27 April 2021

Following Her Dream to Make a Difference

Project Officer at BBC Media Action, Tarana Faroqi is also the Program Director-India for the Peacebuilding Project, where she launched the first Rohingya vocational education initiative in Khajuri Khas Delhi.

Tarana Faroqi (MIA ‘18) traces her roots to New Delhi, India where she currently resides. She was motivated to enter the world of diplomacy and development at the age of 16. Following her childhood dream to make an impact, she came to Geneva to study at the Graduate Institute, knowing that its proximity and ties to international organisations would open the door to a variety of opportunities.

“While reflecting back upon the two years spent at the Graduate Institute, I realised how I have evolved both professionally and personally. I would not be where I am today without the valuable experience I gained at the Institute. I learnt to push my boundaries, and question everything that I have ever known. Often, after a lecture or panel discussion, I have felt inspired by the faculty and distinguished guest speakers. I feel grateful to have had an opportunity to interact with them.”

Tarana was attracted to the interdisciplinary approach of the Masters in International Affairs programme, which helped her gain a nuanced and wider understanding of the world, while also equipping her with practical knowledge and skills.

While studying, she undertook internships with Project E Ethiopia and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). She also volunteered to teach English to Syrian refugees residing in Geneva and heard the heartbreaking stories of refugees and grave human rights violations. Her thesis focused on Afghan refugees’ potential barriers in accessing healthcare in India.

She decided to dedicate her life to empower marginalised and vulnerable communities.

”My intent by becoming a catalyst of change is to uplift communities in South Asia, particularly India, where the rich are becoming richer and poor are stuck in a vicious cycle of poverty. The rising social inequalities and spread of extremism disturbs me.”

Upon completing her degree, Tarana began her professional career with a stint at the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) in The Hague. Her role in the organisation focussed on Policy and Advocacy for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Following this, she returned to India and began leading a volunteer youth initiative called The Peacebuilding Project. Under the same initiative, she initiated the first Rohingya children vocational education initiative while simultaneously working at CARE India, and later joining  a UNHCR livelihood implementation partner agency. There, she focused on creating self-reliance and skill-building amongst refugees, as well as working with the local community to create opportunities for them.

Most recently, Tarana joined BBC Media Action where she works as a Project Officer for a project funded by the H&M foundation called PRIDE. The project aims to humanise the waste picker community and give them the dignity they deserve in Bengaluru Karnataka.

Tarana was honoured to be appointed as a council member for Delhi Anti-Sexual Harassment Committee and for the past three years she has represented South and Central Asia at the Humanitarian Affairs working group at the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (UNMGCY).