Many of the workers of the PYA are those who arranged such events in the last quarter of 2007. Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi and Maryam Kanwer are the founding members of this unprecedented initiative which has become a prominent face of civil society youth activism in Pakistan.
From there on after its establishment, Pakistan Youth Alliance has been actively participating in all kinds of social development activities and has spearheaded hundreds of campaigns on ground.
November 2007 – PYA called its first international protest against emergency rule, in over 12 cities worldwide, giving a common platform for the youth to voice out their concern for their country. The event, embarked upon a new journey for young Pakistanis, who had vowed to shrug off their apathy and stand up for what they believed in.
December 2007 – December 2008 – The brave youth associated with PYA did many protests against the establishment and were chased around by Intelligence officials; sometimes even bugged and physically harassed. Amidst death threats, kidnapping warnings & physical harassment, the pioneering members of PYA had vowed to stand up for the right.
This laid the foundation of the dedication which still drives us. Putting their careers on-line, these passionate patriots had decided not to look back from there and build a movement that would reach out to Pakistan & Pakistanis in need.
December 2008 – Indian aircrafts violated Pakistani airspace & government’s reaction to the attack on our sovereignty was enough to make them call out for a “Peace Rally” in Islamabad, which gathered scores of youth from every background, sending out a clear message of peace, but with dignity. The event was broadcasted on News1 TV live, and appreciated worldwide. The event was named: Tuluh E Sahar Baqi Hai
January 2009 – Gaza saw massive human rights violation committed & PYA started to fundraise for the victims of Gaza. The 7 day event “Pakistan-Palestine Solidarity Movement’ was completed in the streets of Islamabad & Lahore, and nearly 0.5 Mn PKR raised was handed to Muslim Hands (NGO). Fundraising was also done in some educational institutions of Lahore & Islamabad
Lawyers Movement saw its peak in Feb-March, 2009. PYA led a number of mini-dharnas (sit-ins) & protests in Lahore & Islamabad, to raise awareness for the issue. Motorcyle & car rally was also taken out in Lahore to create awareness for the importance of the issue in Lahore. Finally, PYA caravan joined the bigger lawyers movement on 15th March, 2009 and Chief Justice of Pakistan was restored. Celebrations followed at Chief Justice’s residence in Islamabad afterwards
The Walk of Lights – Solidarity with Srilankan Cricket Team: A violent attack on guests of Pakistan, Srilankan cricket team took place in Lahore, due to which till date, International cricket is banned in Pakistan. PYA called out a vigil-walk, to show solidarity with our guests and send out a message opposite to what terrorists were trying to resonate in the world. Hundreds of youth, with candles and vigils in their hand, walked in Islamabad to show the world a lighter (and real) picture of Pakistan. The event was broadcasted in many local & International channels which gave the right message, in the right time, to world media.
Swat: Fundraising & seminar in Karachi
PYA started to fundraise for the victims of Swat, long before military action was initiated in Swat and internal displacement had started. The street-begging (fundraising) started in Feb, 2009 and a seminar titled “Swat: A heaven on earth or haven for extremism” was held in Karachi where prominent politicians & journalists apprised the youth of what was about to unfold in the country. This pro-active approach, not only to voice out against extremism but to reach out for needy countrymen, gave a new momentum to PYA volunteers, who understood that work along with ‘talk’ is the right ingredient to move forward with.
Swat Relief Campaign
PYA promised to the nation, regular deliveries to IDP’s of Swat till they go back to their homes in a TV show broadcasted internationally & ended up living to that promise as 13th delivery was made in Swat (in Aug, 2009). Total worth of ‘Swat Relief Campaign’ was over 8 Mn PKR with 5 Mn raised from streets by begging ; deliveries to IDP camps in Mardan, Charsadda, Swabi & finally Swat. The gigantic effort included several donation camps in Lahore & Islamabad and regular-weekend deliveries to affected areas.
Fundraiser in KMC, Peshawar where Abdus Sattar Edhi paid a surprise visit to see how passionate Pakistani youngsters were reaching out to their affected brothers & sisters received massive applause from all & sundry.
BBC UK travelled to Pakistan & made a documentary that included PYA’s selfless work for Swat IDP’s. Many news channels from Dawn News TV to BBC UK interviewed PYA members and many newspapers wrote about the work PYA had done.
A fundraiser event was also held in Quetta, where youth not only raised a voice against extremism but practically helped their countrymen by arranging for relief items.
Azadi Fundraiser in Canada
The Pakistani youth living abroad stepped up for the victims of extremism and did an amazing fundraiser for the same. They also celebrated Pakistan’s independence on 14th August, 2009.
Gig on Wheels – Azadi Caravan
A truck specially designed and crafted for Independence day, with Mural painting led the youth across Lahore to celebrate our independence on 14th August, 2009.
In Memory of Brave Martyrs
PYA, joined hands with local groups to pay homage to martyrs of Swat & Waziristan operation. An event was organized in Parade Square, Islamabad by Brave Martyrs which was fully endorsed & supported by PYA
Protests against Drone Attacks
PYA did several protests to voice out against drone attacks in Pakistani tribal areas. Series of protests were done in Islamabad & Lahore. A clear message was sent out on streets, and through print & e-media that Pakistani nation doesn’t approve of these attacks within our borders. A sit-in (dharna) was arranged in Islamabad which gathered a lot of attention in youth of Islamabad.
Seminar for Missing Persons in Islamabad
PYA, in collaboration with DHR arranged a seminar in Islamabad, where renowned human rights activist, along with Imran Khan addressed a selected gathering of journalists and youth about the issue.
PYA ‘All You Can Give’ Ramadan Campaign for Orphans
PYA turned the famous ‘all you can eat’ deals in eating places into a slogan that led to helping 100 orphans as iftaris with orphans and eid gifts were arranged.
Movie Screening for Orphans
PYA took needy & orphans to a famous cinema in Rawalpindi, to share the joy of Eid with those who did not have anyone to share it with. ‘Madagascar’ was screened n request by PYA and cinema authorities gave entire house to PYA for this initiative.
PYA with Special Children
PYA took out special children for a dinner in Lahore, to spend time with them and help them in their needs.
Vigil for Student Martyrs of Islamic International University Islamabad
A vigil was arranged to condemn the brutal attack in Islamic Internatinal University, Islamabad & show solidarity with victims families ; amidst refusal by the local Government to give an NoC for such a public event (due to security threats)
Baluchistan Earthquake Project
PYA team travelled to Baluchistan, after
Vigil-Prayer for Peshawar (Meena Bazar) Blast
After noticing a relatively numb reaction to Meena Bazaar attack in Peshawar, PYA decided to send out a message of love to the victims of this inhumane attack. The event was held in Lahore
PYA Eid ul Azha Gifts distribution
PYA distributed Eid gifts in a local orphanage in Islamabad and tried to share its bit, on the Eid of Sacrifise
Poetry for Change: IQBAL’s DAY POETRY COMPETITION
PYA urged the young poets of the nation to use their rhymes to stir a meaningful revolution in the masses. A poetry competition was carried out in which thousands of entries from pro – and aspiring young poets were judged by known poets of International stature.
The Voice of Baluchistan
A TV show was organized in Islamabad, in which PYA along with Baluch students spoke up for the rights of Baluchistan, in an unprecedented manner.
Solidarity walk was also carried out in Islamabad with Baluch students to make the stakeholders realize the importance of ending injustices to the province
Photography for Change ‘10
An innovative initiative was launched by PYA, to highlight important issues through camera’s lens. Hundreds of entries from across Pakistan were received and winners were published in a famous magazine.
Sharing Our Bit
Some inspiring women from PYA and EHD decided to spend a day with a local orphanage/school in Kacthi Abadi of Islamabad.
National Wheelchair Cricket Tournament ’10
PYA in collaboration with SAAYA & other renowned NGO’s for disabled held a 2-day wheelchair cricket tournament in Islamabad, where teams from all over Pakistan came to Islamabad to ‘Play for Peace’. This unprecedented event was widely applauded in Pakistan & abroad, so much that Malaysian national TV covered the event with clippings of the final match.
PYA vowed to reach out to the families of victims of terrorist attacks across the country. 2 Mn PKR was given to 20 families of victims of terrorism under this campaign. The campaign is on-going, with victims of recent attacks being paid for treatment.
Motorbike & Wheelchairs for Disabled
PYA got a special motorbike designed for disabled, which was given to a needy – also wheelchairs were distributed in disabled.
Mashal – The Light of Life Project
A poor school in slum-area of Islamabad was renovated by PYA members & regular voluntary classes were taken to educate the future of Pakistan
Margalla Crash 2010 – Emergency Relief Work
Some passionate members of PYA, could not watch TV that day, they had to lend a helping hand. Proud of such youngsters who live upto Pakistaniat every time tragedy strikes Pakistan
Vigil for Margalla Crash Victims
PYA organized a vigil to remember victims of Margalla Crash. Families of victims came to the event on Margalla Hills, besides the spot where the aircraft crashed to remember their relatives.
Hunza Lake Fundraiser
PYA, in collaboration with local groups raised funds for affectees of Atabaad lake & reached out to them in the hour of need.
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan Charity Fundraiser to Rebuild Schools
PYA organized a fundraiser in Islamabad in March, 2011 to raise funds for rebuilding and renovating schools destroyed by floods in Pakistan. Top notch bureaucrats, diplomats, politicians, media personnel and army leadership attended the fundraiser and donated to the cause. 4 schools have been rehabilitated and 12 houses are being built from scratch.
PYA took out a yearly peace parade on 14th August, 2011 in Lahore to resonate a message a peace within, than peace outside on independence day of Pakistan. Thousands of youngsters took part in the initiative which had a decorated float roaming in roads of Lahore to signify the importance of peace in Pakistan.
Street Theatre in Swat: Challenging Extremism, Inspiring Leadership
In August, 2011 — PYA held a street theatre in Swat, in a famous chowk where Taliban used to hang dead bodies 2 years ago to inspire local crowd to voice out against extremist ideology in the region.
Flood Relief Campaign 2010
The 2010 floods saw unprecedented damage to Pakistan. PYA once again, being pro-active in its approach had started to fundraise in end August, 2010 (when the disaster was not as big as it turned out to be). Once again, an open call was sent to Pakistanis in general & humans in particular, to help Pakistan out of this catastrophe.
From 3rd August, 2010 – October 2011 – 44 deliveries were made to flood affected areas in 3 provinces of Pakistan. Over 1.2 Mn USD worth of relief items have successfully disbursed in 30 different locations from Badin to Swat.
PYA teams travelled over 250,000 KM’s from Aug, 2010 & delivered aide in inaccessible areas where no one could reach. With experienced relief workers, PYA is in mid of this campaign as the focus shifts from relief to rehabilitation.
PYA has gotten a massive media coverage for its initiatives over the years. Not even a single time, a press release was sent for media coverage & PYA took media attention, as an acknowledgement for its efforts. PYA has been on: