Maryam and Nivaal Rehman Interviewing Ambassador Melanne Verveer at the Girl Up Leadership Summit (2019)
“We think that the education of girls can truly transform them, and eventually their communities too. When an educated girl starts implementing changes for the better in her family and community, the whole society changes, cultural shifts occur and ultimately these lead to the overall empowerment and upliftment of women too, because educated girls are better equipped to fight for their rights.”
You were eight years old when you first became activists for girls’ education, after visiting a school in Pakistan that your grandmother had donated her inherited land to build. The students at the school told you that they would quit school when they reached grade five because they would have to work to support their families. Is this experience what fueled your passion and energy to begin “The World with MNR”?
This experience was the starting point of our activism journey, as we were motivated to contribute in whatever way we could to inspire these girls to continue their education. After volunteering at the school in whatever way we could on family trips to Pakistan, we were motivated to volunteer and get involved in social justice initiatives here in Canada too. About five years into our journey of activism and volunteering, we decided to start sharing about our work to inspire others to get involved too and that’s when we started The World With MNR. Initially, it was a media platform designed to bridge the gap between the issues that exist in the world and actions people can take to help. In 2019, it was officially launched as a non-profit organization that essentially combined all of the work that we have been doing for over eleven years now.