Executive Director – Fajer Rabia
Fajer Rabia is an innovative, highly knowledgeable and experienced social entrepreneur, who has wide ranging experience in management and leadership across the three sectors of economy and international development, demonstrating an unwavering commitment towards creating social change.
At the age of just 12 Fajer started to work as a volunteer at her mother’s charity in Pakistan, developing solutions for people who had no income or education and lived in deep poverty.
Currently she is working as the Executive Director of Pakistan Alliance for Girls Education – PAGE. Launched on the sidelines of the 2013 World Innovation Summit for Education, Fajer has been entrusted with the task of raising the organization from the ground. Having already initiated a wide range of collaborative projects for advocacy as well as service delivery, she has already made remarkable progress towards molding the organization into a platform that can align the synergies of various different stakeholders in the field of education.
Before moving back to Pakistan, Fajer established a successful social enterprise just at the age of 18 in the UK, the Inspired Sisters, won her the Inspiring Young Woman Award in 2010 and many others. The non-profit organization provided education and economic empowerment programmes to people from different ethnic and social backgrounds. It essentially created a culturally sensitive, safe and friendly environment where people benefited from free learning and self-development opportunities so that they could overcome cultural barriers that obstructed their ability to pave a route out of poverty for themselves, their family and their community. The organization is demonstrative of her deep insight as a social innovator; she identified the need to address the cultural barriers Muslim women were facing in England, and inspired by that need the organisation supported over 3000 Muslim women. Fajer’s innovative and problem solving approach led to setting up of many initiatives to support education, entrepreneurship and job creation, focusing on marginalized social groups such as ethnic minorities as well as on female empowerment. As an avid proponent of IT entrepreneurship, she managed a brand new provision of innovative online programs for women from ethnic backgrounds LearnDirect. In Islamabad, Fajer also set up Nest Orphanage which provided a proper home with emotional support, health care, excellent education, additional tutoring and extra-curricular activities for children who lost their parents during the 2009 floods.
Committed towards affecting long term policy change she sits on several advisory committees as well as on the boards of a number of UK companies. She was a member of 14 –19 Strategy board – looking at National policies for youth including education, curriculum, family issues, extra- curricular activities including sports in the UK. As an executive Member of the BME Network, LSC Board member for ESOL and North West LSEN ( Learning, Skills & Employment Network)– she has also worked extensively on developing new frameworks & policies with local authorities and national departments in a number of areas effecting BME ( Black, Minority Ethnic Communities) in England including Economic Development, Youth issues and Education. In addition, Fajer also periodically publishes policy reports pertaining to related issues.
Her pragmatic and result oriented, Fajer’s philanthropic work efforts have been recognized on several occasions. The awards she has received include:
• 2010 Northwest Young Inspiring Women Award
• 2010 IOD Manchester Young Director Award
• 2010 IOD Northwest Young Director Award
• 2010 Levis Global Woman Entrepreneur
• 2011 IOD Highly Commended National Young Director Award
• 2011 Future 100 Social Entrepreneur Award
• 2012 APPS UK Charity Award
• 2014 World NGO Day Award in recognition of support to NGO Sector in Pakistan
• 2017 Recognition Award by Prime Minister of Azad Jammu & Kashmir for contribution to Kashmir Right to Self-Determination Movement in the UK and Pakistan.