Ten youth changemakers at a webinar marking the Bangabandhu National Youth Day on Sunday shared their personal experiences, struggles, and achievements to inspire youth toward definite action.
They also discussed the opportunities and struggles of the country’s youth for securing a livelihood in today’s tough economy, according to a press release by Bangladesh Youth Leadership Centre (BYLC), which organised the webinar.
The changemakers who shared their stories are —
#Mithun Das Kabbo, the founder of a grassroots NGO called Alokito Shishu, is currently running two schools in Bede and Sweeper community providing formal education to children of underprivileged communities;
# Rani Chowdhury is a youth volunteer of Bandhu Social Welfare Society (Bandhu) working for the transgender/Hijra population across Bangladesh as a young and pioneering social entrepreneur. She has provided food support to 2000 families during Covid-19;
#22-year-old physics student Md. Naimul Hasan Shanto has created a group of 150 blood donors. He is also involved in raising awareness against drug addiction, child marriage, and eve-teasing;
#Hasanur Rahaman is an active youth leader of BGS MJF Youth Project. His goal is to inculcate the habit of reading books among young people in the community;
#Rubel Ahmad Robi has championed the blood donation movement through donating blood 24 times and founding “Blood Donation and Social Welfare Society”-a grassroots initiative in his community in Sylhet;
#Sonia Akhter identifies herself as an affiliate of ESDO-Promotee project in the northern district of Sherpur, serving as a role model for the pan-district youth diaspora scattered throughout the country;
#Shahedul Alam Chowdhury is an activist for violence against girls and women. He continues to voice strong resistance against violence against women in his community in Chattogram;
#Md Mominur Rahman from Satkhira has inspired more than 1,500 youth and is working with marginalised people like Munda and Rishi;
#Sohagi Akter, the president of the volunteer organisation, Divine Helpers of Bangladesh, has been working to educate the illiterate adults of Sherpur and so far has taught 240 adults read and write in Bangla; and
#21-year-old Hapijur Rahman established the organisation Dream IT Solution, where 30 youth, including seven female employees, are working under him.
Renowned actor and cultural activist Asaduzzaman Noor, MP, and Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF)'s Executive Director Shaheen Anam attended the webinar as chief guest and special guest respectively.
Defining "real knowledge, Mr Noor expressed concern about children's deprivation of it in the society.
"Real knowledge means human education, education of values, education of knowing oneself, education of thinking about life. And our children are being deprived of this knowledge from the very early stage of their life," he said.
Mrs Anam said, "Courage is a name synonymous with youth. Our young leaders must stand up against injustice and take responsibility to promote equality in society."
With support from MJF, and FCDO of the UK Government, BYLC hosted the webinar in light of this year’s theme, 'Mujib Year's Call: Youth Employment'.
This programme was organised jointly with IED, FIVDB, Bandhu Social Welfare Society, Ghashful, BGS, VAFWSD, JSKS, LEDARS, and ESDO.
The webinar was moderated by Adnin Mourin, manager of operations at BYLC.