Youths deserve a platform to realise their potential: Dutch ambassador

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Dutch ambassador to Bangladesh Harry Verweij on Friday said youths deserve a platform to realise their full potential and work together to build a prosperous Bangladesh.

He was speaking as the chief guest at a graduation ceremony organised by Bangladesh Youth Leadership Centre (BYLC) at Lakeshore Hotel in the capital, reports news agency UNB.

“The youths deserve a platform to realise their full potential and work together to build a prosperous, just, and inclusive Bangladesh,” said Verweij, according to a BYLC press release.

“I congratulate BYLC for its efforts in ensuring inclusion in its programmes and preparing the youth for the challenges of tomorrow,” he added.

BYLC hosted the graduation ceremony for the 2019 Building Bridges through Leadership Training (BBLT) and the Building Bridges through Leadership Training Junior (BBLTJ) programmes.

Defining leadership, BYLC founder and president Ejaj Ahmad said it is about working with others to make progress on the challenges a community or country is facing.

“I hope that the training at BYLC will inspire and prepare you for leadership for the development of our society,” he said.

Altogether 174 students from English and Bengali medium schools and Madrassas graduated from BYLC’s 10-week long BBLT and six-week BBLTJ after-school programmes in 2019.

The programmes were funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Participants were selected through rigorous training on the theoretical and practical concepts of leadership, learning skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication.

Students worked in small groups in underserved communities to translate their classroom learning into action by designing and implementing small, scalable, and sustainable community service projects.

There were 24 service projects, addressing issues on climate change, safe spaces in the city, and civic responsibilities.

Over the past decade, BYLC has trained over 5,000 graduates through eight programmes aimed at different age groups.

Since 2009, BYLC has been working to build connections amongst youth from different backgrounds, equipping them with leadership skills, instilling values of empathy, tolerance, and inclusiveness in them, and connecting them to jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities.

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