Malaika Naseer

I am Malaika Naseer, a 17-year-old student currently doing my A-levels in Lahore, Pakistan. I completed my O-levels in 2022 with a focus on STEM subjects, and I have continued to pursue STEM subjects in my A-levels as well.

At present, I am working as an intern in the Chemistry Department at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) , specifically focusing on Biomass Valorization. Additionally, I have been selected as a member of an advanced program in the health sector, where I will have the opportunity to work under a professional mentor on a project during the late summer.

I am proud to have been awarded full financial aid ($2600) for the Individual Research Program at Lumiere Education. I have been assigned to work under a mentor from Johns Hopkins University on a paper that addresses the effects of climate change in Pakistan, titled “A Call to Action.”

I am also working on a project to create Pakistan’s first cleat designed specifically for female footballers. This cleat aims to improve ergonomics, reduce ACL injuries, enhance comfort levels, and maintain affordability and sustainability. The project has been approved by the only Biomechanics Lab at LUMS and is expected to enter its developmental stage by August 2023.

Furthermore, I am actively involved in my NGO called Hirf-Al-Nisa. Through this organization, I have set up street schools to provide education to children in villages, empowering them with the belief that they too can become scholars like Malala Yousafzai. Understanding the link between the education of these children and the financial security of their families, I have initiated vocational training workshops in sewing and handicraft-making for divorced or widowed women who have been isolated by their communities. By providing markets for their products and connecting them with lawyers and psychologists, I aim to improve their legal and mental health status.

I strongly believe that in a failing system where women face numerous obstacles, empowering their voices and nurturing their ideas is crucial to breaking the vicious cycle perpetuated by cultural taboos.

My journey into the world of technology began in grade 8 when my computer science teacher introduced me to Scratch. Since then, I have been captivated by the field of technology, although I often felt limited by the lack of resources. Nonetheless, I took the initiative to teach myself basic programming languages by watching YouTube tutorials, eventually leading me to establish my school’s first coding club – this journey has been incredibly rewarding.

For my NGO, I am currently developing a professional website. However, I have already created a functional website using Wix that serves its purpose for now. Additionally, I have designed an app prototype for Hirf-Al-Nisa, which serves as a platform for people to locate the various branches of our NGO: find the nearest funded educational centers, discover markets to sell handicrafts, and access links to lawyers and psychologists. I am also learning Python during the summers and developing websites for friends and NGOs.