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Making Connections

Over the last three years, Young Bangla, apart from emerging as a major platform, has also come across as an expanding network of youth from all walks of the society. At the core lies a belief that with the right connections, the youth of Bangladesh has what it takes to make the connections count.

Engaging youth in nation-building by giving them a say in the policymaking process and bridging the gap between government’s development initiatives and enterprising youth have been the main promises of Young Bangla as a youth-led and youth-centric network platform.

In addition to this mainstream agenda, Young Bangla has also been working to provide some much-needed exposure to young entrepreneurs and social workers, particularly those from some of the remotest areas of the country, thus keeping them updated with the latest and most exciting opportunities for career, personal and organizational development.

Faez Belal, a university undergrad student, has participated in the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards 2016 as one of the five finalists from Bangladesh. His social organization Barisal Youth Society (BYS) won the Joy Bangla Youth Award 2017 given by Young Bangla and is now an active member of the platform.

“I first came to know about this award from Young Bangla. Usually, business students participate in this competition. But Young Bangla encouraged me to apply for this and gave me the necessary guidance and technical support. And now I am one of the finalists,” said Faez.

Krishti Aung Leona, a member of Young Bangla, participated in the Forum of Young Parliamentarians as a youth delegate in the sidelines of the 136th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Summit in Dhaka in October 2017.

“Thanks to Young Bangla, I had the unique opportunity to meet several dozens of parliamentarians from a number of countries. Young Bangla build the bridge for me and some of my peers,” Krishti said.

According to Priyanka Chakma, assistant coordinator at Young Bangla secretariat Centre for Research and Information (CRI), such opportunities are absolutely crucial for the youth.

“For Young Bangla, it’s a matter of a simple post in a social media forum. But for these young guns, it opens an entire world of opportunities,” said Priyanka.

In addition to these opportunities, Young Bangla members have also participated in other high-profile forums such as the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference; UNDP’s Digital Khichuri contest; conference on youth development organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports; International Volunteers Day 2017 event organized by UN Women and UNDP; Youth Dialogue on protecting girls and women from sexual harassment in public transport organized by Plan International; etc. More recently, a number of Young Bangla members have got the opportunity to have stalls at the Digital World expo 2017 in Dhaka in December.