By April 2025,
- Form the Bangladesh Youth Action Team (BYAT) of 160 members, comprising 50% females and 3%-5% individuals with disabilities, who will be actively engaged, functioning as GenU peer leaders at both divisional and national levels.
- Contextualise, promote, monitor and test Passport to Earning (P2E), an innovative 21st-century skills development for scalability in Bangladesh.
- Ensure that youths, with a specific emphasis on those facing opportunity challenges, acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to address pressing social and environmental issues. This involves fostering entrepreneurial mindsets and honing problem-solving skills through proven human-centred design methodologies, contributing to the promotion of sustainability.
- Mobilise youths, family members, and community stakeholders in targeted districts across eight divisions by April 2025. The goal is to actively support the implementation of inclusive practices and positive gender norms, thereby increasing access to skill development and earning pathways, especially for adolescent girls, young women, and youth with disabilities.
In Bangladesh, a significant portion of the population is adolescents and youths aged between 15-24, but many face challenges in accessing education and opportunities. While there has been progress in achieving gender equality in primary and secondary education, girls are still at risk of dropping out as they progress to higher grades. A large percentage of youths, especially young women, are not in education, employment, or training (NEET). The COVID-19 pandemic made this situation worse, particularly for adolescent girls.
This project, aligned with the GenU Programme anchored in UNICEF, aims to empower young people, especially adolescent girls, young women, and youth with disabilities, who are disconnected from education, training, or work. We refer to them as “Opportunity Youth.” The project’s key goals are to provide access to relevant skills and opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship and to influence policies and programs for these marginalized youths. Strategies are being employed to achieve these goals. GenU’s Passport 2 Earning (P2E) platform is being utilized to assist young people in improving their skills and connecting with training, volunteer opportunities, and potential employers. The capacity of GenU’s Bangladesh Youth Action Team (BYAT) is being strengthened to provide support and connect marginalized youth at the local level. Moreover, the Imagen Venture Youth Challenge in all 8 divisions is a core component of the program to centre youth focus on climate and gender issues in their own communities.
Attention is being given to the social norms that discourage young women and youth with disabilities from pursuing non-traditional careers, particularly in high-growth and green sectors. Efforts are being made to promote changes in behaviour and communication that support gender equality. In addition to these initiatives, the project emphasizes capacity development for young people by providing training in leadership, advocacy, and entrepreneurial skills. It also prioritizes the safety and well-being of participants, ensuring a safe and supportive environment.
UNICEF is actively supporting the capacity building of JAAGO Foundation Trust in program management, implementation, and monitoring. The project is in the process of establishing a group of youth-to-youth trainers and facilitators to encourage and mobilize the use of Passport to Earning (P2E) and provide peer-to-peer assistance to marginalized youth.
Overall, this ongoing project is dedicated to empowering Opportunity Youth, especially girls, young women, and youth with disabilities, by providing them with access to education, skills, and opportunities while challenging social norms and promoting their active participation in decision-making processes and community development.