said.

“I believe that we should go across boundaries between different levels and think outside of the box just to engage our young people meaningfully,” said Minhas Justin in his presentation with the young audience. “We must remember that building trust is the first step. To start with, we should spend time to speak with our youth, and try to understand what they want and whether we can,” he said, adding that it was not easy, but young people were open-minded. “Allowing bringing creative ideas in conversation and offering mentorship can empower our youngsters and help them realize their full potential,” he said.

A three-day training workshop by the Ecumenical Commission for Human Development concluded in Lahore.
A three-day training workshop by Ecumenical Commission for Human Development concluded in Lahore.

Ecumenical Commission for Human Development is a faith-based non-governmental organization that promotes communication as a basic human rights essential to people’s dignity and community. The commission believes every human being deserves trustworthy news and information to make informed decisions about their lives and hold power to account. That’s why the commission is training citizen journalists and digital rights activists, tackle disinformation and offer technical expertise to advance peace and understanding social justice.

Sharing his views, Emmanuel Sarfraz said that the young people were not just the future; they’re basically catalyst for change even in the present time period. In ever-evolving landscape of communication, he said that their innovative approaches inspire and reshape how “we connect in the church and the society.” From digital platforms to grassroots initiatives, young people were driving meaningful conversations, fostering inclusivity, and amplifying voices often unheard, he said, adding that their role was pivotal, their impact undeniable.

Emmanuel Sarfraz says young people driving meaningful conversations, amplifying voices from digital platforms to grassroots initiatives

“As we navigate complexities of the modern world, it’s essential to recognize invaluable role of young people in the church and the society,” said Qaiser Feroze, director at the Diocesan Commission for Social Communication. Their innovative perspectives and boundless energy serve as catalysts for positive change, inspiring all to embrace new ways of communication and engagement, he said. Through open dialogue and collaborative efforts, “we empower our youth to become leaders, not just of tomorrow, but of today,” he said.

A three-day training workshop by the Ecumenical Commission for Human Development concluded in Lahore.
A group photo after a three-day training workshop concluded in Lahore.

“Let us foster an environment where the young voices are heard, their ideas valued, and their contributions celebrated,” he said. “In doing so, we not only strengthen our communities but also pave the way for a brighter, and more inclusive future for all,” he said. As the workshop drew to a close, young participants expressed their gratitude for the valuable learning experience and pledged to apply the newly acquired skills and insights in their respective endeavors. The ECHD ready to provide support and resources to nurture leadership potential of young individuals and empower them to become effective communicators and change-makers.