New Jobs for Youth through Mobile Classroom Project

Oct 9, 2016

Dhaka, 9 October 2016 As part of a pilot initiative, the Youth Employment through Skills (YES) programme has launched today a fundraising campaign with the aim to raise US$ 40,000 to teach young Bangladeshis the technical coding, communication and freelancing skills they need in order to start earning a living in the international digital freelance IT marketplace. This innovative venture is a collaboration between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bangladesh and CodersTrust with sponsorship from Standard Chartered Bank Bangladesh and Better Shelter.

The need for YES programme comes at a critical time as approximately 41% of Bangladeshi youth are not in education, employment, or in training. UNDP and CodersTrust have devised a six month ‘Learn and Earn’ programme for Bangladeshi youth which provides them with world-class content, one-to-one mentoring and online learning, as well as offering the chance to work on real, paid assignments. In addition, the students will learn how to boost their confidence and gain the communication, negotiation and presentation skills they need to compete in international markets.

UNDP’s National Goodwill Ambassador for Youth, the legendary Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Captain of the Bangladesh Cricket Team, will be directly involved in the campaign. Anyone who supports the campaign will be eligible for some amazing gifts, including Twitter shout-outs and autographed cricket balls and bats from Mashrafe himself.

All the money raised through the campaign will go towards covering the costs of equipping the mobile classroom units with desks, chairs, computers and Internet access, as well as funding the Learn and Earn programme. The end goal for the YES programme will be to train 100,000 Bangladeshi youth over the next three years, helping each of them to start earning an income of up to USD 300 per month.

In the first phase of the programme, UNDP and Coders Trust are launching a mobile classroom pilot for 360 students in the Narail District of Bangladesh. Better Shelter, a social enterprise which develops and provides temporary buildings to house persons displaced by armed conflicts and natural disasters, has donated two of its modular shelters to UNDP to be used as mobile classrooms during the initial phase (value of USD 4,750). Better Shelter will also provide personnel to erect the structures.

“We are very excited to be working with UNDP and Coders Trust to provide a more hopeful future for Bangladeshi students. The modular characteristics of the Better Shelter makes it a great option for this type of mobile, temporary classroom and we believe this pilot programme will be a great success,” said Johan Karlsson, Interim Managing Director of Better Shelter.

The first group of students of the YES programme will begin training in early 2017, with a plan to generate publicity and additional funding in order to launch another 180 mobile classrooms incrementally over a period of three years. Classroom locations will be selected according to a set of criteria including the need for poverty reduction, population levels, suitability of infrastructure, and the proximity of current and future business partners.

UNDP Bangladesh Country Director (a.i.) Nick Beresford, explains that, “the Youth Employment through Skills Programme will help the country’s smart and talented young people get a good start in the vibrant global digital economy.  It will enable them to gain skills that are in demand across the world, and give them the opportunity to do hands-on work for clients. While they learn, they also earn. This increases their potential, and brings greater prosperity to Bangladesh.

The campaign will be supported by private sector as well. Standard Chartered Bank has already donated USD 5,000. “We are expecting many other private enterprises and individuals to join our efforts to support young people and help them make a good start in earning salaries,” said Addesse Haile, UNDP campaign coordinator.

In order to get this first part of the programme up and running, UNDP and CodersTrust are inviting interested citizens and private businesses to support the campaign through two Internet platforms:

  1. (for donations inside Bangladesh) and
  2. (for donations abroad)

For more information about campaign visit the official Facebook page at



UNDP: The United Nations Development Programme, is the United Nations' global development network which works in nearly 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.

CodersTrust: hacks IT education for the 99%. We believe that everyone has the right to financial independence regardless of their gender or social background. Through our online platform, we provide the path for anyone to become a successful IT freelancer with world class content, 24/7 learning support and 24/7 earning support. Join the world of young believers

Better Shelter: develops innovative housing solutions with a mission to improve the lives of persons displaced by armed conflicts and natural disasters. The Better Shelter is a weatherproof temporary shelter that offers a more dignified home for displaced families as well as a cost-effective solution for humanitarian organisations. Better Shelter is a Swedish social enterprise aiming to achieve social change at scale in a financially self-sustainable way. Every dollar generated in profit is reinvested within the company or distributed to Better Shelter’s philanthropic owner, the non-profit Housing for All Foundation. Better Shelter units are currently housing families and health care facilities in Ethiopia, Greece, Iraq, Macedonia and Nepal. Better Shelter is the result of a partnership between the IKEA Foundation, UNHCR and Better Shelter. For more information, please visit


Contact information

For further information please contact: Addesse Haile, UNDP Bangladesh at

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