Through the impact lens of an activist, entrepreneur, and consultant: Sana Mustafa
Sana Mustafa is an activist, entrepreneur, and consultant born in the mountains of rural Syria, now living in New York City. As a refugee in the United States, Sana founded her own consulting enterprise, Sana Mustafa LLC., which works to make the development and policy-making spaces inclusive of the people they aim to serve. With a passion to help others and a determination to do more, Sana shares stories about her work and her advice on the space of social impact.
What is your job in a nutshell?
I lead projects and consults organisations around the world on how to design meaningful and dignifying services and programs for refugees. As a consultant, I also work with the private sector and donors advising them on how to engage with and support displaced communities.
What are some of your biggest accomplishments?
Advocating for the rights of Syrians, refugees, and women. Through this I have had the chance to speak at UN Headquarters, the White House, on a TED Talk stage, and numerous number of community and professional platforms on the plight of refugees, the story of Syria, and the importance of self-representation.
What other social causes are you involved in?
I am the founding member of The Network For Refugee Voices, a refugees led coalition working to increase refugees engagement with international community to pursue inclusive, sustainable, and effective refugee and immigration policies. The work of NRV, alongside other refugee-led organisations led to the historic recognition by UNHCR of the importance of refugee self representation at the Global Compact of Refugee.
I also am a member of Syria’s first Syrian Women’s Political Movement, which unites women from across professional fields and ethnic lines to ensure women’s inclusion in the future of Syria.
What advice do you have for those who want to make a positive impact?
Some people might be dismissive of ambition as merely a passion project, tell you that you are too young, or that you don’t have enough experience; take it all with grace and move on. Keep an open heart and mind for learning and improving but believe in yourself and be confident in your added value.
“Be proud of what you are bringing to the table and are trying to achieve. No one can take this from you or undermine it if you own it. Hence, own it!!”
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