Thank you TCP for making my one year as the most valuable time of my life. When I say I am a presenter of The Climate Project, it makes me feel so proud and that's what I can call a real wealth of my life.
I am recalling July of last year when I was waiting for my visa for Australia with all of my excitements, worries and tensions. I remember how beautiful the time was when at 07:00am in a cold morning of Melbourne, my eyes saw the amazing Arts center. This was the place where I was going to meet the most amazing climate campaigners and was about to start a new life of dedication, spirit and commitment. Entering the venue, I had totally forgotten my all tiredness that I had due to rush in collecting my passport, then to airport with not enough time, missing my flight and again catching another one next day, more time in Dubai airport and then finally having my long journey towards Melbourne. I still remember the taxi driver from Italy, welcoming me at 03:00am at Melbourne airport, with his first comment while driving toward Victoria hotel- “So you are from Pakistan, having the best cricket team of the world :)
Reaching my destiny make me feel totally refreshing and excited. I still recall the smiling faces of TCP officials welcoming every one and lovely trainees from nineteen countries of Asia-Pacific region, which I met for the first time but never felt like strangers. The most amazing moment, I still recall the appearance of Honorable Al Gore in the hall. The excitement was on every face with lots of clapping and standing to give this great person all the respect and love.
Today, as I recall those moments of love, learning and excitements, I am thankful to God that I could avail this great opportunity in Melbourne and now myself as a presenter of The Climate Project Australia, life gave me most of the rewards that someone can be proud of, as I am now. The one year journey as climate campaigner started with the launch of my campaign “Climate Project Connectors” in Pakistan to create mass awareness on climate change and to advocate for change.
What a start it was with my first ever presentations on regional slide show to my own colleagues in World Vision field offices to motivate them to think and act as environment friendly persons and professionals. I initiated Connectors training programme in Pakistan and trained connectors (volunteers) to further educate audiences on catastrophe of climate change. The experience was so wonderful, exciting and helpfull and why not because majority of our people, especially women are unaware of climate change.
It gave me continuous encouragement throughout the first year of campaign that our Connectors’ community remained active in their capacities to motivate audiences to take action against climate crisis. Today, our connectors stand with me in our efforts to advocate on this most burning issue of the 21st century. Our connectors, both females and males, belong to different international organizations like UNDP, Action Aid, World Vision, Oxfam GB, ACTED, Care, national organizations like Saibaan, SRSP, Alternate Solutions, PHKN, Hashaar, SPEED (tribal areas) and students from International Islamic University Islamabad.
Numbers of connectors joined hands with me in establishing country level network on Climate Change “Pakistan Environment Club”. We were able to initiate number of activities in the first year of campaigning such as educating families, communities and organizations on climate change through different talks, trainings, presentations and online information sharing, supporting organization to integrate climate change in their strategies, developing concept papers and proposals on climate change, initiating environmental assessments, projects on water and land resource management, installation of micro- hydal power plants, plantation and working together with the ministry of environment with the help of our brilliant young connectors/students of the Environmental Club.
Looking at the first year’ initiatives that we were able to undertake with the help of our amazing climate volunteers and support from TCP, I think I have spent the most valuable time of my life. This feeling give me a motivation to continue my efforts to influence thoughts, expand our campaign’ outreach and gather support to take more actions for our people.