The youth play an essential role in contributing to the welfare of society. Their energy, perspectives, innovative ideas, and beliefs act as rays of hope for a better tomorrow. However, somewhere in trying to build a promising future, the youth get distracted and sidetracked by the hurdles and manipulations of life. The problem lies in the lack of awareness and trying to figure out where to initially start from. In order to resolve such issues, the National Youth Assembly was established.
National Youth Assembly (NYA) is an initiative taken by Volunteer for Bangladesh (VBD), the youth wing of JAAGO Foundation. The basis of this platform is to acknowledge them with leading opportunities, building up their self-esteem, to help them gain the confidence to make full use of their potential. Moreover, the youth need to be prepared for any inconvenience they face along with their career and should be able to take control of the situation. The vision of NYA first took place in 2017 and it has been a success story ever since. It is a four-day-long residential program where youth from all over Bangladesh attend the event and take inspiration from noble personalities who share their views and advise the young minds with tips and tricks of making a big impact in this world. NYA usually aims to enlighten the youth with interactive sessions including career-building opportunities, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and much more.
In March of 2019, the third edition of NYA was held at Cox’s Bazar. The theme of that year was, “Empowering Youth for National Development’’, which gave importance to strengthening and briefing the youth about the various opportunities and making them aware of current world problems and how they can be effective in helping solve those issues. People from different professions, policymakers, and supreme personalities came under one roof to share their experiences and expertise and the youth learned from them through structured debates, skill-building workshops and brainstorming challenges.
Day 1 of the event was inaugurated by the founder of JAAGO Foundation, Korvi Rakshand who briefed the participants about what the four-day event will be about, an idea about the speakers and the activities involved in it. He also mentioned that the youth can share their views on the issues they feel needs to be addressed and the changes they want to see from the government.
Powerful speeches were given by VBD President- Ashikur Rahaman and UK Deputy High Commissioner to Bangladesh- Kanbar Hossein Bor.
With more interactive discussions, Day 2 of NYA started with forums that involved powerful and elevating speeches and the sessions of the day were Exercising Leadership: Dynamic to Change, Powering Bangladesh, Safe Roads – Save Lives and many more. Each session had notable personalities speak about their journey. The one seminar that stood out was, “Safe Roads-Save Lives’’, which was led by Ilias Kanchon of Nirapad Sarak Chai, Mohammed Shahidullah of BRTA Chattagram Division, Quazi Zulquarnain from Uber Bangladesh & Shawn Hakim of Rancon Motorbikes Limited (RMBL), who addressed road safety issues and our responsibilities as citizens.
Day 3 of the event consisted of activities that mainly focused on empowering the youth to make a difference in this world. The topics of discussion were Equal Minds, Equal Rights: which spoke in depth about the right of equality needed in every aspect of life, Ideas to Action: Entrepreneurship, Keynote Speech: Road to Success, SDG 6 Panel Discussion with WaterAid Bangladesh and many more. Lastly, Inspirational Stories was conducted by esteemed personas consisting of lessons on how to make it big in life and to never lose hope under any circumstances.
The last day of the event- Day 4, usually comprises bittersweet moments for every individual there. The day began with sessions named – Access to Information: Innovation for all, E-services in Middle-Income Bangladesh, Youth and Volunteerism, Effective Ways of Communication, and to conclude with- Branding Bangladesh: Product | Services| Human Resource. Lastly, the organizers, VBD members, and delegates gathered together to celebrate a fun-filled night of cultural celebration which was followed by a concert.
To summarize, NYA 2019 was an event that was created for the young generation to enlighten them about the different prospects of life. Since our youths are the voice and face of tomorrow, it is important for them to be well informed and have the proper knowledge to make wise decisions in life.