South Asian Heritage Month started in July and ends on 17 August 2023, today.
I started the month with a call for stories, and the ambition to do an online global event.
One person from Sri Lanka was very supportive and when I asked if they wanted to get involved, they said they would like to but their English is not strong, so I said OK.
Another person from Pakistan said yes, and someone I asked in Bangladesh no, as others were new we used the opportunity to say hello.
So instead, I wrote about my exchanges and experiences that link to the month on LinkedIn.
Increased interest in Chartered Surveying particularly by South Asian Women.
Due to the work I do on AMSI, a group of young women said their Aunts and Mum had been talking about my work and as they worked in repairs they wanted to join.
I never expected people would talk about AMSI in my neighbourhood this way, but they are and the story of Zahra covers how it started, it is relevant to South Asians.
Women in Surveying - APC Support.
During the month the RICS, also released its first Women in Surveying report, it identified, of its 134,000 global member community, only 18% are women, and fellow women members are only 4%.
In the South Asian continent, women make up the smallest % of local members.
The RICS report can be read here: https://www.rics.org/news-insights/rics-launches-its-first-women-in-surveying-insight-report.
Through the work I started on AMSI, I am seeing more women come forward and ask if I can support them to become chartered, which I can do.
AMSI volunteering & new AMSI memberships
Through AMSI volunteering, I have one member looking to book a session with their firm in Cambridge Mosque.
I was asked by Ann Gray FRICS, RICS President if she could one day visit London Central Mosque and we will be in September, the Mosque has said verbally they will formally welcome us.
The event will be invitation only, and open for some contributing AMSI members, you can RSVP here and I will be in touch to talk about how to join us.
Opportunity Birmingham & new Corporate Partnerships
We have the ambition to do an event in Birmingham, I need to develop a plan for this, but in the region, I understand there is a skills issue and recruitment in Surveying is not easy.
As the AMSI community makes up many young people, we present an opportunity and a possible solution, I will follow this up, but if anyone is interested we would be happy to have a conversation.
We are keen to grow our Corporate Partnerships and we can set up a call with our Head of Corporate Partnerships for this.
A Strategic Advisors Panel & Governance.
On 14 August 2023, I met with the RICS, as part of the AMSI 6-month review, I set out future governance arrangements, and we now have 4 regular forums:
A Strategic Advisors Panel (6 monthly).
A Corporate Partners Forum (frequency to tbd).
A Planning & Strategy (monthly).
Weekly Market Engagement Sessions with Volunteers (weekly).
I have had the same conversation with other Professional Real Estate Institutions, but should anyone wish to get involved with any of the panels, feel free to contact me.
Longer Term Operating Model.
In terms of our Longer Terms goals, when we reflect back on our activities primarily being charitable and community-focused, it feels right to evolve into Community Interest Model.
We plan to do this and rename, and in the longer term we want to focus on jobs and opportunities for the communities that are part of us, we will be working on building our surveying lines.
I already offer a Real Estate Advisory.
Planning & Strategy
Our next Planning and Strategy monthly meeting is on 29 August 2023, should you wish to join us, you can book here.
A Final Reflection on South Asian Heritage Month
Visit to Cambridge University and the 50 Women's Exhibition in Kings College, I visited on Saturday, to see the great work the University has done over 50 years to be more accessible.
The story of Eunice Adeoyo (KC 2018). President of the KC student union during the Covid pandemic triggered my interest while at university she organised a number of open days.
The journey of African migrants is similar to those in the UK from South Asia, and it is nice that even the most prestigious universities in the Country are now accessible.
14 August was Pakistan Independence Day, and in Pakistan, it was the start of the national elections, this photo is of me from Badshi Mosque in Pakistan, it was built in 1671-1673.
15 August was India Independence Day, in India, their President, standing in Delhi Fort set out his Government plans for what's next, this photo is of Juma Masjid in the Fort Complex, built in 1546.
The architectural style is the same as the Lahore Mosque.
15 August was also two years since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, while Islam Channel reported on it being a more stable Country, western media reported that Girls can not go to school.
The UN Human Rights Office says:
"On 22 March 2023, schools should be reopening to girls across Afghanistan. Instead, it appears that for the second successive school year, teenage girls will be banned from resuming their studies - making Afghanistan the only country in the world that forbids girls and young women from attending secondary school and places of higher education."
South Asian Heritage Month, shared this article from Independence, which talked about the repatriation of women, after partition, from what I read, it seems they had little choice. https://daily.jstor.org/women-partition-and-violence/.
Women's Education is important, as is Education for Men, if nothing more it gives them choice and the ability to be independent.
For me, South Asian Heritage Month and its reflections remind me why AMSI and the Community Interest work I have started is important, and I hope through this blog, I have conveyed that here.
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