Farhana – Department of Social Development / P.I.N.K

We have met at a Sense Virtual Reality event what brings you here?
I am from the Department of Social Development. I received an invitation to attend the event at the Barn. I am also in the process of starting an organization, so I have been wanting to come and network.

Virtual reality is going to play a very large role in the future of education. Let’s talk this…
I think it is absolutely amazing to the see the virtual reality concept and the potential out there. Because I work in the Department of Social Development my thoughts are about how it will be a great challenge getting it out to the poorer communities. I work with the youth from underprivileged areas, virtual reality will have a huge impact on these youth and their communities. I am wondering when and if it would be available to the underprivileged or would it just be for the rich.

Tell us about what you saw, you were sitting in a virtual classroom?
So it was a room with four seats and a session taking place, just sharing information. I looked to my left and saw a timetable of when my next class was and on the right was some information about the class. It was amazing; I was alone in that class. I did ask if there would be other students to which I was told there would be, it would be interactive as if I was in a real class sitting with others.

Let’s talk about your personal project?
I work with the Department of Social Development. We work on a lot of youth development projects, employment and training. Finding ways to bring them back into our economy. I am the type of girl that spoils myself, goes for my massages, my manis and pedis. I would return to work on Monday and go to these projects that we have worked on. Sometimes we take it for granted that we are exposed to these things. These youth don’t even know what it is to have a massage, or to be pampered. Often when we do charity work in these communities we find ourselves thinking that it needs to be something like a soup kitchen. The idea that I had was to provide this pretty space where the youth can come and be provided with services, opportunities and support in order to assist them to make a success of their lives, to make themselves more marketable, to create that pathway. My organization is going to use fashion, beauty and wellness in order to bring about social and economic development. There are two sides to it – one is to train the youth, but it is going to operate as a social enterprise so youth won’t have to pay to attend these courses. Once they graduate they will be linked to employment opportunities. Part of the process is learning to woman up, how to look great, grooming and presentation.

I like that ‘woman up’ please define that?
We often let males dominate our lives, especially the females that come from backgrounds where they have been abused. I haven’t mentioned the name yet – P.I.N.K.

The P stands for passion and purpose. Which is what my organization would be about. Not just being somewhere because, but rather being somewhere because you are passionate and have a purpose. I is for innovation, finding new ways to reach for your passion and purpose. N is about new beginnings like I was saying there are so many females who have been through so much. This is their opportunity for a new start, a second chance. K is for knowledge. We give them that knowledge and assist them to take action. After they graduate, we link them to employment opportunities.

You would provide long-term solutions…
Yes, I am currently still in the process of conceptualizing everything and still putting it together. I am working and on my own so it is quite a daunting activity. At this point, it is all about conceptualization. I am planning to launch next year. My plan is to do small pilots and then a launch.

Keep us posted!


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