Albina Prawin, 17

Albina Prawin, from Inaruwa, Sunsari, an eastern region of Nepal, is a senior in high school and chairperson of the Babiya Young Women Organization. Supported by Plan International Nepal, Babiya Young Women Organization provides a platform to lobby the government and NGOs to eradicate discrimination, violence, and abuse of adolescent girls and young women in addition to guaranteeing them basic human rights such as nutrition and health.

As a social activist, Prawin works to educate and empower young Muslim girls and women on the topics of social and domestic violence, child trafficking, early marriage, and sexual and reproductive health. She encourages everyone in her community to be knowledgeable and responsible citizens in order to establish a peaceful society. As a Muslim girl, Prawin says it is sometimes daunting to challenge her community and its traditions to raise awareness of the detriments of child marriage, educational disparity for females.

Prawin feels grateful that she has the privilege her to speak out on equity issues in Nepal and beyond, when many of her neighborhood peers are already forced into marriage. Recently, Prawin came across a neighbor girl her age, who was about to be forced into marriage against her consent. Prawin immediately presented this girl’s situation to government authorities who successfully stopped the marriage after proper intervention and investigation. Prawin believes that misinformed perceptions and negative attitudes can be mediated through proper guidance and attentive mentorship. The intervention of education is the most effective tool when challenging behaviors and traditions that are detrimental to others.

Prawin’s social justice efforts were highlighted when she won Glocal Teen Hero 2017. She hopes to continue her efforts in social work and bring about change through empowering frightened, voiceless girls to recognize their feelings and ideas in order to bring social change to their religion and country.