To keep kids engaged during the coronavirus pandemic, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched an online book reading challenge for school children. Over 3000 children from across Bangladesh participated in this initiative through quizzes.
The book, titled Transformers was also published jointly by UNDP and HerStory Foundation. With an aim to introduce young minds to the SDGs, Transformers features the works and initiatives by seventeen young changemakers of the country, including the rap duo Mahmud Hasan Tabib & Rana, whose lyrics address the pressing issue of poverty, Ikram Uddin Abir, founder of Procheshta Food Bank which distributes leftover meals to the needy, Kamruzzaman Shadhin, an artist that created a dolphin-conservation boat, and Farhana Rashid or 'Toilet Apa', an architect who installs public toilets for women in Bangladesh, who are contributing to achieve these goals.
The online book reading challenge was launched on May 7, 2020. As of now, children from Jaago, Scholastica, Aga Khan, Sir John Wilson, Teach for Bangladesh, Chittagong Grammar School (Dhaka) and AISD have accepted the challenge. To help keep up the reading habit in children, the open for all quiz challenge was launched on UNDP Bangladesh's Facebook page. "I would like to thank UNDP and Her Stories for this wonderful opportunity for students to take part in this e-book Reading Challenge. Not only will it engage students in a fruitful manner during this period of isolation but it will also inspire them with 17 fascinating stories of young Bangladeshi individuals who have helped to develop the quality of Bangladeshi people's lives," mentions Sabrina Shaheed, Principal of Sir John Wilson School.
The book is meant to nurture quality reading habits through the stories of homegrown, Bangladeshi role models. "Reading is the basis for all understanding in formal education. It is a fundamental skill from which learning in all disciplines can occur," shares Dr Dale Taylor, Principal of Aga Khan School, Dhaka.
"Young people, they need to hear stories of hope and they need to remember that they are agents of change who can make a difference in the world, especially during such tough times," says Madiha Murshed, Managing Director of Scholastica. "Transformers does an excellent job of highlighting important stories about young Bangladeshis who have made a difference. I particularly appreciate that it focuses on the unsung heroes whom we are yet to know about."
The quiz challenge is open for all, and any student scoring above 6 will be awarded a hard copy of the book once lockdown restrictions are eased. The book can be downloaded in Bangla from https://bit.ly/2yypks8 and in English from https://bit.ly/2zjtzrw. To join the quiz challenge, log on to https://bit.ly/2WFQVQi.