Ali Raza Khan

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2005


This profile was prepared when Ali Raza Khan was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2005.
The New Idea
In response to increasing social fragmentation in Pakistan and a growing disengagement of youth from their family and community, Ali established the National Youth Service (NYS) to foster fresh relationships in society—with youth as the key building block of a new societal structure.
Ali promotes Youth Service as a way to re-brand the image of young people in his country and to promote young people as the most promising resource available to meet societal needs. The idea is to give every young person a chance to demonstrate his/her talents, creative abilities, and potential to improve their communities. He believes the momentum for this movement should come from young people themselves—if done for them, it is not done at all. The beauty of this youth service program is its ability to serve several functions simultaneously: While improving the image and character of the individuals enrolled in the service projects, it meets high service needs and addresses violence, crime, and terrorism.
National Youth Service makes available a range of services for youth, including access to national and international aid agencies and universities, and short-term training and counseling to help them design, manage and raise funds for their enterprises and ventures. NYS, in partnership with International Association for National Youth Service, Innovations in Civic Participation and Youth Employment Summit (International), identifies young volunteers and publicly recognizes their aspirations in a setting where participants feel encouraged and supported to launch their social development venture. NYS provides training and mentoring support, and through its services, assists youth to make their venture into a viable enterprise with a potentially lasting impact on the community.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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