ACTIVISM
Heartfulness eMagazine|November 2020
MARYAM and NIVAAL REHMAN became activists when they were eight years old, inspiring girls in their village in Pakistan to continue their education. The now 19-year-old twins have since worked for such causes as girls’ education, climate justice, gender equality and inclusivity. They have their own non-profit, The World With MNR, that uses advocacy, storytelling and development to take action and inspire others to do the same. They have used their social media and YouTube channels to cover several events, including the Social Good Summit in New York City, the Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington D.C., and interviews with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, and Madame Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank. They have received several awards, including the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award. Recently they released a documentary on the status of girls’ education in Pakistan and held global screenings to spark further conversation and inspire action.
MARYAM and NIVAAL REHMAN

“Activism is my rent for living on the planet,” is a very powerful quote by Alice Walker that has become one of the mantras we live by. For us, activism is a responsibility. We feel the need to stand up for causes like gender equality, climate justice, and inclusivity because it is in our hands to make the world a better place. As global citizens, we have to become informed, understand global issues, and resolve them. We shouldn’t settle for a world with inequalities, one in which we don’t treat our planet well, and one in which we don’t give each other dignity and respect. We humans take so much from our planet that we truly need to pay “our rent” for living here. In our journey, we have also learned that we can’t do it alone. Others need to get involved, too. We have always aimed to inspire others to take action.

Here are our top three tips to get started:

Start with one cause

To be effective as an activist, pick a cause and start taking action, then expand from there. You may be wondering how it’s possible to narrow it down to one cause, especially with so many issues in the world, but we recommend that you start with something local in your community. You don’t have to travel to the other side of the world to make a difference, because issues of global importance persist in our own backyards, even if we don’t recognize them at first. Often, we are best equipped to tackle local challenges, because in doing so, we can use our understanding of our communities, volunteer on the ground, and have a lasting impact.

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