Syed Ali Raza Rizvi

Syed Ali Raza Rizvi - 2019 Nominee
Position: Filmmaker / Social Entrepreneur and Founder, Ehsas films Project
Organization: Ehsas Film Project / Rise Up / Women Deliver
Current Location: Pakistan, Asia
BA Hons Communication and Design from School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, Habib University
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
Women Deliver Digital University (SRHR, Meaningful Youth Engagement, Media & Communication & SDGs) 2018
Human Rights Based Media Reporting Workshop by Center for Communications Program (CCP), Pakistan 2018
Summer Enterprise Program, National University of Singapore 2016
Affiliate - Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) 2014
Goethe Institute and Prince Claus Fund's Film Talents Fellowship (Unheard Voices from Pakistan and Afghanistan) 2017-2018
SRHR Trainer and Member Regional Council, Sindh - Rahnuma Family Planning Association of Pakistan (FPAP) (IPPF Member body)
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    Youth Champion Award
    Awarding Organization:
    David and Lucile Packard Foundation
    Date Awarded:
    December 10, 2014
  • Award:
    Best Film
    Awarding Organization:
    Traveling South Asia Film Festival
    Date Awarded:
    March 10, 2016
  • Award:
    Women Deliver Filmmaker (2 Official Selections)
    Awarding Organization:
    Women Deliver Conference Film Festival 2019
    Date Awarded:
    June 4, 2019
75 Public Votes Reached!
Ali uses film to sensitize people about SRHR and family planning. His storytelling skills are powerful and effective, and have shown an impact by increasing tolerance for sexual minorities, and increasing contraceptive prevalence in his community. – Yasmeen Sabeeh Qazi, Senior Country Advisor, Population Program at The David & Lucile Packard Foundation
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I bust stigmas around family planning, and gender and sexuality using the power of storytelling and art. I create dialogue in my community through films on Sexual Minority Rights, Family Planning, and Unsafe Abortions as Birth control in Pakistan. My films are being used as tools for advocacy not only in Pakistan, but also in India. Sapna, my film about trans people's issues propelled the trans rights movement in Pakistan, with over 60 screenings and interactive discussions all over the country. I have trained and sensitized over 4000 young people through peer training sessions and storytelling workshops since 2010. My documentary, Unsafe Abortions as Birth Control in Pakistan is currently being shown at District Health Offices, Karachi to advocate for improving contraception prevalence.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

In 2010, during the deadly floods in Pakistan, I visited a flood survivor camp in Thatta while volunteering for Rahnuma Family Planning Association of Pakistan. A woman in that camp delivered her 18th baby without proper assistance and died shortly afterwards. The incident hit me so hard and fortified my resolve for Family Planning cause. I am a strong advocate for quality primary healthcare, and believe that lives of children and mothers could be saved with youth-friendly investment in FP.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

I am a firm believer in teamwork and lifting each other up. I founded Ehsas Films Project in 2015 to advocate for FP and SHRH. I built my team with young people who had no prior experience in FP and SRHR, but had the passion for the cause. In 4 years time, my team members are all leaders in their own right and are managing their own projects. I tend to forge lifelong professional bonds, as people respect my approach and my ethic while working with communities, and I am grateful for their trust.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work? :

I will capitalize this platform for the social enterprise that I am working on, which aims to improve primary healthcare in Pakistan. The enterprise aims to connect mothers and children, and young people directly with primary healthcare providers, minimizing the involvement of a hospital or clinical set up. The model aims to improve access, and quality of service in an effective, affordable and youth-friendly way. The grant will contribute in piloting the intervention in 1 Karachi neighbourhood.

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