COUNCIL CONNECTING FUTURES
PROJECT TITLE: Connecting Futures Beyond Borders: Youth
OBJECTIVE: To explore identity and develop in consultation
with young people for the young people.
Borders is a Connecting Futures (CF) project of the
British Council providing a platform for young people
from Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and the
UK Democracywatch takes great pride in implementing
this project that has Noble objectives for the future
Citizens of the World. The project started in September
2004 and will run up to the end of March 2006.
The YLP program was designed in such a way that the
target group was able to learn about contemporary issues
and themes such as Diversity and Tolerance, Gender Equity,
the Environment we live in, HIV/AIDS, Consequence of
Drug abuse, Culture & Heritage, Governance and Democracy
and can raise their voices regarding these issues for
a positive change.
PHASE 1 (September 2004 - March 2005)
More than 100 young participants from Dhaka and 30 from
Mymensingh went through a life skill training program
(YLP) called youth leadership program conducted by experts
and resource persons. YLP included a youth Festival,
sports, drama and rally.
Youth Summit 2005: Democracywatch with the support of
The British Council organized an International Youth
Summit from 20th February to 22nd February 2005 where
participants from Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan shared
their experience on various international issues and
built a bridge of cultural exchange.
India Fair: As a part of this project Bangladeshi young
participants went to India to attend the Beyond Borders
India Fair '05 at New Delhi from 3rd - 4th February
2005, where they exchanged their views and ideas with
other participating countries - India, Sri Lanka and
Pakistan Festival: From 5th -7th march at Rawalpindi
and Karachi the Pakistani festival was held where four
BB Bangladesh members actively took part .
In both occasions, Bangladeshi participants had opportunities
to learn about the activities and initiatives taken
by their fellow young people from diverse backgrounds.
Those experiences helped them to develop understanding
with the young people of those countries. They were
benefited immensely and were expected to adopt certain
elements that would promote youth activities beyond
Another long-term vision by Democracywatch is to establish
a youth Parliament in Bangladesh. Today's youth will
be the future leaders of tomorrow. It is important to
inculcate vital democratic values and culture as well
as develop leadership skills. Democracywatch has already
started planning for such an initiative with the help
of UK Youth Parliament.
PHASE 2 (April 2005 - March 2006)
festival 2006 - India BB core group arranged their second
Beyond Borders India festival on 29-30th November in
New Delhi , India. Five participants from Bangladesh
BB group joined the festival and took part in different
interactive sessions and cultural programs which reflected
various contemporary issues.
Once the formal training program ended, performance
and interest of the young participants were evaluated
based on their participation in different activities
during the initial phase. They were judged according
to various factors. After thorough discussions within
the group and consulting with experts, the core members
decided to go with the following projects:-
Entertainment Program for the Street Children: Friday
based program for under privileged children, which includes
training on health care and hygiene, etiquette, education
with entertainment opportunities.
Since 20th May 05 around 50 under privileged children
from different locality of Dhaka are participating in
this program. They receive free Medicare and once a
month free medical consultancy. As part of the program,
Annual Sports and Cultural Competition has been arranged.
Prizes and Eid Gifts were distributed among them also.
Skills Training for the Youth of the "Geneva Camp"
(Urdu speaking Bangladeshis aspiring to go to Pakistan):
The program incorporates the vision of creating opportunities
for the Urdu-speaking people of different camps through
identifying their Life Skills and training needs. 30
potential youth will be trained to fit in the job market
and later will be involved to build up their own society
instead of going back to Pakistan. The campaign also
includes cultural exchange to resolve identity crisis
faced by them. With the help of Al Falah Bangladesh,
BB Core group are working with the core members of Association
of Young Generation of Urdu Speaking Community (AYGUSC)
for the betterment of the Urdu Speaking Community in
the Geneva Camp. They have already conducted few sessions
to identify their problems and LifeSkills training needs.
Nationwide Awareness Campaign: With Bangladesh Debate
Federation (BDF) and other Democracywatch projects (PRC,
LGI, ARD, MG) BB will launch this campaign where young
people of at least 18 districts will come to know about
BB activities and the message of Active Citizenship.
The program includes debate workshop, team building
exercises and FGD's. End of the project data from all
the districts will depict the scenario of the Youth
Community of Bangladesh. The program started with Sylhet
campaign on 15th July 05.
Participants Reflection :
"I think this workshop has helped me to become
much more socially aware."
"I gained confidence and knowledge."
"We learned how to work as group and do the right
"Developed my skills and know something different."
Court: The youth court is a new concept for Bangladesh,
which will work for the youth ,by the youth. It would
need some time to work actually as a court but in the
mean time; the core members of Beyond Borders will concentrate
on establishing the ground and orientation of this court.
This will monitor, evaluate and train the youth in the
socio economic perspective in order to develop active
Upcoming grand event: To hold Beyond Borders International
Youth Summit in 2006. Young Participants from Bangladesh,
India, Pakistan, Srilanka and the UK will share their
experiences of Active Citizenship Campaign though different
interactive sessions during the Summit.
This project already has created positive impact, because
in this part of the world young people have adequate
potential but lack opportunity for self-actualization.
Street Children Program