Introduction

Bangladesh Firestarter Initiative (BFI) responds to the challenges of youths lacking the capability or leadership skills. The project builds the capacity of innovative youth led organisations, especially those led by youth from underprivileged backgrounds, specifically women, girls, and minority communities outside Dhaka. It aims to establish a connection with the wider youth sector and supporting small youth groups through youth-adult partnerships, capacity development, and mentorship schemes.

Background

In a country with a population of over 150 million, youth consist of approximately 1/3 of the populations. They can be the most valuable human assets in the world if they have the opportunity to be fully integrated into their communities. To ensure this integration is inclusive, concerted effort on working with the most vulnerable populations – young women, girls and minorities – is essential. 

The Bangladesh Firestarter Initiative is a reactive and open Innovation Fund that was developed to facilitate emerging and innovative youth-led organisations in their advocacy projects. These organisations are led by disadvantaged youth, especially young women, girls and minorities outside Dhaka. It aims at building the capacity of young people and their organisations through the provision of targeted capacity development courses, peer learning, coaching & mentoring, as well as facilitating the establishment of networks with wider partners in the youth sector, to facilitate sustainable and impactful social change.

Programmatic interventions of AAB engage young people, living in exclusion, particularly with young women and marginalized groups that are excluded based on their identity and locality. And all these engagements are meant to create spaces for young people to convene, facilitate and co-create with the local struggles and connect with progressive social movements, at local, national, regional and international levels.

The International Youth Day, on 12th August, was an opportunity of ambitious prospect of creating lasting impact and awareness among the youth as well as the greater community. This year, the International Youth Day is being observed with the theme of ‘Safe Spaces for Youth’ which covers the areas such as Public Spaces, Digital Spaces, Civic Spaces and Physical Spaces, all together. AAB emphasizes that young people must claim their spaces, letting their voices being heard and identifying their diverse needs to be addressed by respective quarters. This is imperative in harnessing the potential of young people in changing this world. According to the theme of International Youth Day, young people should have their stake in the decision-making process exercised. They should engage in governance structure and processes. At the same time, they should demand full opportunity for participation in sports and other leisure activities. All physical structures must be accessible to all groups of young people including persons with disabilities.

In the context of Bangladesh, claiming safe spaces for young people is more relevant than anything as around 53 million of young people are facing lots of challenges and constraints triggered by structural causes. Young people have poor representation in the various decision-making structures whether these are formal or non-formal. Be it be urban or rural settings, there are very few public spaces where young people can spend their leisure time. Safety issues are becoming more prominent in public spaces particularly in highways and public transports. Young women are suffering from sexual harassment, intimidation and abuses etc. to a dire extent. Along with that, young people are restricted in their free expressions of opinion in the various online and offline platforms in many ways. These situations should not continue if we wish to achieve 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, specifically Goal 11, which emphasizes the need for the provision of space towards inclusive and sustainable urbanization.


To celebrate International Youth Day, AAB  took up a series of programmes from local to national level. At national level, AAB teamed up with the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Bangladesh to participate in a youth gathering and to showcase the works among delegates from government, national and international NGOs and youth platforms, on 6 August 2018.

Along with that, this year AAB is celebrating the International Youth Day on 12 August 2018 in 6 Districts of Bangladesh - Niphamari, Bagerhat, Panchagarh, Thakurgaon, Kustia and Chottogram - where Activista Members are taking the lead in organizing events such as bicycle rally, debate, rally, discussion session, street drama, quiz competitions and fairs to create greater awareness on safe spaces among the youth and the greater community.

Category Details
Name Of The Initiative Bangladesh Firestarter Initiative
People Reached 2,400 disadvantaged youth
Working together since 2015
Focus Areas Of Intervention: Disadvantaged youth, especially women and girls, and minority communities
Division Kushtia, Joypurhat, Rajshahi, Shirajgonj, Satkhira, Pabna, Bogura, Magura

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News

Children of Ghoraghat are moving towards cultural movement:

This year, Children of Ghoraghat celebrated Child Rights Week through different activities. This time, they focused on street drama presentation as through this, the image of the society can be beautifully displayed and can leave a mark on people's minds easily that no medium can so. So, they decided to portray the image & problems of their area through a street drama.
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News

Capacity-building training on child journalism has motivated children to pursue their dreams:

"I have participated in three days of child journalism development training held with Trinamool journalist members. By attending this training, I learned about 5w and 1H, while writing a news report it is very important to note these 5- W's and 1- H's and include them in the report. I am now more confident to write reports. By participating in this training, I now know about child journalism. Along with this, I learned more about the importance of education. The impact of three-days long training is more to me. I have made myself more motivated by participating in this training and I will try to share these learning points with all the children of the Child Journalist Team in the coming days. The training learning will be also very helpful in my studies", said by Sai Sainu Marma (16)
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News

Drama and child competition have an effective power of expression

A child from the drama group Meem (15) said, “while developing the drama script, we were not aware of but after finishing we realized every character of the community has a role to prevent child marriage and we can effectively fit the roles. Along with the parents and community leader, neighbor the role I played has a great responsibility and can positively or negatively tackle child marriage situations.”
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News

Children of Ghoraghat are moving towards cultural movement:

This year, Children of Ghoraghat celebrated Child Rights Week through different activities. This time, they focused on street drama presentation as through this, the image of the society can be beautifully displayed and can leave a mark on people's minds easily that no medium can so. So, they decided to portray the image & problems of their area through a street drama.
Read More

News

Capacity-building training on child journalism has motivated children to pursue their dreams:

"I have participated in three days of child journalism development training held with Trinamool journalist members. By attending this training, I learned about 5w and 1H, while writing a news report it is very important to note these 5- W's and 1- H's and include them in the report. I am now more confident to write reports. By participating in this training, I now know about child journalism. Along with this, I learned more about the importance of education. The impact of three-days long training is more to me. I have made myself more motivated by participating in this training and I will try to share these learning points with all the children of the Child Journalist Team in the coming days. The training learning will be also very helpful in my studies", said by Sai Sainu Marma (16)
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News

Drama and child competition have an effective power of expression

A child from the drama group Meem (15) said, “while developing the drama script, we were not aware of but after finishing we realized every character of the community has a role to prevent child marriage and we can effectively fit the roles. Along with the parents and community leader, neighbor the role I played has a great responsibility and can positively or negatively tackle child marriage situations.”
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News

An Amusing Picnic Day for Children

Most of the people at some point of their lifetime or other in childhood have gone on picnics. Some may do in small scale with neighbors, cousins, or friends, some may have just gone on excursions from their educational institutions and others with more adventurous parents would probably have gone on outings with parents or family friends. Whatever the reason or form may have been, I think all of us can agree that can’t deny that picnics are immense fun. Picnic is the perfect opportunity to bond with people, to socialize and have fun at the same time. Considering this in mind, community at Local Rights Programme (LRP) 54, Shyamnagar organized a picnic at their community to celebrate Child Rights Week 2022. ActionAid Bangladesh (AAB) has started its work with child sponsorship in this year, 2022.
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News

Sports as a life skill prepare children for future

Aysha (13), the Player of the Match of Handball said, “This is the first time I played Handball. I practiced for 11 days and per day I gave 2 hours for this. We used to practice in a school field and teachers at that school allowed us to use that field and even gave us guidance on playing Handball. My team players and I did not know any rules of this sport, but we get inspiration from family, teachers, and ActionAid. I became the best player, and my father is more excited about this. I want more of this kind of opportunity to play.”
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Event

Capacity-building training on child journalism has motivated children to pursue their dreams:

The objective of the child journalism training is to provide children (trainee journalists) with the concepts and the information that will help them to develop responsible news reporting skills that appreciate and respect children's rights.
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Event

Drama and child competition have an effective power of expression

A child from the drama group Meem (15) said, “while developing the drama script, we were not aware of but after finishing we realized every character of the community has a role to prevent child marriage and we can effectively fit the roles. Along with the parents and community leader, neighbor the role I played has a great responsibility and can positively or negatively tackle child marriage situations.”
Read More

Event

Celebration of Child Rights week 2022 in Social Change

“We girls don't get many opportunities to play sports in our community, especially in public places. But this time on Child Rights Week, a friendly football match competition was organized by ActionAid and BNKS. Where I participate as a team leader. Before the start of the game, my team members and I practiced football in our area for a few days. And this practice was the first-time played football in our life. Playing sports refreshes our minds and increases our social participation. Participating in sports also keeps us physically healthy. Participating in a football match has taught me to think that girls can participate in all social activities, it is our right”, shared by D Hola Wang Marma (16 years adolescent child)
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Event

Children from Sunamganj created awareness among community people during Child Rights Week:

One of the performers, Tamanna (15-year-old) said, “We tried to aware others of the alarming issue of our community. Children are engaging themselves in stone lifting work. After flood, the rate has been increased. It is really alarming as they are dropping out from school. To keep this in mind, we, the cultural team planned to aware others through a street drama, and we did it during Child Rights Week. People from different areas enjoyed the drama, someone even cried. I hope this would be helpful to stop child labor at our community.”
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Event

Children of Ghoraghat are moving towards cultural movement:

This year, Children of Ghoraghat celebrated Child Rights Week through different activities. This time, they focused on street drama presentation as through this, the image of the society can be beautifully displayed. As easily as drama leaves a mark on people's minds, no medium can. So, they decided to portray the image & problems of their area through a street drama.
Read More

Event

An Amusing Picnic Day for Children

Jim (05), a young girl, reading in class two, was very happy to take part in the picnic and shared, “We are very happy that ActionAid Bangladesh arranged this picnic for us. Me and my friends participate in the games. We enjoy a lot. On behalf of all I would cordially thanks to ActionAid to gift us an enjoyable day”.
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Blog

6th International Water Conference 2021

ActionAid Bangladesh is going to organise the 6th International Water Conference under the theme of ‘Water, Climate and Justice in the Wake of COVID-19 Pandemic’’ from 27 to 29 January 2021. Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, we are going to organise the conference through virtual platform this year.
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Blog

LIFE IN SHAMBLES

On my trip to Sunamganj in April, I met 32-year-old Nazma Khatun who spoke to me about her woes: “All of our cultivated paddies have gone under water. Our livelihood, children’s education, food, treatment, and shelter are under threat as we depend on the paddy. We took Tk30,000 as a loan from a Local NGO to cultivate. I don’t know how I will return the loan.”
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Publications

ActionAid Bangladesh's Work in DRM

ActionAid Bangladesh is working in disaster risk management with an unique, inclusive and responsive approach. It emphasises the role of partnership and involves participation from multi-level stakeholders, spanning from community to national level. With the aim to specially empower the most vulnerable groups of disaster, we introduced ‘ Women and Young People-Led Disaster Management’ approach in 2013. As part of state level advocacy, we have contributed to national Disaster Management Act in 2012, National Disaster Management Policy in 2015 and in Standing Orders on Disaster in 2019 in Bangladesh. We also have successfully initiated the process of establishing the first ever Private Sector Emergency Operations Centre in Bangladesh and South Asia.
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Publications

Financing Local Adaptation

ActionAid is committed to create an enabling environment at national level for just allocation and distribution especially for people living in poverty, particularly women, marginalized communities, and children. AAB, in association with experts, academicians, scientists and other stakeholders, conducted a study “Financing Local Adaptation: Ensuring Access for the Climate Vulnerable in Bangladesh”. It captures ground experiences to provide some guidelines for a structure that ensures equitability, transparency, and effectiveness. Based on this study, AAB has been strongly advocating for achieving climate finance justice and a climate-resilient future for those most at risk.
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Annual Reports, Publications

ANNUAL REPORT 2021

Your trust and confidence on ActionAid Bangladesh gave us the strength to continue working for ensuring a just and sustainable society for all. Our commitment of long-term partnerships for sustainable change shall not waiver. We therefore dedicate the Annual Report 2021 to ‘Partnership 4 Change’.
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MAKING MARKET WORK FOR WOMEN

In Bangladesh, nutrition and SRH care are interlinked problems: poor food intake causes malnourishment, which leads to poor health and poor SRH perpetuates the inter-generational cycle of undernourishment. Deficiencies in nutrition and SRH care result in poor labor productivity and market performance. One of the key factors leading to (women’s) intake of poor nutritional food at home, poor reproductive, maternal and sexual health stems from lack of life skills (on SRH). Thus, poor reproductive health conditions adversely affect women’s ability to participate in activities outside of the home, which in turn manifests itself as their inability to participate in and shape the market.
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Projects

FGGII

Creating an enabling environment for civil society and human rights defenders to protect the affected communities from the negative impact of large scale infrastructural development projects and violation of human rights. Advocating for reform the land acquisition, compensation and resettlement related policies, and provisioning for safeguard measures in foreign investment projects.
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Projects

GENDER BASED VIOLENCE

The campaigns against gender based violence are largely focused on making women more aware to prevent violent situations or what to do when such instances arise unexpectedly. The campaign “ Nari, e juddhe tumi eka nou” lists down emergency response centers and their contacts categorized according to districts. In addition to that, another campaign focuses on the needs of women friendly service centers. The main objective of such centers entail to stop gender based violence and providing social and psychological protection along with legal advice. Further to provide entertainment, social status and networking opportunities for girls, women and children. Gaining Social assistance and improving on required work skills are also expected from such centers. Such centers are also equally applicable for disaster stricken areas. During such instanc
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