With the theme, ‘Young People Leading Transformation’, ActionAid Bangladesh arranged the National Youth Conference 2019 at Bangla Academy, recently. This year, 500 participants from 30 districts came together for a daylong interactive discussion session.
The conference kicked off with a vibrant and insightful puppet show for raising awareness against child marriage. The first session was chaired by Farah Kabir, country director, ActionAid Bangladesh. The panel members for this session was eminent writer Anisul Hoque, Aktar Uddin, country director of United Nations Volunteers (UNV) in Bangladesh, Joya Chakma, a Fifa referee and coach of the Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan (BKSP).
The first session focused on motivating the youth to achieve greater things for a better future regardless of the challenges of the modern world. An interactive Q/A session, featuring AN Ahammed Ali, Director, Department of Youth Development, was the most participative session. This session was about information sharing and opinion generating. Youth representatives from various corners of the country, talked about the problems they are facing and how the Government should help addressing these problems. The Government has facilitated many training programs for the youth, but there have been no proper marketing regarding these programs- this was the common criticism.
The second session of the day was moderated by Nazmul Hasan, Director of ActionAid Bangladesh. The other panelists were: Selim Raihan, Professor of Economics, Dhaka University, Shimu Naser, Editor of Earki.com, Kajal Abdullah of Jahaji app, Jannatul Mawa, a youth organisation representative from Satkhira.
Md Zahid Ahsan Russel, State Minister for Youth and Sports, was the chief guest of the conference. Md Zahid along with other panelists, launched a photo story book of young people leading transformation. The photo story book showcases ActionAid Bangladesh’s activities engaging grassroot organisations across the country and beyond.
The minister encouraged the youth to participate in Government provided trainings to ensure Bangladesh’s participation in the upcoming fourth industrial revolution. The minister along with other speakers focused more on technical skills to prepare for the fourth industrial revolution.
Interactive games like Ludo, Mini Golf, Darts and Tarot Card reading, along with a photo exhibition at the open ground was a part of the daylong event.
Speakers and participants focused on skills development, access to gender and youth-friendly public services, youth in humanitarian action, diversity, inclusion, social cohesion and promoting positive youth development.