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  Volume 6 | Issue 02 | January 15, 2012 |


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Youth Conference

'Healthy life: Skills young people'

Kazi Amdadul Hoque

On December 24, 2011, a daylong youth conference named, Jubo Sommilon was held at the National Sports Council, with the view to share, discuss and explore the importance and impact of youth development in promoting sustainable, equitable and lively growth in the lives of young people. Save the Children in alliance with the HASAB consortium and in collaboration with the Department of Youth, Bangladesh Sports Federation, UNFPA, UNICEF, GIZ, CARE, Plan Bangladesh, BRAC, FPAB, Scouts, Rotaract District Organization, Jatiya Tarun Sanga organised the conference. Representatives from 200 youth organisations took part in the different segments of the programme. The theme of the conference was 'Healthy life: Skills young people'.

Addressing the youth.
Courtesy: Save the Children

The conference attended by more than 400 young people and organisers across the country, focused on key issues that directly impact youth, including life skills for healthy living, employment, entrepreneurship, social innovation, and sports for development. The representatives from Department of Youth and United Nations, international and national organisations presented their programmes including success, challenges and prospects. The conference comprised of a range of objectives, from self-esteem and team work to acquiring life skills to violence prevention and social inclusion at the community level.

During the conference, the delegates participated in a range of stimulating exercises, from model policy debate to Youth dialogue. The Youth dialogue was an interactive session, that encouraged participants to raise different issues to a panel of discussants comprising of GO, UN, international-national agencies and media. Youth speakers highlighted the challenges faced by students in protecting and preventing sexual abuse, HIV/AIDS, drugs, and are also struggling for issues like education at low cost, obtaining job without experiences or bribe. The organisers and members from civil society stressed the need for investing in young people, providing them with specific tools/assistance for educational purposes, technologies and skills that can help them achieve their greatest potentials.

A K Manzurul Haque, Director General, Department of Youth of Ministry of Youth and Sports inaugurated the conference, while Ranjit Kumar Biswas, ndc, Secretary, Ministry of Social Welfare attended the closing ceremony as chief guest. Dr Iddris Ali, Programme Manager, National AIDS/STD Program, Nayyar Iqbal, Acting Country Director, Save the Children were also present as special guests.

The conference reflected a spectrum of the delegates' thoughts and ideas to effect positive change in their life and local community. They learned about numerous opportunities to make difference from display/exhibition, information materials, role play, thematic cultural performance and fellowship through programme sharing. The conference also recognised 65 youth clubs for their extra ordinary performance in promoting and sustaining life skills education among young people.

(The writer is the Deputy Programme Director of Save the Children.)

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