Two women from Pakistan selected for Facebook's Community Leadership Program

Two women from Pakistan selected for Facebook's Community Leadership Program

Kanwal Ahmed of Soul Sisters and Nadia Patel of Sheops have both been selected as fellows for the first ever program
Updated 25 Sep, 2018

Two Facebook group creators from Pakistan — Kanwal Ahmed of Soul Sisters Pakistan and Nadia Patel Gangjee of Sheops — have been selected as fellows for Facebook's first Community Leadership Program.

Kanwal and Nadia are two of 115 community leaders selected from a pool of over 6000 applicants from around the world for this program, which aims to empower leaders who are building communities around the world.

The selected participants will be trained and funded by Facebook (each will receive up to $50,000 to be used for their community initiative) to further their vision for their respective groups.

The program has three main components: an educational curriculum designed around leadership development, strategic community engagement and technical skills, financial support for offline community building activities and help and guidance from community building experts, Facebook leaders and other participants.

In case you're wondering who these women are (even though they need no introduction!), here's what they've done: Kanwal Ahmed started Soul Sisters Pakistan, an online safe space for Pakistani women to share their issues, voice their stories and seek support; women can network as well as find legal, financial and psychological help.

"They saw something special in Soul Sisters Pakistan. They recognised my relentless drive to empower women with THEIR voice. They thought my vision for my community was worth investing in. They wanted me to be part of their program with a hundred brilliant leaders and minds from around the world. I am humbled. Honoured. And absolutely drenched in gratitude," wrote Kanwal on Facebook.

Nadia Patel Gangjee is the founder of Sheops, Pakistan’s first online marketplace for women, providing home-based women, female entrepreneurs and women-oriented businesses a safe platform to start and scale their businesses.

"My mission is to economically empower women and to increase digital and financial inclusion of females, enabling them to contribute more to the economy. As I worked tirelessly for the last three years towards this mission - through hard work, sweat and tears - resilience and hope are two things I have held on to, as it’s not easy financing and running a start-up with a social cause in Pakistan," shared Nadia.

"The big news came in the form of an email at 6 AM on my birthday that I was selected as a fellow for the Facebook Community Leadership Program. Humbled and honoured beyond words for this recognition of my efforts for empowering women and yet another opportunity to make Pakistan proud."

Other fellows from the region include India's Tamanna Dhamija whose Baby Destination is a popular forum among mothers for exchanging home remedies and Chetana Misra whose MompreneursIndia is a networking platform for women entrepreneurs. From Bangladesh, Razib Ahmed has been selected for Search English, a group where members help each other become more fluent in English.

Kanwal and Nadia are also recipients of another grant by Facebook of up to USD$20,000 that will help them execute projects related to their groups. The grant has also been offered to four other Facebook group creators including Binish Umair (Karachi School Guide), Saba Mohsin Sheikh (Karachi Chefs At Home), Asma Omer (Marham) and Rabia Aziz-Rizvi (Special Needs Pakistan). All six community leaders will be featured on the NeoTV reality show Idea Croron Ka.


Faisal Ahmed Sep 24, 2018 03:51pm
Go Pakistan Go, our youth is the most skilled and innovative in this world, we could do everything in a much better way what others do.
hanifullah Sep 24, 2018 04:31pm
interested in community awareness regarding education importance and social development at community level.
TR Sep 24, 2018 04:34pm
hanifullah Sep 24, 2018 04:35pm
community development interested
Observer Canada Sep 24, 2018 05:10pm
Congrats to both sisters. They should also create awareness among people that excessive use of Facebook is counter productive and addictive. All the best!
Awais Ali Sep 24, 2018 08:08pm
Congratulations :)
Suman Surtibai Sep 24, 2018 11:31pm
Congrtulations !!@!!! to both the ladies for job well done and A recognition well deserved. Although online social media is sometimes a waster of time ..... this sort of an Award will be very useful and instructive to empower women everywhere ---- all across the world !! Women are 50% of mankind. We desperately need to empower and strengthen women to achieve Great Things .... Great Things for themselves, for their families, for their community and for their country .... and for their mothers, sisters, daughters and other women ! Use the money wisely, and hoping to hear even greater successes in the future.
Zak Sep 25, 2018 01:54am
Proud that pakistani talent is excelling and been recognised worldwide. More to come under naya pakistan.
Syed Bokhari Sep 26, 2018 06:24am
Hats off t o our creative women and c ongrats