A diverse network of diaspora leaders has given Nusrat inspiration on how she can make an impact in her work, diaspora community and Pakistan.
Even before the Pakistani Diaspora Leaders Programme started, it already made me reflect on what it means to be a diaspora and how this impacts my role in society. How can I as a diaspora leader use my skills, talents and networks to benefit Pakistan and the diaspora community?
Bringing together Pakistani Diaspora leaders
The programme brought together over 40 leaders; from different backgrounds, of different ages, with different beliefs, job roles and careers, both from the UK and Pakistan – all united in being part of the Pakistani diaspora.
Over four days, we were guided through a process of creativity and innovation as we explored how we can increase our impact as leaders. We also met other leaders who shared valuable insights on overcoming challenges faced by the Pakistani diaspora. Then, we worked in smaller groups to focus on practical ideas on how we can maximize our impact in Pakistan and the diaspora community.
As we were working in groups, I looked around and was struck by the number of individuals that were willing to support, collaborate and share ideas. There was a real desire and willingness to make an impact in the diaspora community.
Aghay Baroh (Move Forward)
During the programme, our group developed the project ‘Aghay Baroh’, a model aimed at developing Pakistani talent to be future social leaders through social and capacity-building projects, via a nationally recognized qualification. The project would be delivered via a leadership programme that works directly with universities in the UK and Pakistan to highlight and tackle social issues.
Through working on this project idea, our group was able to better understand the issues that affect the lives of people both in UK and Pakistan. More importantly, it was about a group of leaders from diverse backgrounds and beliefs connecting and collaborating towards a common goal.
While we started the programme as a group of individuals working in our own fields, we have now come together and created a network of people; utilizing skills and expertise beyond the programme. It is this positive action that will have the greatest impact for the development of projects that can then be prototyped in our communities.
Everything I’ve learned from the programme will shape my work
Bringing the learning to my leadership role
Taking part in the leadership programme has made me reflect on our work at Manchester Museum and the South Asia Gallery (SAG) Collective.
The Collective is made up of a diverse but unified group of people and, for many, it is the common experience of being of South Asian diaspora that brings us together. It’s what drives us in wanting to shape SAG. This is not just about representing us now, but is also about helping future generations to stay connected to their heritage and identity.
I am optimistic that everything I’ve learned from the programme will shape my work at Manchester Museum. A new and wider network of diaspora leaders will help me to develop opportunities and partnerships both in and between the UK and Pakistan in the future.