JAAGO Foundation in collaboration with International Republican Institute (IRI), implemented the ‘Social Harmony for Development’ project which emphasized enhancing knowledge of Bangladeshi youth on effective and peaceful methods of political participation.The project was designed with two major components in mind – improving understanding of peaceful coexistence, and civic education and engagement among the student political wings and the youth respectively.
Two workshops were held in Chattogram and Dhaka under each component. A session on ‘Good Governance and Civic Education’ was held at JAAGO’s fourth National Youth Assembly (NYA). However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of Bangladesh declared “lockdown” throughout the nation to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (effective from 23 March to 30 May), causing the fieldwork to be on hold. After redesigning, JAAGO organized 5 online pieces of training for the leaders of political parties’ student wings to improve their understanding of peaceful coexistence and democratic principles under component one. These training sessions were held in Mymensingh, Rajshahi, Barisal, Bogura, and Patuakhali. Moreover, to make university students aware of civic engagement and political participation, 5 online pieces of training were conducted in Cumilla, Rangpur, Jashore, Sylhet, Rangamati under component two.
As the goal was to improve the understanding of effective and productive methods of civic
engagement and political participation among non-political university students, a session was arranged on ‘Good Governance and Civic Education’ at JAAGO Foundation’s fourth National Youth Assembly (NYA) where 600 delegates from across the country attended. The interactive session included the speaker, Mr Shahab Enam Khan, emphasizing citizens’ civic rights and responsibilities, how to reevaluate misinformation and educate people about having the citizen traits such as tolerance, accountability leading to an improved understanding of effective and productive methods of civic engagement.
A drama and song performance were held by Pidim Theatre incorporating the message of civic education training and educating a wider audience on the democratic process in Bangladesh.A song on the rights to freedom of expression and the citizen traits needed for democratic nation-building was also jointly launched by IRI and JAAGO Foundation.
“You are responsible for what your community and your state is doing”
Mr. Shahab Enam Khan, Professor, Department of International Relations, Jahangirnagar University
- A total of 168 youths now possess an improved understanding of peaceful coexistence within student political wings.
- A total of 178 youths now possess an improved understanding of civic education and engagement among youth.
- 600 delegates from across the country who attended a session on ‘Good Governance and
- Civic Education’ at JAAGO Foundation’s fourth National Youth Assembly (NYA) gained a better understanding of Good Governance and Civic Education.
Quotes from Participants:
“A positive attitude towards every social and political issue is to be developed among every class of people for peaceful co-existence”
Nazmul Hossain, Participant
“Participation is essential in a democratic process, because if you want to ensure democracy then you must ensure equal participation of all.”
“If a leader doesn’t know the strength and limitations then s/he cannot assign or treat members in the proper way and that will cause conflict, jealousy among the organization.”