On the second day of the workshops, which took place on October 21, 2023, our participants had the privilege of learning from two remarkable speakers, Marzia Babakarkhail and Lara Parizotto, who shared their experiences and wisdom, guiding our fellows towards impactful leadership and personal aspiration.
Marzia Babakarkhail, a former Supreme Court Judge from Afghanistan and an advocate for women’s rights, delivered an enlightening talk on “Leadership and Creative Change”. In this workshop, our fellows were exposed to the inspiring journeys of leaders who have taken action to empower migrants. Marzia emphasised the importance of leadership and how our unique experiences can be leveraged to help us become leaders in our own right. The session explored key skills necessary for success and provided invaluable insights into creating systemic change within UK society. Marzia’s own experience as a refugee and her continuous dedication to gender equality and human rights served as a powerful example of the potential impact one can have on the world.
In the second workshop of the day, Lara Parizotto, a dedicated migrants’ rights campaigner, led a session titled “Sharing Your Own Aspiration”. Participants were encouraged to delve into their own passions and aspirations, understanding what drives them to make a difference. Lara’s interactive session allowed our fellows to take ownership of their aspirations and recognise their significance in raising awareness about the challenges facing our communities. Through engaging discussions and practical guidance, attendees discovered pathways to become public actors in various sectors, be it voluntary, community, NGO, public policy, civil service, or politics.
Marzia and Lara both come from countries marked by humanitarian crises and have experienced challenges as recent migrants in the UK. By sharing their journeys, they not only inspired our participants but also facilitated a deeper understanding of the broader migrant experience beyond the context of Hong Kong.
Marzia’s extensive legal and advocacy background in promoting gender equality and human rights, coupled with her ongoing activism, highlighted the immense impact one person can have in advocating for positive change.
Lara’s commitment to migrants’ rights, her work as a councillor, and her experiences in engaging with young people and changing the narrative on immigration showcased the power of personal passion and advocacy.
These workshops were a powerful continuation of the Migrants’ Aspiration Programme, providing our participants with the tools, inspiration, and knowledge to pursue their goals and make lasting impact on UK society.
Some fellows are impressed and deeply moved by Marzia’s perseverance and resilience as well as her work on women’s empowerment and gender equality, while many are also intrigued about the potential collaboration with Migrants Democracy Project (MDP). Our fellows show strong interest in the MPower Political Leadership Programme, and Lara has also offered to help Hongkongers campaign on civic education.
(Marzia Babakarkhail – “Leadership and Creative Change”)
(Lara Parizotto – “Sharing Your Own Aspiration”)