Igniting confidence across communities | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 24, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:38 AM, July 24, 2020

Igniting confidence across communities

Ignite Youth Foundation (IYF) is a youth-led social organisation, founded by Muhammad Jahirul Islam in 2016. Jahirul is one of the recipients of the 2020 Diana Award. IYF aims at ensuring secure futures for underprivileged children across rural areas, through access to quality education. Their school in Baunia, officially established in 2017, currently has 67 students. It started rather informally in 2016, as initially, their volunteers conducted the classes at a park.

IYF is committed to supporting their students until they are prepared for university. "We conduct classes on nutrition and hygiene and also arrange co-curricular activities for our students," Jahirul added.

Owing to the lack of proper medical services around slums, thousands of children die of preventable diseases like malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia. Through their project, Niramoy, IYF conducts various medical campaigns and distributes medicines at community levels. Through their Ignite Blood Bank, they have donated over 2,000 blood bags till date.

Their project, Craftnite, provides handicraft training to underprivileged women. "We want to secure a source of income for these women, and ensure that their children attend school regularly," added Jahirul. This project also focuses on building self-help groups for the women, and has aided over 100 families since its inception.

 IYF also runs Project Shabolombi, which generates income sources for their beneficiaries through zakat funds from capable donors. "Our team closely monitors the beneficiaries to ensure their sustainable livelihoods," shared Jahirul.

The team also arranges various workshops and training programmes under their Youth Development Program. Through 35 workshops and events on computer science, internet, capacity building, coaching, counselling, event management, environmental training, leadership training and career guidance, they aim to empower young people across the country.

The organisation also runs various campaigns on hygiene across rural communities, distributes sanitation products and conducts awareness programmes on topics like education, family planning, gender and social discrimination.

IYF also supplies bins to households, based on subscriptions, as a waste management solution. The garbage bin is divided into two separate compartments for organic and inorganic wastes. The organic matter is compressed and delivered to recycling vendors. Recently, Jahirul won the Global Students Entrepreneur Award for this project. 

Owing to the coronavirus crisis, the organisation's school is shut, and their regular activities are on hold. Nonetheless, even in these tough times, volunteers of the organisation distributed around 1,000 food packages to those in need, and extended medical support to more than 500 patients. With the help of twelve doctors, they are also providing online consultations. Moving forward, IYF plans to establish schools across all districts of Bangladesh.


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