Karachi: Azme-Naujawan (AeN), a collective effort of 10 civil society organizations, will officially launch their youth program for the special occasion of International Youth Day.According to the United Nations, there is growing recognition that as agents of change, young people’s inclusion in the peace and security agenda and in society more broadly, is key to building and sustaining peace.Therefore 12th August marked the beginning of Azme-Naujawan, a program launched to address the disengaged state of youth in Karachi.It managed to bring together over 1000 youth from all over Karachi, as well as civil societies, and key government officials. Notable celebrities were also present to show their support for this program.The ceremony was commenced by Sidra Iqbal, prominent journalist and activist, introducing AeN as an exemplary initiative that offers holistic training to the youth to develop their professional and entrepreneurial skills, and provide them with a platform for personal growth opportunities. The program will train 1100 youth from Karachi over a period of six months across six districts.“AeN is not just a pledge, but a comprehensive action plan undertaken by civil society organizations to train youth, and help them find solutions in the form of social action projects and campaigns,” Iqbal stated.Ten consortium members were invited to cite the most pressing youth issues in their understanding and also elaborated their own organization’s contributions to the Azme-Naujawan action plan. These panels also addressed any questions regarding the program by the audiences, and media present at the venue. This was followed by success stories of determined and passionate individuals, who believed in themselves, and accomplished their goals against all odds. Dr Nafisa Shah, the chief guest at the ceremony, launched the official website of AeN at the event. She stated, “I am proud to be part of this program as AeN is a much needed initiative that will address the issues faced by youth.“I have full faith in AeN consortium to deliver what they have promised.”The launch ceremony concluded on a high note as Kaifi Khalil, enthralled the audiences with their performances. Published in Daily Times, August 13th 2017.