By Tilyan Aslam (YES 2019-2020, Pakistan, placed by PAX in Indianapolis, IN)
Books have played an enormous role in shaping me and my journey to open gateways for a bright future. From a very tender age, I had perceived the magic that books can create to change lives. After I returned from USA to my hometown of Turbat, I had realized the treasure that books hold within them and I was eager to inspire youth and rekindle the love of books in my community.
I have organized several YES projects and one of them that I most enjoyed implementing was a one-day workshop on the culture of reading books with young girls from a public school in my city of Turbat. My theme for the workshop was “Those who read, lead”, since to make great community leaders, I believe one needs to know the importance of books and getting a quality education. As Malala Yousafzai said, “One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.” This idea has become a guiding vision for me and my understanding of how books can lead us to great things in life by broadening our perspective of the world.
During the workshop, my main focus was on how we can promote book reading culture in today’s technological world and nurture the positive impact that books can have on us. Our day was filled with fun activities, group discussions, and other interactive sessions such as "writing a letter to yourself" in order to learn more about ourselves as well as about other workshop participants.
Every time I brainstorm project ideas, I keep in mind that whatever project I do, whether big or small, it should leave an impact on the participants and beneficiaries of the project. It is so amazing that my audience, who are mostly girls, love participating in these activities and how ambitious they are; their eyes glow with their aspirations when they talk about their respective futures.
Of all the lessons that I learn as I do community service projects, one thing that sticks out to me the most is that even if one person in the community plays his or her individual part, there will be a great impact made in the community, which will lead to many positive changes all around. We should never wait, but always look forward to inspiring the younger generation to know about the limitless possibilities and opportunities life has so they can become the best version of themselves and bring about a difference in the world.