Bangladeshi youth wins prestigious int’l award
Shah Rafayat Chowdhury, a 24-year-old environmentalist and social entrepreneur, has become the first Bangladeshi to win the AFS Prize for Young Global Citizens.
Rafayat was selected from thousands of candidates from around the world for his contribution in the development sector as Co-Founder and President of Footsteps Bangladesh, a Bangladeshi social enterprise.
The prize was announced at a virtual ceremony on October 23 in presence of officials from AFS, Unesco and education ministries of various countries.
The award, which started in 2019, is organised and presented by AFS Intercultural Programs -- an international NGO which provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world. The organisation recognises an extraordinary young people for their commitment to improving the global community each year.
Rafayat founded Footsteps Bangladesh in 2013 at the age of 17, with a vision to design social ventures which not only addressed the complex social challenges existing in our communities but to also change community mentality from aid dependency to self-reliance.
Till date, Footsteps has impacted over 100,000 lives in over 16 districts in the form of safe water access, disaster response, capacity building, waste management schemes and health programs, said a press release.
The award comes with a cash prize of $10,000, which will be utilised by the organisation to expand the reach and impact of Project Trishna, one of Footsteps' key social ventures creating safe water access across Bangladesh.