As with most countries, young people represent a majority of the population in our country, and it is of utmost importance that we empower and nurture the youth to become key players and leaders in addressing the world’s most pressing challenges. In order for them to achieve greatness, they need a stage to learn and grow together, so they may take action to solve their unique development challenges. With the goal of bringing together young people from diverse communities and social stages in a meaningful way, ‘National Youth Assembly’, a one of a kind gathering of future national leaders is being organized by JAAGO Foundation’s very own ‘Volunteer for Bangladesh’ wing. Young individuals from 64 districts of Bangladesh gathered under one roof for this assembly to work towards Sustainable Development Goals.
This year the National Youth Assembly took the theme of “Empowering Youth For National Development”. The basis of this Assembly is to acknowledge the youth with leading opportunities, building up their self-esteem, to help them gain the confidence to make full use of their potential. The National Youth Assembly is a host to innovators, leaders and promising young people, providing an opportunity to approach and tackle some of the toughest issues of today. It has also opened the doors to hone diplomatic and developmental skills through enlightened discussions, workshops and networking sessions with the nationwide leaders, entrepreneurs, social influencers, experts, policymakers and international icons across a host of fields.
The National Youth Assembly 2020 was inaugurated on Day 1, on 26th February, by the Founder and Executive Director of the JAAGO Foundation, Mr. Korvi Rakshand, who enlightened the delegates on what the four-day assembly would be all about, an overview of the speakers and the activities involved. He also highlighted that the NYA is a great platform for them to enhance their skills and to create networks. Influential speeches were given by Khondker Nasif Akhter, President-VBD National Board, Mr. Kanbar Hossein-Bor, British Deputy High Commission to Bangladesh and the Honorable Minister of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr. Zahid Ahsan Russell MP.
Day 2 of NYA 2020 started with more interactive sessions that involved strong and inspiring speeches. The day was fully packed with informative sessions. In remembrance of Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Mr. Asif Saleh, Executive Director of BRAC conducted a session on ” Achievements of BRAC & Future Plans for the Youth”. The other sessions of the day were “Act Now or Swim Later: Youth for Water and Climate Change”, “Climate Action”, “Developing Effective Communication Skills”, “Generation Equality: Youth voice for the future”, and “Ensuring Road Safety for Sustainable Cities”. One session that stood out was “Mobilizing Youth for Politics”. This instructive session was moderated by Mr. Shah Ali Farhad who is the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Sheikh Tonmoy MP, Member of the parliament, Nahim Razzaq MP, Member of the Parliament and Nobonita Chowdhury, Director- Violence against women, Brac were the panellists of the session. They discussed the involvement of the youth in politics and how they can be developed. The day ended with an Opportunity Fair with over 16 organizations. Delegates who were looking to engage with hiring managers attended the fair with their resumes. WaterAid, Faraaz Hossain Foundation, BYLC Ventures, UNICEF, IFC, IOM UN Migration, World Vision, Care Bangladesh, Tiger Cage, ACLAB & Community Radio Naf, Johns Hopkins, ICCCAD, Oxfam, Bongo, Education USA, Enroute, Magnito Digital, Suzuki Motorbikes took part at the fair and received applications from the Delegates.
Day 3 of the event consisted of activities that mainly focused on inspiring the youth to make a difference in this world. International Video Blogger and Content Creator, Dear Alyne, shared her life experiences and journey with the delegates and advised them to follow their passion to be a changemaker. The topics of other discussion were- Inspirational Talk by Ayman Sadiq, Industries in Bangladesh, Innovative Bangladesh 2041: Scope for Youth, Get Ready for Tiger Cage, Art of leadership etc. Mr Debasish Deb, Country Manager, PepsiCo, conducted a session named “Saving our planet through responsible consumption and production”, and ensured that PepsiCo has taken initiatives to recycle plastic and prevent the dumping of plastic bottles into oceans.
After a day full of sessions, the attendees enjoyed the musical night, School Of Music: The Unsung Stories. Magical performances by Elita Karim, Minar Rahman and Mahtim Shakib soothed everyone’s stress away.
The last day of the Assembly, Day 4, started with a keynote speech from Mr. Richard Ragan, Representative and Country Director, WFP. The other two sessions of the day were- Good Governance and Civic Education, Prithibi Bodle Jaak. Lastly, Dr. Rubana Huq, President, BGMEA and Managing Director, Mohammadi Group delivered the concluding remarks at the ceremony, thus drawing the curtains on the 4-day long conference. The closing ceremony proved to be a very emotional one for the delegates. Tears were seen running down their faces as the core message of Dr. Rubana Huq struck a sentimental chord with them.
However, to enlighten the younger generation about the various life prospects, NYA 2020 was held. As our youths are tomorrow’s voice and face, it is essential that they are well educated and have the right knowledge to make wise decisions in life.