Celebration of International Youth Day

12 Aug 2015

Drishty Chittagong won the International Youth Day debate by effectively arguing that good governance and strong implementation of policies must accompany employment opportunities in order to address issues such as drug use by youth.
Wednesday August 12th marked the annual celebration of International Youth Day. This year’s theme of “civic engagement” was spot on for the UNDP’s pilot project, Youth Empowerment for Development (YED). Over the past six months, UNDP has been testing approaches to encourage young people’s engagement with policy and decision makers starting with strengthening and amplifying youth voices. Centering around “civic engagement”, IYD activities in Chittagong included a youth fair, which highlighted opportunities for young people, a debate on youth unemployment and a dialogue with councilors from Chittagong City Corporation (CCC). Building on the success of the CCC election dialogue, the dialogue offered a rare opportunity for young people to directly interact with elected councilors from CCC.  It was very clear that young people have a strong desire to play a greater role in the running of the CCC and very much wanted to be part of the solution to many challenges the city faces such as the preservation of Chittagong’s remaining hills, traffic congestion and waterlogging. Furthermore, youth asked after the plans CCC had to incorporate the concerns and needs of street children, the hijra community and differently abled residents, including those with vision impairments. As Pauline Tamesis, UNDP Country Director, … Read more

Raising young voices

27 Apr 2015

 Young participants asked questions to the mayoral candidates of Dhaka North City Corporation and Chittagong City Corporation on April 15th and 20th, 2015.
Samiha is a student at the Asian University for Women in Chittagong. In the eyes of this young woman, gender-based harassment, so called “eve-teasing”, has become a growing concern for not only students, but women of all ages and all backgrounds in Bangladesh. Women find it difficult to go about their daily lives for fear of the comments and touching they elicit when they try to attend class or do their shopping. This issue was raised at the UNDP-hosted dialogue between young people and mayoral hopefuls In Chittagong, Samiha was encouraged to hear candidates take the issue seriously. Leaving the dialogue Samiha said the event was “promising” as it candidates had demonstrated the “potential of the city” and the mayor to take concrete steps to address issues like eve-teasing and waste management. Stats are often thrown about. 47.6 million Bangladeshis are between 10 and 24 years old (UNFPA 2014).  It’s easy to give these statistics a cursory glance since in the end they’re just numbers. They don’t represent individuals. They don’t tell stories.   It’s harder, however, to ignore the 47.6 million when they start to ask you direct questions. At recent dialogues in Dhaka and Chittagong, young people, drawn from … Read more

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