Young Bangla, one of the biggest platforms for the youth in Bangladesh, has successfully finished the activation phase of the registration process for Joy Bangla Youth Award 2017 (JBYA 2017).
The campus activation phase ended on August 7, 2017 with a mega event on the campus of Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur, where several thousand students and young social workers from the Ranpgur division participated.
Another mega activation event was organized at the TSC auditorium of Dhaka University on July 31 in which several thousand students and young social workers from mainly Dhaka metropolitan city participated.
Earlier, throughout the month of July, Young Bangla divisional coordination teams, comprising winners of Joy Bangla Youth Award 2015 and local district coordinators of Sheikh Russel Digital Labs, conducted activation programs in 29 other educational institutions across the country.
Currently, small scout teams of Young Bangla volunteers, led by members of the divisional coordination teams, are travelling to some of the remotest districts in the country to collect applications for the award and volunteers for Young Bangla. This phase ends on August 19 along with the registration deadline.
In the first phase, Young Bangla organized divisional meetings at 8 divisional headquarters in which representatives from several hundred youth-led organizations took part.
In the second phase, Young Bangla’s local-level workforce comprising mainly of the winners of 2015-edition of the Joy Bangla Youth Award, carried out activations at 44 districts towns around Bangladesh in order to ensure maximum publicity and exposure for the event.
The first Joy Bangla Youth Award was held in 2015 as part of which Young Bangla gave the award to 30 young individuals and youth-led organizations and gave special recognition to 30 more individuals and organizations. Most of these winners of the 2015 award are doing well in their personal spheres, thanks to the career and professional uplift and connections that Young Bangla facilitated for them.
This year, Young Bangla is organizing the award with the same aim, but this time, the award and recognition will be given to 64 youth-led organizations, but no individuals. The application/registration window for the award opened on May 16, 2017 and remains open until August 19, 2017. Interested organizations may apply for the award both online and offline by filling up designated JBYA 2017 forms.
Phase 1: Divisional Meetings
In the first phase that spanned across May 2017, Young Bangla secretariat Centre for Research and Information (CRI), an internationally recognized research organization, visited seven divisional cities around Bangladesh.
The divisional meetings were mainly aimed at mobilizing Young Bangla’s local workforce – mainly the winners of the 2015 Joy Bangla Youth Award – for successful publicity in the buildup to the award function to be held in Dhaka in the last week of October. Representatives from more than 300 youth-led social, cultural and sports organizations, who are looking to get involved with the Young Bangla platform by applying for Joy Bangla Youth Award 2017, took part in the five divisional meetings.
Before these meetings, the local coordination teams were asked to ensure the presence of maximum possible number of representatives from youth-led organizations form their regions. The coordination teams successfully lived up to the task by bringing in representatives of more than 200 youth-led organizations.
For example, in the Chittagong Divisional Meeting, the local coordination team brought representatives from nearly 50 local youth-led organizations. During the meeting, the local coordination teams and CRI team members gave orientation to these new organizations about Young Bangla and how they might get benefitted if they enroll with the platform by applying for the Joy Bangla Youth Award.
As part of the meetings, the new organizations and the local coordination teams got divided into groups and generated ideas and budgets for the next two phases of the registration – district town-hall and campus activations. The last divisional meeting was held in Dhaka in the first week of June.
These meetings at the divisional cities followed an “Idea Circle” held in Dhaka in April in which the award was announced and the divisional coordination teams were formed.
Phase 2: District Town-hall Activation
The divisional coordination teams came out very successful in what was seen as an acid test of their reputation, skill and connections – the district town-hall activations, which spanned across the first three weeks of June.
These events were meant to ensure maximum publicity for the Joy Bangla Youth Award 2017 at the district level. The organizers believed that this would in turn ensure maximum participation in the award in the form of applications.
Divisional coordination teams divided the work among themselves, assigning separate members with the task of organizing town-hall events in different districts. The activation events were held in a total of 44 districts. Some of the districts had to be left out due to inclement weather.
At first, Young Bangla teams selected one prominent place in every district where many people go for either work or entertainment. For example, the local coordination team chose Bokultola in Sherpur district town as it is the most happening place there.
Two days before the event, the event teams stuck around 2,000 JBYA 2017 posters around the district down and made mobile announcements with loudspeakers to grab people’s attention. On the event day, they set up booths at the designated venues and updated the incoming visitors about Young Bangla and the Joy Bangla Youth Award by distributing leaflets and through one-to-one personal consultations. They also ensured effective video and photo documentation of the events.
While most of these activation programs were attended by local deputy commissioners (DCs) or high officials from local administration. In some other areas, local elected public representatives also took part in the activation. For example, in Chandpur district, former foreign minister Dr Dipumoni, MP, took part in the activation.