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Press Release: August 24, 2020, Monday-Dhaka

Summit Presents International Youth Day 2020


On the occasion of International Youth Day (IYD), JAAGO Foundation hosted a day-long series of webinars on the 22nd of August 2020 on Youth in Leadership, in Innovation, in Policy Engagement, in Crisis Management, in Entrepreneurship and in Art & Culture.

Mr. Korvi Rakshand, Founder & Executive Director- JAAGO Foundation said, the youth have always played a vital role and are always the first responders in times of need. They are the changemakers and nation builders. Currently, 50% of our population is under the age of 25 and this will reach 70% by 2030. It’s high time we equip these young minds, or else we won’t have a better Bangladesh tomorrow. We at JAAGO Foundation, celebrate the International Youth Day every year. This time around, due to the risk of health issues in social gatherings and in field activation, we have planned to celebrate this by hosting a series of webinars covering different aspects of social development and these will be enlightened with the participation of enthusiastic youths and renowned personalities from all over the country.

Summit, Bangladesh’s largest infrastructure conglomerate, was the key supporter of the event, whereas IPDC, Annisul Huq Foundation, SBK Foundation, Kludio and Bongo were the webinar partners.

Excerpts from “Youth in Leadership” webinar:

Nahim Razzaq, Member of Parliament (MP) spoke about how to overcome and learn from failures. He said that the young generation needs to be familiarized with government practices and placing them with internships so that they can be more skilled to be part of social changes. He also mentioned how the youth of the country showed immense courage by distributing relief without caring about their own safety.

Sudipto Mukherjee, Resident Representative-UNDP emphasized on what leadership skills the youth should be involved in post-covid and how the young people should invest more in health and particularly in mental health as a prerequisite to become a good leader.

·Ambareen Reza, Co-Founder & MD, Foodpanda opined that her content isn’t taken seriously because of her gender. ‘Let your work speak for itself. Regardless of gender, what are the individuals doing for society is what should be highlighted’.

Ejaj Ahmed, Founder & President of BYLC commented that leadership is a work that needs power and the ability to take on responsibilities. Embracing diversity and living in unity.

Korvi Rakshand, Founder & Executive Director- JAAGO Foundation, moderated the first webinar.

Excerpts from “Youth in Innovation” webinar:

Sonia Bashir Kabir, Founder, SBK Foundation noted that universities should focus on Research and Development to be prepared in advance and what the youth should focus on providing new ways to solve problems instead of relying on existing technology.

Mominul Islam, Managing Director & CEO IPDC Finance spoke about how a lot of people have ideas but fail when it comes to execution. Hence, youth should be interfaced with proper opportunities and systematic ways to help them execute their innovative ideas.

Ayman Sadiq, Founder & CEO, Robi 10 Minute School added technical skills and vocational skills to be equally as important as a four-year graduate program.

Tajdin Hassain, CMO, The Daily Star talked about the four things that should drive youth- Purpose- lead a life with ethics and value, Courage, Passion and Curiosity, to pursue your dreams and be an innovator. Innovation doesn’t mean disruptive innovation, it means adding value to existing innovation.

The webinar was moderated by Tanjim Ferdous, National Consultant, UN.

Excerpts from “Youth Engagement in Policy” webinar:

Shah Ali Farhad, Special Assistant to the Honourable Prime Minister opined that engaging with Youth will help us to understand them better and communicating with them will help us to know their views and make them involved in more humanitarian causes.

Nobonita Chowdhury, Director of Preventing Violence against Women, BRAC talked about creating a platform for the youth so that they can make their voices heard and know the systematic way to do their work. They are faced with obstacles and barriers and we need to help them overcome those challenges regardless of their gender, religious and political views.

Sayeed Ahmed, CEO, IID added that the youth need to be informed and inclusive to be democratic.

Shaheb Enam Khan, Professor, International Relations, Jahangirnagar University said about educating the society and the community as a whole about what is right and wrong and acting accordingly. The youth need to take charge of making the changes happen as they are the future.

The webinar was moderated by Arif R Hossain, Co-founder, Aamrai Bangladesh.

Excerpts from “Youth in Crisis Management” webinar:

Shaheen Anam, Executive Director, Manusher Jonno Foundation, expressed her admiration of how relentlessly the youth has participated in distribution of relief packs and said the society should appreciate them, their work and promote their good work.

Dr. Abdun Noor Tushar, Physician & Media Activist, emphasized the importance of training and equipping the youth with basic disaster management training like CPR, so that in times of need they would be more confident in their voluntary work. He also mentioned how the government can provide the infrastructure and the know-how to create a database in this regard.

Farah Kabir, Country Director, Actionaid Bangladesh, expressed her concern about whether the seniors are ready to give leadership and direction to the youth. She opined that we need to come out of nepotism and also encourage young girls and women to come forward.

Jakir Hossain, Finance Secretary, Bidyanondo Foundation, discussed how the youth are not keen on doing a lot of paperwork and they are more interested in action and result.

The webinar was moderated by Tony Michael Gomes, Technical Program Director, World Vision.

 Excerpts from “Youth in Entrepreneurship” webinar:

Siffat Sarwar, Cofounder & COO of Shop Up said, “Entrepreneurship is a difficult choice for both men and women. There will be times when one will have no money and you have to accept it and move forward.” She also advised not to have any expectations from anyone because the only person who is going to support you is yourself.

Rubaba Dawla, Founder & MD, Pulse Healthcare Services, talked about the social stigma centering women entrepreneurs and how things are changing 48% of the country’s entrepreneurs are females. Her advice was to believe in oneself and break all mental barriers and achieve success. 

Hussain Elius, Cofounder of Pathao, advised not to join the start-up to earn money. One has to go through tremendous mental pressure. He talked about the importance of training and analytical thinking, that schools & colleges will not teach. One has to learn this by themselves from the internet and other sources.

Kishwar Hashemee, Co-founder & CEO, Kludio emphasized on the level of difficulty of the way of life of an entrepreneur and how it is a constant learning process. He said it is essential to be aggressive about the strategy to make things happen.

This webinar was moderated by Tanjim Ferdous, National Consultant, United Nations in Bangladesh.

Excerpts from “Youth in Art & Culture” webinar: 

Rajib Samdani and Nadia Samdani of Samdani Art Foundation collectively explained how there were no platforms for the Bangladeshi fine arts to exhibit when they had started and now Dhaka Art Summit has become a medium by which young artists of our country have made an impact and their work has reached the whole world.

Jon Kabir, Rock Musician talked about transformation in the field of art and culture and one has to first love what they do. Art can never be treated like a business venture.

Elita Karim, Singer & Journalist, spoke about women not being given challenging work in reporting, thinking she may not be able to do it and how so many women are breaking this norm now and changing views of society.

Ashfaque Nipun, Writer & Director talked of the world as a big visual medium. Bangladesh is going through a transition. And social media in many ways may have become a barrier towards creating professional writers and authors. He emphasized and reminded me how writing and content is prime for anything and everything creative.

·The last webinar of the day was hosted by Tony Michael Gomes, Technical Program Director, World Vision.

About JAAGO and IYD Celebration: 

JAAGO Foundation is a non-profit organization with a vision to eliminate poverty through education. Today, JAAGO Foundation supports the education of 3500 children across its 11 branches all over Bangladesh. Volunteer for Bangladesh (VBD), the youth wing of the JAAGO Foundation is working actively in 32 districts of Bangladesh with the participation of 35000 energetic youths around the country with a view to rebuild the nation.

JAAGO Foundation and VBD celebrate the International Youth Day every year to connect, unite and empower the youth. This year the theme of International Youth Day 2020, “Youth Engagement for Global Action” seeks to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.