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Creating Your Own NGO
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About this webinar

The fourth webinar of the series ‘The Road Less Traveled’ focused on graduates who decided to create their own NGOs or initiatives.

What motivated them to make the leap and create an NGO instead of joining one? Which knowledge and skills from their human rights studies are they using in running their NGO/initiative?  Which impact do they have with their NGOs? Which advice would they give to graduates wanting to start their own NGO?

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Think outside the box and consider innovative business models!

Hazem Mizyed


Communications consultant who has a background in psychology, and combines communications psychology with digital marketing to empower human rights. He joined the Arab Master in Democracy and Human Rights (ARMA) in 2018 with a mission to launch online child rights projects that support children’s human rights in the MENA region. He led a campaign to support the mental health of children during Covid-19, and a campaign to help Gazian parents see signs their children are suffering from PTSD following the 2019 Gaza war. Besides working with various organizations, he is establishing Green Awareness, the first platform for raising the awareness of young people in the MENA region about human rights and environmentally friendly practices.
Alumnus of GC Arab World
Folllow him on LinkedIn: Hazem Mizyed

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Keep asking “who is not in the room”

Dumiso Gatsha


Proudly Pan African, unequivocally non-binary queer feminist working on eliminating the barriers between grassroots experiences and global policymaking. Dumi is Founder of Success Capital Organisation a queer, youth, migrant, ethnic minority, feminist-led, managed and serving grassroots organisation challenging power, privilege and patriarchy impeding decolonial, climate, health, gender, and socioeconomic justice. A two-time masters graduate, Chartered Global Management Accountant and PRINCE2 Practitioner with consulting and work experience at national, regional and global levels.
Alumn of GC Africa
Follow them on twitter @prosuccessbw and LinkedIn: Dumiso Gatsha

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Move closer to your dreams and goals. Remember your dreams are valid.

Mary Izobo


International human rights lawyer, gender equality advocate, governance specialist, and currently studying for her PhD in International Law and Governance. She is the Founder and Executive Director of the Amazon Leadership Initiative (TheALI). TheALI is a non-profit organization that empowers women and girls, fosters inclusivity in leadership roles, provides mentorship, education, career guidance and capacity development to alleviate gender inequality in line with aspiration 6 of the African Union Agenda 2063 and goal 5 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030. She is the recipient of several awards, notably ‘Africa’s Top Legal Millennial - The Amazon of Women’s Rights,’ ‘The Futurist Activist,’ ‘SPE Top Pathfinder’ and Kaduna State Honours Award for Public Service in Nigeria.
Alumna of GC Africa
Follow her on LinkedIn: Mary Izobo


Creating Your Own NGO

On Wednesday June 15, 2022, the Centre for Human Rights of the University of Padova and Global Campus of Human Rights hosted the fourth webinar of its “The Road Less Traveled” series, featuring three speakers: Hazem Mizyed, Dumi Gatsha and Mary Izobo. The three speakers shared their stories and insights around navigating the human rights sector - sometimes at the fringes, other times in the spotlight. Alternating between uplifting and cautionary, Hazem, Dumi and Mary spoke at length with compelling candor, prompting earnest audience questions. 


Hazem Mizyed

“We have to take on learning as a continuous process”


Hazem Mizyed graduated from ARMA (Arab Master in Democracy and Human Rights) in 2019, and has led various communication and advocacy campaigns. Hazem’s work applies psychology, marketing and communications principles to human rights and development projects, particularly projects relating to advocacy and behavior change. During the webinar, Hazem spoke about the importance of turning basic ideas of psychological resilience into something children can approach. From his ample experience working with considerations around sustainability and the environment, Hazem challenged the audience to ask: how can you really live in a sustainable way - not as a general policy but as a practice of life? Hazem urged attendees to think outside the box and consider innovative business models, emphasizing the plurality of approaches to thinking about business models and the social aspects of business. Despite the entrenched challenges of knowledge and location gaps that limit access to equitable resources, he stressed the importance of constantly taking on new courses, surmounting the challenges of learning and expanding one’s comfort zone. Hazem shared his experience struggling to find funding for his projects while in Palestine, due to the location and knowledge gaps he experienced; this lack of access prohibits young and brilliant people from mobilizing resources and getting their ideas heard, he explained. Doing so is often complicated by the fact that it is not clear what knowledge is missing in the first place, and it is a long journey looking for the right stepping stones to get young people in more remote areas to where they need to be. “Eventually,” he assured the audience, “the good work will count. And it takes a lot of continuous learning.”  

Dumi Gatsha

“Who’s heard? Whose invitations are honored?”

Dumi’s warmth, wisdom and passion were a beacon at Wednesday’s webinar; they spoke vividly about the challenges and opportunities of breaking down barriers and carving out new spaces. This specifically entails including people with lived experiences in conversations around human rights and those typically confined to academic spaces; not limiting discussions to technical human rights knowledge, but including and centering the wide range of people academic conversations tend to orbit around without actually touching. A proud Pan African non-binary queer feminist, Dumi works to close the gaps between grassroots experiences and global policy making including bridging human rights and sustainable development in decolonising knowledge production while also strengthening youth agency. Dumi, the founder of Success Capital, spoke about the myriad issues facing young people working on intersectional issues today. While LGBTIQ+ narratives have been shaped by the narratives around HIV/AIDS in the past, they explained, a normalization of violence persists, and a great deal remains lacking in the discourse around human rights literacy. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to the field of human rights, they pointed out, but rather only through doing can people both heal their younger selves and claim space. The human rights profession can carry myriad joys - Dumi shared how they rejoiced in meeting other people and working alongside others. Still, there is an element of inequality within the human rights field that really reflects the wider world, they disclosed - there is a need to have more spaces like Wednesday’s webinar, they added, and to keep asking “who is not in the room.” 


Mary Izobo

“At the end of the day, it’s about the girls. It’s about a ripple effect”

An impassioned international human rights lawyer and gender equality and equity advocate, Mary discussed her work empowering women and girls, fostering inclusivity in leadership roles through career guidance and mentorship programs and finding opportunities for girls. Mary attributed her early success in beginning her career to the alumni network, which she cites as a huge support. Mary shared stories of girls and young women who started the mentoring programme timid and afraid to speak up, and later stunned her with their ability to use their voice loudly and proudly. She likened her work to planting a tree that she herself may never be able to sit under, but that generations to come will get to experience and enjoy. Mary spoke of the importance of collaboration and resilience, as well as the necessity of reaching out to others. The founder of the Amazon Leadership Initiative and the recipient of numerous awards for her achievements, Mary discussed her experiences working to alleviate gender inequality in line with Aspiration 6 of the African Union Agenda 2063 and Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030. Like the other speakers, Mary stressed the importance of including marginalized voices in decision-making spaces: “There’s this saying that there’s nothing about us, without us. You can’t make decisions about us, when we’re not there.” To the newly and future human rights graduates, Mary emphatically insisted: “Move closer to your dreams and goals. Remember your dreams are valid.”

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