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Margaret Ali, Director, UPF-UK, introduces the event.
Robin Marsh, Secretary General, UPF UK, greets the participants.
Left to right: Israel Johnson, the host of the podcast, with Tariq Brown.
Left to right: Israel Johnson with Zenab Shehzadi.
Left to right: Israel Johnson with Matthew Johnson.
Left to right: Israel Johnson with Foujia Begum.
Left to right: Israel Johnson with Rhoslyn Singh.
Left to right: Actar Dinata, Trustee of UPF UK, with Journalist and Broadcaster Ian Pelham Turner.
Journalist and Broadcaster Ian Pelham addresses the audience holding a copy of the UPF Europe and Middle East Newsletter.
The participants and organisers of the event.

The Inaugural Universal Peace Federation (UPF) - UK Young Achiever Podcast at Universal Peace Federation UK HQ was convened from 2pm - 4pm on 10th February 2024. Five nominees for the prestigious Young Achiever Award, were interviewed by host Israel Johnson, a very inspiring 2023 Young Achiever and final - year student from Warwick University.

Background:

For over 12 years, the UPF UK Young Achievers Awards in Parliament has been a beacon of recognition for outstanding individuals. To enhance the anticipation for the parliamentary event. This podcast delved into their commendable community, charitable, or humanitarian work, exploring their motivations, the challenges they encountered, and reflections on their accomplishments. Additionally, we learned about their future plans to provide opportunities for potential nominees to collaborate with UPF UK.

Our overarching goal is to inspire others to engage in volunteerism and contribute to the betterment of the community. These events provide a platform for the audience to actively participate in the podcast by engaging in a stimulating session of questions and answers. Moreover, the interviewee stands a chance to be recognized as a potential Young Achiever Awardee in our upcoming event in July.

This groundbreaking project is a collaborative effort with our Ambassador for Peace network, as we work closely with these ambassadors to identify Young Achievers who embody the values of selfless service and community dedication.

Tariq Brown:

Israel Johnson first interviewed Tariq Brown, who is a Careers Officer and Cultural Leader. He uses his experiences and poetry to guide and motivate young minds at his university. Tariq is also writing a book to inspire youth to think for themselves. He believes that “failure was a redirection” for him after he realized his first choice of university was a mistake. He later started fresh and gained great experience in his business degree through work placements at Malaysia, Malta and was promoted to the office in Abu Dhabi. Tariq believes his achievements are a model to help others from his background to have better life expectations and enjoys mentoring others. He likes to involve personal development in his mentorship to support students in their career development.

Zenab Shehzadi:

The second interviewee was Zenab Shehzadi, who is passionate about gender equality and an advocate of diversity. Zenab is a mentor, tutor and diversity minister at university. She is a vocal role model who enjoys studying history and has won debates in Cambridge University and other prestigious venues. Zenab wants to make a difference by becoming a future lawyer as she believes she must “work for peace, harmony and diversity”.

Matthew Johnson:

Israel Johnson interviewed the third guest, Matthew Johnson, who is a first-year student at Warwick University. He was on the council for the Warwick Economic Summit. He was chosen to be the MC and was able to meet the CEO of the Financial Times, the Director General of WHO and three Nobel Laureates. They were able to gain record sponsorship this year that allowed almost free tickets for students and others. While he was on stage there was a protest in the conference room that he had to deal with without any preparation. In High School he was doing academic mentoring for under-performing students. He realized the value of building a rapport and trusting relationship to open their minds to learning. In Year 12 he was his school’s Young Enterprise Company’s Managing Director. He and a team, with no prior coding experience, created an App in six months to place students in work placements that were local to them. There were 50 businesses that partnered with them. They won numerous awards. He learned many experiences from this project about managing people and getting the best out of them.

Foujia Begum:

The fourth guest interviewed by Israel Johnson was Foujia Begum, who has an immigrant background and is proud of it. She said, “being an immigrant is empowering as it challenges you to learn about a new society”. Fujia also thinks that, “a person of color can be inspiring by motivating struggling youth”. Fujia suggests safe spaces should be created for youth to progress. Fujia is into poetry, drama and performance to share stories about struggle and violence faced in the society. Fujia works as a mentor and a source of motivation to help young immigrants overcome language barrier issues through advocacy and workshops with the help of charities. Fujia wants to be a Muslim female lawyer with her values. Foujia also wants to start her own programme to help the youth.

Rhoslyn Singh:

Israel Johnson interviewed his fifth and last guest, Rhoslyn Singh, who is into art and empowering others especially females. Rhoslyn has arranged exhibitions around the world with her artwork made using water, pencils and pens. Rhoslyn is supporting three societies as the head of the marketing and investment, engineering and Nepali societies where she guides females with ambition to progress in their communities. Rhoslyn uses arts to relax while taking a break from her other activities. Rhoslyn’s art is inspired by her father who is a great artist too.

Israel Johnson concluded the event by saying “a positive change can take place with the great outcome witnessed at this inspiring event organized by UPF to keep the youth motivated”.

(UPF-UK is grateful for the sponsorship of the North of the Thames Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU, an organisation affiliated with UPF) Community Fund that made this event possible.)

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