UNDP Bangladesh Launches First Crowdfunding Campaign
Late last year, the Global Crowdfunding Academy was launched. The Academy is a partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Croatia, UNDP Innovation Facility, and the UN Istanbul Regional Hub.
UNDP Bangladesh is one of the participating country offices in the Academy and launched its very first crowdfunding campaign on October 9th, 2016. Around the globe, UNDP has been exploring crowdfunding as an alternative financing model. This is an important step in investigating new modalities for financing development. The success of online campaigns for charitable and development causes have grown so huge that Indiegogo has even added a separate platform specifically for this purpose, Generosity, to accommodate the growing demand.
After several successful campaigns from different country offices, UNDP Bangladesh is contributing to this crowdfunding effort by launching the largest campaign to date. We will attempt to demonstrate that crowdfunding for development work is possible on a larger scale, while at the same time, using the publicity from the campaign to generate wider interest and support for scaling up the programme.
Youth Employment through Skills (YES)
Despite the huge gains that Bangladesh has made addressing poverty, almost 1/3 of the population, or 45 million, still live below the poverty line. Not only that, but, approximately 41% of Bangladeshi youth are NEET: Not Employed, in Education, or in Training. This means that there is a huge demand for jobs and an even greater need for skills.
UNDP Bangladesh, in partnership with CodersTrust, has developed the YES programme, which will bridge these challenges through an innovative model that tackles both issues at once. First, young Bangladeshis will train under an experienced instructor to learn basic Information Technology (IT) skills for 6 months. This will include understanding the basic functions of a computer, learning basic IT skills such as data-entry and Microsoft Excel, and becoming confident and knowledgeable in marketing themselves online. Every week, online freelancing portals such as Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr are advertising thousands of IT jobs. Students of the YES programme will learn relevant skills for today’s fast paced world that will enable them to earn a decent income.
The YES programme is being built upon a previously successful pilot between UNDP Bangladesh and CodersTrust. Graduated students from the initial class are having a lot of success, with earnings per month substantially over any income they had before the programme. Check out some of the amazing success stories here. Not only was the pilot a remarkable success, but as the former students continue to build up their online freelancing profiles with paid assignments, some have continued to expand their IT skillset by learning basic webpage design, Adobe Photoshop, and more.
In his first act as UNDP’s National Goodwill Ambassador for Youth, the legendary Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Captain of the Bangladesh Cricket Team, will be directly advocating for the campaign. Anyone who supports the campaign will be eligible for some amazing gifts (perks), including Facebook shout-outs and autographed cricket balls and bats from Mashrafe himself!
Our goal is to raise USD 40,000 to deploy the first mobile classroom that can train and provide full support to 360 students over a period of one year. It will be equipped with all of the necessary learning tools including desks, chairs, laptops, projectors, connection to the power grid, and internet access. We plan on reaching 100,000 Bangladeshi youth over the next 3 years!
How can you help?
This is UNDP Bangladesh’s first experience with crowdfunding. We’ve chosen an initiative that will show practical results: young people learning new skills and making an income.
It has been a remarkable experience for us to be a part of the Crowdfunding Academy and meet motivated individuals set on making the world a better place. We have learned a lot from the trainers and colleagues at the Academy and they have greatly expanded our vision of the potential of crowdfunding and other alternative financing modalities.
2. Contribute to our campaign. Any contribution will go directly to helping us build our first mobile classroom and change the lives of young, ambitious students throughout Bangladesh. Every supporter will be eligible for some amazing perks!
Within Bangladesh: http://bit.ly/projektyes
Outside of Bangladesh: www.igg.me/at/YESBangladesh