International House has had the pleasure of hosting special visitors from Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Nepal through the Legislative Fellows Program, a program that brings emerging leaders from around the world to the United States for intensive fellowships designed to broaden their professional expertise. International is currently hosting six female Legislative Fellows from April 17 to May 8. The Fellows are receiving hands-on exposure to various levels of government through full-time fellowships in legislative offices, local government offices, advocacy groups, and various other institutions. The Fellows have been placed with various Charlotte organizations, such as: the Mecklenburg County Courthouse, Latin American Chamber of Commerce, and Hand on Charlotte.
One of these accomplished Fellows is Ms. Prih Memon. Read our interview with her below!
Can you tell us more about yourself?
My name is Prih, and I am from Sindh, Pakistan. I am currently doing a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), and I have a Bachelors degree in Business Administration with a specialization in HR. During my undergraduate studies, I was always involved in extracurricular activities as an event organizer and trainer focusing on education and advocacy. For example, in my final year of college, I organized and led a national mega conference for Hyderabad youth with 250 people in attendance.
I started my job as Program Officer at the Civil Society Support Program. The Civil Society Support Program (CSSP) is a nonprofit organization that emerged as a response to the challenges facing by Pakistan, including: poverty, social injustice, and governance issues. I’ve also been working with Drug Free Pakistan as a youth mobilizer and volunteer. Soon after, I was selected to work for project called Alif Ailaan, which focuses on transforming education in Pakistan. For example, one of Alif Ailaan’s goals is to help bring education to rural areas that do not have access to proper education.
Talk to us about Alif Ailaan. What is your role with the organization?
In a nutshell, Alif Ailaan is a Pakistani alliance for education reform led by a communications campaign. We campaign as a broad coalition of people and organizations committed to getting more of our children in school. Alif Ailaan selects regional coordinators to work with rural communities. I am currently a regional coordinator and my role is to recruit and interview youth activists. I have a team of 30 youth activists working with me now. My team and I visit schools and teachers to learn about core education challenges. In our campaign, we bring in political leaders, media contacts, NGO’s to learn about their views on education, which helps us highlight core issues in communications campaign. We also use marketing materials to spread the word about our campaign and bring to it to different institutions like universities. Our vision is to campaign for education reform in time for elections in 2018.
How has your experience been in Charlotte?
We love Charlotte! Everybody is so kind, and our hosts families are loving. We are learning so much about American culture, politics, and education. We had many opportunities to explore Charlotte. We visited the Mecklenburg County Court, Levine Museum of the New South, and Crisis Assistance Ministry. We are enjoying our visit very much, and we hope we can come back again!