- Age: 19
- | He/him/his
Country of Origin:
Country of Residence:
Our voices have long been turned a deaf ear to, making us mentally and physically distressed. But the more we tolerate, the more powerful it will get, so let's stand up against the cycle of injustice that’s disproportionately plotting against us.
- Ahmad Nisar
Ahmad Nisar is the founder of “Changemaker,” a grassroots youth-led organization focusing on pushing the narrative around mental health and merging its links with other SDGs. Since 2018, he has actively advocated for changing policies and making impact as a volunteer teacher, global youth reporter for team harmony foundation (reporting on issues like civil rights), fellow for Orygen global (Mental health advocacy), external reviewer for Grand challenges Canada and the World economic forum.
His initiative focuses on strengthening literacy skills including mental health education and comprehensive sexuality education. They also provide mental health services to survivors of conflict, domestic violence, and trauma of any kind. His passion in advocacy made him to voice his concerns in various big events like the high-level political forum, lancet commission, regional ecosoc youth forum, and other educational webinars. He fights for just, equitable, and accessible SRHR services while also merging its intersections across other SDGs primarily with mental health and education.
What ignited your pursuit for gender equality?
I was always devastated beyond words when I saw the brutal and inhumane treatment of women in Afghanistan and South Asia. From stoning to deprivation of education and working rights, Afghan women have experienced all sorts of discrimination. War, violence, cultural norms, and poverty to name a few have shunned doors of opportunities for advancing gender equality. On the other hand, the benefits of investing in women’s empowerment benefit individuals and the community in multiple ways. Observing the difference between investing and not investing in gender equality - coined with the turbulent scenario already - spurred my interest to do anything in my capacity for catalyzing change. It's been 5 years since I started my journey and there hasn't been a single moment without manifesting improvement and empowerment, which in itself, shows both room for improvement and the possibility of tapping into the untapped potentials our community holds. As such, my motivation for being an activist in this space escalates as it's a valuable changemaking purpose that everyone should fight for. It's for a better future of the generation, society, economy, and equality.
Please share your biggest wins as an advocate for gender equality.
I’ve always witnessed progress in both success and failure during my advocacy career. Success brought more opportunities to delve in and failure gave valuable lessons to learn from. Both of these ups and downs made me skilled enough to launch my own initiative called “Changemaker” which tends to push the narrative around mental health and merge its interconnected links with other SDGs primarily with gender equality and education. Besides conducting numerous projects with other organizations before, my own initiative provides a pathway to design and implement programs that best meet the needs of youth and vulnerable populations specifically. In the past, our programs have included conducting after-school classes (literacy skills and CSE) for female students, providing mental health services online, and organizing reading circles for shifting norms and attitudes on gender equality. In addition, my strong passion and commitment has given me a seat at the table in high-level panels including the HLPF, lancet commission, and regional ECOSOC youth forum. I’ve had the chance to speak with and lobby to prominent decision-makers and played an authorship role for ratifying the convention on children’s rights. After the political upheaval in Afghanistan, I’m still committed to contributing to refinement of the existing rules and strategies against women and I demonstrate that through digital advocacy, online presence, and international advocacy.
Outside of your gender equality advocacy work, what do you enjoy doing?
Outside my advocacy work, I enjoy reading, hiking, learning on novel and eye-opening topics, and using my curiosity to think about innovative ways of tackling problems, reframing the environment, and delving into nature and the reason for events and happenings around us.
- Dari (Advanced/Native)
- English (Advanced/Native)
- Pashto (Advanced/Native)
- Urdu (Intermediate)
- persecution against children in education
- persecution and injustice against women and children in Afghanistan
Past Awards, Certifications, or Fellowships:
- Best initiative of the year award - Ministry of education (2019)
- Loss and damage youth coalition (2022)
- Orygen Global advocacy fellowship (2021)
- Certificate of excellence - Directorate of education (2020)