Joy Bangla Youth Award
Joy Bangla Youth Award is the flagship event of Young Bangla, one of the biggest national platforms for Bangladeshi youth. The aim of Joy Bangla Youth Award is to recognize outstanding contribution by youth-led organizations from across the country in the fields of community development, cultural activities and sports development. So far, Centre for Research and Information (CRI), the secretariat of Young Bangla, has organized two editions of the award – 2015 and 2017.
Joy Bangla Youth Award 2015
In the first edition in 2015, Young Bangla organized eight divisional meets at the eight divisional headquarters in Bangladesh through which more than 1,500 applications were collected. From those, Young Bangla primarily selected 200 and eventually gave the award to 30 individuals and organizations for their outstanding work at the community level in areas such as promoting youth employability, ending violence against women, child and adult education, cultural activities, and so on. Sajeeb Wazed, ICT adviser to the honorable prime minister of Bangladesh and CRI chairperson, handed over the awards to the winners during an award giving ceremony at the Krishibid Institution Auditorium in Dhaka in May 2015.
Joy Bangla Youth Award 2017
In the second edition in 2017, Young Bangla went through an elaborate application call through online and offline channels. More than 1,300 organizations applied by registering online on the Young Bangla website, by email or by submitting hard copy of the application form. As many as 70 townhall and campus activations and eight divisional meetings were organized for over two months in as many districts and campuses and half of the 1,300 applications were collected in this channel. Through evaluation of forms, 102 organizations from all over Bangladesh were shortlisted, following which, Young Bangla teams paid field visits to each of these 102 organizations and prepared a list of 50 finalists. A distinguished jury panel – comprising members of parliament, bureaucrats, NGO workers, businesspersons and media professionals – selected the final 30 winners.
This time too, Sajeeb Wazed gave the awards to the winners in a program organized at the Sheikh Hasina National Youth Centre in Savar near Dhaka in October 2017. In the two days preceding the award function, the 50 finalists were groomed and orientated with the Young Bangla platform as part of a three-day residential program at the venue.
For years, many of these youth-led initiatives and organizations struggled to find secure sources of finance and establish workable connections with the government instruments. Despite all kinds of social and financial hardships, many of them have overcome the toughest of odds in their respective settings to emerge with brilliant and innovative game-changing ideas for the betterment of the most down-trodden communities in some of the remotest and peripheral locations in Bangladesh such as the tea gardens in the east, indigenous communities in the southern hill tracts, and poor agro-based communities in the far north.
However, for most of them, the award has changed things drastically. They now have much greater acceptability, respect and visibility in their areas and communities, leading, for most of them, to secure sources of finance, credibility and more important, support from almost all the walks of life such as the administration, law enforcement and local business and influence groups.
Apart from ensuring visibility, Young Bangla has also acted as the bridge between these youth-led organizations and some of the leading public and private sector entities including ministries, corporations and business groups and conglomerates of the country.
Winners of the Joy Bangla Youth Award 2015 have got the opportunity to do internship with Ministries of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources and Foreign Affairs, ICT Division, and Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, and so on. Private sector entities such as Microsoft Corporation, aamra Companies and TK Group have offered brand ambassadorships, internships, service engineers’ training, labs and career trainings to award winners and also general Young Bangla members.