It is estimated that 10% of the population–about 16 million people–in Bangladesh are living with disabilities. It is the goal of a newly founded youth initiative in Bangladesh to build awareness for differently-abled individuals and educate the public and encourage them to help establish full and equal rights for individuals with disabilities.
In November 2014, The Hunger Project, Youth Ending Hunger and British Council organized the Active Citizen Youth Leadership Training program. The training was attended by 632 young people at Jagannath University. After the training, a team of young leaders created a social action project aimed at ensuring the full and equal rights of individuals with disabilities.
As the first step in this initiative, the team identified almost 30 differently-abled students in their community at Jagannath University. They collaborated with these students, exchanging and sharing views on disability awareness and the many problems students with disabilities face.
On November 21, 2014, the team participated in a human chain–in which people hold hands and line up in a chain-like format– at the National Press Club in order to establish the rights of individuals with disabilities.
On December 3, 2014, Jagannath University celebrated their first ever International Day of Persons with Disability.
In early March 2015, the team conducted a signature campaign, successfully collecting more than 1000 students’ and teachers’ signatures.
This social action project was awarded first place at the Dhaka Regional Summit on March 27, 2015. They have partnered with Bangladesh Society for the Change and Advocacy Nexus (B-SCAN) and Protibondhi Nagorik Shangathaner Parishad (PNSP) and will continue to conduct surveys, perform research and campaign at Jagannath University as the project continues in the future.
The Hunger Project is a proud supporter of this social action project. We support this initiative through mentorship and technical assistance as well as by connecting these young leaders with other influential networks to help improve and explain their project.
And this is just the start. In the future, these young leader hope continue to spread their voices, helping raise awareness for the rights of individuals with disabilities all over the country.
Read about The Hunger Project’s programs in Bangladesh