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Dhaka Tribune

Carnival of Change 2024: A celebration of innovation and empowerment

Five young changemakers awarded 

 

Update : 27 Apr 2024, 11:33 PM

Bangabandhu Colony, situated on the banks of the Kirtankhola River in Barisal, is a shanty town inhabited by approximately 5,000 people. Due to the narrow roads, city corporation vehicles cannot access the area, causing residents to dispose of their daily waste in the river. Consequently, the river water, utilized for cooking and personal hygiene purposes by all age groups in the vicinity, becomes contaminated. 

A group of young individuals recognized the necessity for smart waste management to safeguard the physical and environmental well-being of the community. This realization led to the formation of Project “Waste to Resource,” aimed at preventing river water pollution and promoting environmental protection.

The group identified a cost-effective waste management solution that converts waste into fertilizer, thereby not only addressing waste disposal challenges but also providing opportunities for farmers and rooftop gardeners to utilize the fertilizer. Spearheaded by six young pioneers, this initiative endeavors to instigate positive change within the community through innovative solutions.

The image shows a glimpse of `Carnival of Change 2024 ` organized by Brac Youth Platform at Brac CDM, Savar, on Saturday, April 27, 2024. Photo: Dhaka Tribune

Sundar Basak, one of the project members, explained to Dhaka Tribune: "We initially selected ten families from the area and conducted training sessions for 180 individuals, emphasizing the detrimental effects of indiscriminate waste disposal into the river. We collect waste from these families and deliver it to the plant, where it undergoes a transformation into fertilizer within 1-2 months."

He added: "We distributed this fertilizer to three farmers, all of whom reported promising results, while a rooftop gardener also benefited and purchased additional fertilizer from us."

The image shows a glimpse of `Carnival of Change 2024 ` organized by Brac Youth Platform at Brac CDM, Savar, on Saturday, April 27, 2024. Photo: Dhaka Tribune

The Waste to Resource project, along with 31 other innovative ideas, was showcased at the Carnival of Change 2024, organized by Brac Youth Platform at Brac CDM, Savar, on Saturday.

The event served as a platform for change-makers from various regions of Bangladesh to present their teams and innovations.

Five young innovators awarded

Five young innovators were honoured with awards at the event, which also highlighted the “Amra Notun Changemakers” program—a three-month training initiative by Brac Youth Platform Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Speaker of the Jatiya Sangsad, and Asif Saleh, Executive Director of Brac, presented awards to the changemakers.

Since its inception in 2018, the Amra Notun Changemakers program has nurtured over 1,100 changemakers, resulting in the development of 160 community projects across 12 districts. The top 10 projects, selected on the first day of the carnival, competed for the Changemakers Award 2024, with the Waste to Resource project being among the winners. The team aims to expand its project nationwide by 2027.

Other winning teams, such as 'Uddomita' and 'Ujjibon,' expressed their commitment to extending their initiatives to different communities and accelerating their work with youthful vigour, respectively. Another winning team, 'Mukto,' introduced the Plus Size Dress initiative to combat women's body shaming, ensuring that every woman finds clothing suitable for her size without facing discrimination in the market.

The image shows a glimpse of `Carnival of Change 2024 ` organized by Brac Youth Platform at Brac CDM, Savar, on Saturday, April 27, 2024. Photo: Dhaka Tribune

Additionally, the 'Khadija' project winners imparted IT training to girls in rural areas, empowering them with new skills for freelancing opportunities. Speaker of the National Parliament Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, addressing the audience as the chief guest, emphasized the transformative potential of the younger generation in driving societal change through entrepreneurial and innovative endeavors.

Highlighting the Brac Youth Platform as a catalyst for youth development and creativity, she praised the platform for fostering a conducive environment where young individuals can explore new initiatives and contribute solutions to complex societal challenges. 

Shariful Hasan, head of Brac's Migration and Youth Initiatives Program, commended the young changemakers for their social initiatives and products showcased at the event, reflecting their commitment to driving positive change across various communities in Bangladesh.

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