Our country’s political and voting situation always causes fear which creates a lack of interest among the general youth towards participating in the election.
The purpose of this program was to prepare youth by constructing their mindfulness on how youth can engage themselves in shaping a positive election environment and youth’s right as voters. Thorough this project participants was able with opportunities to discuss and share their concerns to their locality, career and education related demands for 2018 National Election with local government bodies, policy makers and leaders in meetings.
To provide youth a sense that their voice matters with capacity and awareness in shaping Bangladesh’s democratic future through their participation in the national election.
1. Pre-Workshop Phase
60 new participants were selected to attend the workshop from each divisional district. Most of the participants were selected based on their age between 18-28 years, who had interest in Bangladesh’s democracy and ensuring democratic rights of citizens and those who had shown interest and intended to work to ensure youth participation in the election process of Bangladesh. Curriculum and incentive workshop also held by professional trainers in preparing participants and contents for the workshops.
To help and empower youth to develop their capacity by taking community initiative for the nation, 480 youth were directly trained through a two day long 16 workshops which were held in 8 divisional districts of Bangladesh. All the workshops followed a fixed schedule and were split into two phases. In the first phase, the trainer discussed democracy and covered topics which included Election, Voting, and Voting in another country. To make the workshops interesting, gaming sessions were also included. In the second phase, the participants were divided into 5 groups and were given a problem and were asked to come up with online campaign on “how will you motivate youth from your locality to vote” using innovative hashtags related to the problem. They utilized social media platforms to unveil the issues that matter to them most. Besides, the participants got involved in fruitful discussion regarding their locality, career and education related demands for 2018 National Election with local government bodies, policy makers and leaders in meetings.
3. Post Workshop Phase
The post workshop activities started right after the workshop in each divisional district. Participants from 8 divisions conducted round table discussions on the topic “Youth Vote Matters” with the local government bodies, policy makers, and leaders of their locality.
A video was posted on social media to create awareness and gain momentum and inspired youth to run the “#youthvotematters” online campaign. The purpose of this video material was to promote why youth’s opinion matters in shaping the country’s future. The awareness video was viewed 106,000 times and shared 142 times on social media platforms.