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Greek philosopher and one of the founders of Cynic philosophy once said, ‘The foundation of every state is the education of its youth’. The words sound so true in our present context when Bangladesh, as an emerging economy, is making great strides in different sectors and progressing with flying colours. For any country to continue the legacy of development and keep moving ahead, it is imperative that the power of the youth be utilized properly.
With 47% of its population between the ages of 18-35 years Bangladesh is uniquely positioned to benefit from demographic dividend. This section of society can become a game-changer for Bangladesh and the entire region. However, if their voice is ignored and their issues not addressed, it will not be long before their despondency turns into a mass revolt. Depending on the conditions, this huge cohort of young people can prove to be a challenge as well, either leading to conflict and violence or opening the window to new opportunities.
JAAGO Foundation with its youth platform stepped forward to provide the youth of Bangladesh a voice. It focuses on national development by reallocating skills and resources to foster self-reliance and growth in every young citizen. Based on the PYD approach, the main goal is to increase the meaningful participation of youth within their communities, schools, organizations, economies, peer groups, and families, enhancing their skills, providing opportunities, and fostering healthy relationships so they may build on their collective leadership.
Youth Development Program provides the opportunity to empower the youth, facilitate volunteerism, foster self-resilience and growth while equipping them with necessary tools to shape them for a meaningful future to Achieve the UN SDGs 2030. It follows a decentralized democratic process whereby it is ensured that actions are youth led, youth initiated and youth targeted. Currently, JAAGO Youth leaders are actively working in 64 districts of Bangladesh implementing the sustainable development goals within their communities involving the local government in need. JAAGO invests effectively in youth’s integrated development, the current generation will contribute to greater economic growth, democracy, and stability, and development efforts are more efficient and effective when we engage youth as partners.