Asma Jannat and Munni Aktar, two classmates from Cox’s Bazaar, had to drop out of school when they were in class 8. Their families could no longer afford to keep them in school. What they faced later is a story that is all too common in South Asia - the pressure to get married.
On International Youth Day this year, we focus on the need for safe spaces for young people. Safe spaces can be civic, public, digital or physical spaces where young people can participate in key decisions and express themselves with dignity and safety.
Welcome to the Global South of today. Entrepreneurship is on the rise. Innovation is blossoming. Opportunities are endless if we can harness the power of youth. This November, we are bringing young activists together with policymakers, social entrepreneurs, and development practitioners for the 6th Annual Frugal Innovation Forum(FIF) - rethinking and co-creating solutions that scale opportunities for youth.
It is no secret that Uganda’s infrastructure projects are extending beyond the capital city. However, it is a double-edged sword. There exists the ‘invisible’ effect, the dark side of these projects - especially for children and women.
When BRAC, one of the world’s largest NGOs, tried to digitize its paper-based record system to improve decision making and provide continuous improvement for its skills development programme in Bangladesh, it hit a wall.
The radio is on full blast as we drive down the winding roads of north-eastern Bangladesh. News, music, discussions. As we come closer to Moulvibazar city, the young people we are travelling with turn up the volume even more. The dialect changes. Everything is suddenly in their local tongue - Sylheti.
When the rest of the world relates ‘self-defense’ to learning physical, martial arts skills, what does it mean for young girls from a displaced community, which also happens to be the world’s most persecuted minority? Do they realise that raising voices can be one of the most critical tools in their self-defence kits? Our social workers have begun empowering adolescent girls from the Rohingya community by creating awareness of their own agency.
Deep inside the chaotic makeshift settlements of Kutupalong, Cox’s Bazar, is a spacious, shaded, colourful place. A bamboo structure with handmade decorations hanging from the walls. Curious onlookers gather outside the thatched windows, attracted by the rhythm.