Harnessing Youth Leadership in RangamatiNov 8, 2017
UNDP-Bangladesh has always been focusing on building equity and empowering youth by developing new ways of giving them a voice on pressing issues. Indeed, the future generation has a major impact on our society and is already responsible for some of the largest shifts in the world, such as the massive impact of the social media sites as Facebook and YouTube. There is a pressing need to continue to involve youth as our partners in development, innovation and social change as their knowledge and experience shape our future. UNDP supports the Ministry of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs (MoCHTA) initiatives to create opportunities for youths to gain valuable skills for advancement, networking, and knowledge sharing in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.
UNDP - supported MoCHTA’s project Strengthening Inclusive Development in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (SID-CHT) includes a multi-ethnic youth leadership and empowerment component that aims to cultivate the culture of inclusiveness, youth engagement in the decision-making processes.
Against this backdrop, ‘Rangamati District Interactive Youth Camp 2017’ was organized by SID-CHT, MoCHTA on 8-9 November 2017 in Rangamati Hill District, that hosted over one hundred young ambassadors from diverse backgrounds representing 10 different colleges, to reiterate the importance of young people as agents for peace-building and leadership. The objectives included encouraging youth leaders to practice in outside of the box thinking to inculcate creative youth leadership, as well as, to promote the culture and respect for diversity, volunteerism, team building, and gender equality.
The two-day workshop included a collection of intellectual sessions filled with team-building activities, interactive discussions, and cultural knowledge sharing. The youth camp was designed to cultivate young people’s commitment and to motivate them not only to be the next 21st century leaders, but also to tap in their energy and imagination to create positive changes in their communities today. The honoured guests included internationally renowned Human Rights Activist and Feminist Kamla Bhasin, who integrated the slogan ‘All human beings are born equal and free, in dignity and rights’ to the sessions. As well as, the Deputy Commissioner Md. Manzarul Mannan, former Rangamati Hill District Education officer Anjulika Khisa, and Chakma Circle Chief Barrister Raja Devashish Roy who were also participating in the sessions. The speakers and educators delivered thought provoking speeches and facilitated interactive activities to encourage open mindedness, cooperation and responsible citizenship.
In addressing the young leaders Kamla Bhasin said, “It is necessary to strengthen the role of young ambassador’s quest for a positive change in the society to eliminate inequalities and injustices. We must change the culture of division and embrace the culture of celebrating diversity and unity. This is only possible with the power of youth leadership’.
Throughout the workshop, the young participants discussed vital issues including diversity and human rights, gender based violence, early marriage, and addiction, as well as, explored ways to resolve these issues through awareness building, volunteerism, teambuilding, leadership, and conflict resolution. The youth camp marked the final close with a cultural evening showcasing the magnificent cultural diversity of the Chittagong Hill Tracts.
Investments in young people will pay great dividends in a better future for all. By equipping young people with skills, knowledge, and confidence in their abilities we contribute to a future of peace and stability for the Chittagong Hill Tracts region and the country as a whole. CHTDF, UNDP- Bangladesh will continue to support Government of Bangladesh efforts to empower, educate and embrace youth in the development of the CHT region.