Aiding communities in North Bengal | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 10, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 10, 2020

Aiding communities in North Bengal

Active Bangladesh, an organisation founded by Moshiur Shafi and Tasin Al Rafid, has been working relentlessly to help underprivileged communities, since two disasters hit the nation — the coronavirus pandemic and Cyclone Amphan. With over 450 ambassadors voluntarily working with them, Active Bangladesh was established with an aim to guide and employ young, promising individuals to combat social calamities.

Their first project, 'Spread the Hand' is a food distribution initiative based in areas of North Bengal, including Bogura, Natore and Rajshahi. "Through this project, we intend to help daily labourers who have been unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic," shares Moshiur, Executive Director, Active Bangladesh. Till date, they have facilitated food boxes on a weekly basis for over 500 families in the aforementioned regions.

People in regions of Khulna and Barishal have been harshly affected by Cyclone Amphan. To help locals who have been completely dependent on the Sundarbans for their livestock, Active Bangladesh started their initiative 'Mission Mangrove'. For the past one month, this project, based in the Naldanga and Tildanga areas of Khulna, has been rehabilitating villagers who stay far off into the forest, and providing them with basic necessities such as food, medicines, and cleaning products, as they are not receiving enough relief materials. On the other hand, Active Bangladesh's project, 'Reduce Her Risk' has been providing menstrual hygiene kits to around 150 women and young girls on a regular basis in regions of Jhalokathi.

During Ramadan this year, the organisation provided iftar boxes to over 600 families in need.  "We can only get through these trying times by helping each other," asserts Tasin, who is also the Executive Director of the organisation. "We all had a different Eid-Ul-Fitr this time. Although some of us had the privilege to celebrate it with our loved ones, many were left starving on the streets. Our ambassadors shared their Eid salaamis with at least one family who are financially struggling due to the pandemic." Through their project 'Spreading Happiness,' which started off in Bogura, Active Bangladesh has distributed chips or other snacks to underprivileged kids. Furthermore, Active Bangladesh's 'Feed the Paws' project, which provides food for stray animals, has been running since March. 

A team of 20 executives, with Assistant Directors Koushik Sarker and Estiuk Ahmed, and Deputy Directors Shaikh Rishad Ul Arab and Azmayeen Akmal, provide guidelines for the ambassadors. Active Bangladesh plans to establish a youth networking programme, called 'Connecting the Stars' soon, where young people from 492 upazillas of the country will collaborate. "Amid the pandemic, we have gone a little astray from our main goal, which was to work for career development and stand by lower-income families. Gradually, we are reaching out to young people in remote areas across the country. Once things get better, we will contact them and help them develop their soft skills for better careers," concludes Moshiur.


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