To Abdullah Syed (23) from Pakistan , participation in the Youth Forum means ...

 

… engagement with policy makers

When Abdullah participated in the Youth Forum 2014, he got a sense of the impact he can personally have. When the youth group formulated a statement to be presented in front of policy makers, Abdulla requested the inclusion of sexual minorities as a vulnerable group. His input was taken seriously and so based on his request the group of gay minorities was included in the statement. This experience strengthened Abdullah's confidence of being able to lead to change and to having an impact. " I had the feeling that my opinion matters"

Also the lecture held by Nora Volkow, one of the leading scientists in the field, was inspiring for Abdullah. Her lecture changed his perspective on how to deal facilitate drug prevention; especially the importance of a health-based approach led to a lasting impact on Abdullah and on the activities he is today conducting in his community. 

 

… engagement with the local community

The Youth Forum inspired Abdullah to get active in his community. He started a society at his university and organized the initiation of an awareness raising campaign within his community. This gave him a platform to connect with others. Together, the group initiated the launch of the Al-Nuha Foundation ( https://www.facebook.com/alnuhafoundation?fref=ts), an organization that focuses on street children as a vulnerable group.  The foundation aims to promote and develop basic education on health promotion for this most vulnerable group in order to prevent those from future drug use.