Empowering Youth Program
The saga of all the endeavors to establish and develop the Bangali nationhood is glorious with the supreme sacrifices of youth. The youth played a valiant role at all critical junctures in the life of the nation, e.g. the Language Movement of 1952, Six-Point Movement initiated in 1966, Mass Uprising in 1969, General Elections in 1970 leading to Non-Cooperation Movement, the great Liberation War in 1971 and Public Uprising against the Autocratic Regime in 1990. Without absolute fulfillment of the youth’s potential, it is not possible for youth to develop their lives nor for the nation to make inclusive advancement. It is imperative that the empowerment and pervasive development of the huge young population is implemented to achieve ‘equality, human dignity and social justice’ as stated in the Proclamation of Independence issued on 10 April 1971, to make sure that ‘we may flourish as a sovereign nation’ as enshrined in the Preamble of Bangladesh Constitution in order to execute the fundamental principles of State Policy as stipulated in Articles 14, 17, 19, 20 and 21. Youth constitute one-third of Bangladesh’s population and this demographic structure has poised her for ‘Demographic Dividend’. Our young people outnumber the old, and hence, we have more people who can work than those who are not. Reaping the demographic dividend is inextricably linked to the development and empowerment of young men and women. If appropriate policies are not formulated, the demographic dividend might, in fact, be a cost, leading to unemployment and an unbearable strain on education, health, and old age security. Our existing education system has proved itself incompatible to meet the demand of job market giving rise to huge number of unemployed youths which is demotivating and frustrating a large portion of the educated youths. Therefore, a practical and futuristic plan needs to be deployed for the fullest development and utilization of the potentials of our youths. WAVE’s Empowering Youth Program aims at equipping youths with the required education, knowledge and practical skills so that they can foster their own development and play desired role in their respective socio-economic settings. We are currently implementing following activities under this program:
The project intends to deliver Active Citizen Youth Leadership Training-ACYLT Programmes and youth-led Social Action Projects (SAP) where young people identify problems and opportunities of their own communities and involve people and relevant stakeholders to make a positive change. In the 7th phase, the project delivered 15 ACYLT covering 467 youth leaders in Chuadanga and Dhaka Districts. Youth leaders have implemented 30 numbers of SAPs in different communities focusing SDG 5 (Gender Equality) and SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions). British Council supports the project.
Youths are the driving force for positive social change. Youths have ample opportunity to reap out the positive in this era of unprecedented connectivity and technological advancement. However, right motivation and skill are key determining factors in this regard. Youth ENRICH Action Project intends to motivate and equip youths with awareness and skill to undertake social action project addressing the pressing social issues. Under this project, 63 Ward Youth Committees & 07 Union Youth Committees have been formed in 5 Unions of Jibonnagar Upazila and 1 Union of Damurhuda Upazilla in Chuadanga District and 1 Union of Singair Upazilla in Manikgonj District. These Committees are jointly taking social action projects for the benefit of youth community as well as the people of the target areas.
The Adolescent Program aims to enhance awareness and exercise values by the targeted adolescent; leadership and life skill development; improvement of nutrition and health services and advancement of sports and cultural activities. To foster the development of targeted adolescent girls & boys the project intervenes the Club and Forum formation; organize workshop on menstrual health management including sanitary napkin distribution; organize nutrition camps and ideal cooking exercise; facilitate training on leadership and career development; organize debate & sports competition; undertake social action to combat the violence against women, child marriage, forced marriages, dowry etc.; organize campaign against drug, corruption and terrorism etc. WAVE implements the project in 10 Upazillas in Chuadanga and Kushtia district with its own fund and support from PKSF.
The overall aim of the project is poverty reduction, youth empowerment and gender equality for young women and men living in rural climate-change affected areas. A total of 16,750 young men and women of age 15-29 would experience an improvement in their economic prospects in life through project’s various interventions. The project is being implemented in Bakerganj upazila of Barisal district with the support from Oxfam.
The main objective of the project is for developing human resources in line with the market needs through skill development training and at the end of the training ensuring more productive wage-based employment and self-employment, the family and the trainee’s human dignity establishment by increasing financial capacity so that they are able to sustainably improve their quality of life. For achieving the project goal & objectives, the project organizes and facilitate 3 months residential Competency Based Training-CBT and job placement (wage-based /self-employment) for the certified participants. WAVE implements the project through its two-trade training center in Darsana, Chuadanga and Rajshahi with its own fund and support of PKSF.
WAVE operates a fellowship program for interested Youth under International Professional Exchange Project supported by Norec. Norec facilitates the exchange of members and employees between businesses and organizations in Norway and countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin-America. The project creates scope to share knowledge and competence between people in various countries and cultures through innovative, collaboration, and mutual goals. WAVE implements this project in a coordinated/collaborative partnership approach between WAVE Foundation & DHAN Foundation, India. From this exchange program, participants attain the required knowledge, skill, and leadership and replicate the learning back home. In each round of exchange, participants aim at acquiring the required technical knowledge, skill, and experience to facilitate Farmers’ Producers Organizations-FPOs from DHAN Foundation and scientific rearing, household farm establishment and operational management and gene conservation of a local variety of goat (Black Bengal) from WAVE Foundation. More importantly, in this project, Young professionals play a significant contribution in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by sharing their knowledge and experiences in promoting small farming as a viable business. This international young professional exchange program opens up a new horizon of possibilities at institutional, individual (Young professionals) and community level and subsequently, would change on the ground and in the mind through capacity enhancement of the resources, best practice replication, and spill-over effect on the people.
Youth Assembly (YA) is a platform of WAVE aims to empower young people and create a stronger community. The Assembly promotes youth rights and development as well as facilitates their active participation in social development. It brings the youths in a common space to broaden their views and values towards the positive social actions and changes. This space includes both physical and virtual platform for leveraging youths with the advents of learning from each other and fueling their actions. YA is conducting multi-faceted activities to accelerate youth participation in socio-economic development. The YA organized National Youth Rights Assembly to focus on the formulation of ‘Effective National Youth Policy for Youth Rights and Development’ as well as aiming at uniting youth under single umbrella to establish youth rights, particularly, right to education, skill and employment. Youth Assembly undertakes initiatives in different phases to combat the coronavirus and its resulting crisis through successfully running its ‘Youth Against COVID19 Campaign’. Being a potential portion of the community, YA believes if combined efforts can be assured from every part of the society, it won’t be impossible to recover from any crisis that makes us fall apart.