Bangladeshi Tanzil Ferdous will be honoured by the US in recognition of her positive role in building sustainable peace, according to an official announcement. The 24-year-old along with nine others from around world will receive the Emerging Young Leaders Award. Tanzil actively works towards youth and community development and women’s rights in Bangladesh while simultaneously personally challenging traditional gender norms in her country.
Other winners are Iraq’s Sara Abdullah Abdulrahman, Indonesia’s Diovio Alfath, Turkey’s Ece Çiftçi, Lithuania’s Zina Salim Hassan Hamu, Pakistan’s Dania Hassan, Norway’s Nancy Herz, South Africa’s Isasiphinkosi Mdingi, Panama’s José Rodríguez, and Tajikistan’s Firuz Yogbekov. The recipients will be presented with the award in a public ceremony at the State Department on May 2. They will visit the US for an intensive program from April 29 to May 12, specially designed to expand their leadership capacities, strengthen their knowledge of management strategies in the non-profit, government and private sectors, learn and share best practices, and broaden their networks of resources and support, the State Department said.
The exchange program provides skills training to set awardees on paths for increased collaboration on global issues affecting youth, particularly those involved in building peace, combating extremism, and empowering youth. As the president of Volunteer for Bangladesh, the largest platform for youth volunteerism in the country, Tanzil has organized numerous successful events for community development, engaging hundreds of youth in volunteerism. “She believes that if youth are engaged and motivated to do community service, they will be deterred from extremist activities,” the State Department said. Currently, she is working with the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, to help them not become victims of extreme violence. Her work has helped support a safe space for 500 refugee children with the JAAGO Foundation in the Rohingya camps. “Tanzil’s mission is to empower adolescent girls and women, to bring them to leadership positions through capacity building and strengthening them to become the leaders of tomorrow,” the State Department said.