JAAGO Foundation Founder Korvi Rakshand receives the 2023 Ramon Magsaysay Award, also known as the “Nobel Prize of Asia”

JAAGO Foundation Founder Korvi Rakshand receives the 2023 Ramon Magsaysay Award, also known as the “Nobel Prize of Asia”

Korvi Rakshand, the visionary founder of JAAGO Foundation and Volunteer for Bangladesh, has been honoured with the 2023 Ramon Magsaysay Award in the Emergent Leadership category. Often referred to as the “Nobel Prize of Asia,” this prestigious award—the highest accolade in Asia—recognises exceptional contributions in various fields, from public service to social innovation. 


The Ramon Magsaysay Award is an honour bestowed to recognise exceptional contributions in various fields like leadership, justice, environment, healthcare, and more. Established in 1957 by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in the memory and honour of Ramon Magsaysay, the former Filipino president, the Ramon Magsaysay Award celebrates the value of integrity, courage, and selfless service of individuals impacting Asian landscapes. With this year’s award, Korvi Rakshand joins the distinguished list of 344 outstanding individuals and organisations whose selfless service has offered their societies, Asia, and the world successful solutions to some of the most intractable problems of human development.

About Korvi Rakshand

Korvi Rakshand is a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur and founder of JAAGO Foundation, and Volunteer for Bangladesh. He attained L.L.B Honours from the University of London. Since childhood, he has lived a modest and socially sheltered life and had a promising career in law or business ahead of him. But with great zeal to give back to society, he left his comfortable life and the generic idea of a prosperous future to dedicate his life to something more worthwhile. 

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His journey towards a transformative tomorrow began when he came upon a group of children scavenging for scraps in a dump. He spent some time playing with them and also shared food with the children, but as he was walking away, a little girl approached him and asked him to take her home with him since she had none. This shocked him and left him feeling so helpless and guilty. After the interaction, he made up his mind about what he really wanted to do with his life.

He convinced six of his friends to join him in a project to teach English to poor children so they would have the chance to get jobs in Dhaka’s growing industry. 

JAAGO Foundation

JAAGO Foundation was established in April, 2007 and is the brainchild of Korvi Rakshand. The organisation started its journey in a rented room in the Rayer Bazar slums of Dhaka, furnished with nothing but a carpet, a whiteboard and a marker. In the beginning, they had only seventeen students. The Foundation aims to address problems of access to quality education for underprivileged children.

From such small beginnings, it has grown into one of the largest, most dynamic non-profit organisations in its field in Bangladesh. With education as its core program, it provides free-of-cost, government-recognized, English-language primary and secondary education to 30,000 students.

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JAAGO Foundation currently has 11 conventional and online schools across 10 districts of the country. Apart from education, they also provide the students with free uniforms and school supplies, food, personal hygiene items, health check-ups, and medicines. Located in rural areas, its online schools operate in the same way as traditional schools except that teachers deliver lectures from the JAAGO teachers’ center in Dhaka, using video conferencing technology. Students watch on big screens and interact with the teachers. Trained facilitators are present onsite to assist and monitor the students. JAAGO is pioneering in exploiting technology to address problems of access in hard to reach areas and the shortage of qualified teachers in those areas.

Volunteer for Bangladesh

Volunteer for Bangladesh was founded in 2011 by Korvi Rakshand with a vision to empower the youth of Bangladesh through volunteerism, fostering self-resilience for a meaningful future. The core values of the organization are diversity, equity, inclusion, as well as a focus on community-driven solutions and sustainable development.

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The organization believes that volunteerism is a powerful tool for creating positive change in Bangladesh, and hence are dedicated to providing opportunities for individuals to get involved in the cause and make a difference.

JAAGO Foundation’s programs have evolved into other themes, such as women empowerment and children’s rights, climate change, and democracy & governance. Illustrations of its dynamism is that it has set up a “Safe Haven Project” that supports the physical and mental well-being of the children of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar in the sprawling Cox’s Bazar camp in Bangladesh.

About the Ramon Magsaysay Award

The Ramon Magsaysay Award is an annual award established to perpetuate former Philippine President, Ramon Magsaysay’s example of integrity in governance, courageous service to the people, and pragmatic idealism within a democratic society. Established by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in 1957, the award aims to celebrate integrity in public service. Since its inception, it has been awarded to individuals and organisations from countries including India, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, and Sri Lanka. Notable recipients include Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Mother Teresa, Dalai Lama, and Satyajit Ray, among others. The award is often referred to as the “Nobel Prize of Asia”.

JAAGO Foundation Founder Korvi Rakshand receives the 2023 Ramon Magsaysay Award, also known as the “Nobel Prize of Asia”

Korvi Rakshand has received several other international awards for his contributions to the betterment of society, such as the Mosaic Talent Award in the International Category from HRH Prince of Wales, Prince Charles in 2010, Commonwealth Youth Awards in 2013, Andrew E. Rice Honourable, Mention Award by Society for International Development in 2017, Commonwealth Point of Light, Award by Office of the Prime Minister, United Kingdom in 2021, The Sheikh Hasina Youth, Volunteer Award by Ministry of Youth and Sports, Government of Bangladesh in 2022.

  • He was also included in the list among the Top 99 Under 33 Foreign Policy Leaders by The
  • Diplomatic Courier and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy in 2013, Top 10 Globally Inspiring
  • Bangladeshis by British Bangladesh Power Inspiration in 2014, Top Ten Outstanding Young
  • Person of Bangladesh by Junior Chamber International (JCI) Bangladesh in 2015, and was also
  • selected as Asia 21 Young Leaders by Asia Society in 2015.

We are extremely proud of this glorious achievement of our founder and hope his transformative efforts continue to light the way for a brighter future for all.

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