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Sir Fazle Hasan Abed Ashoka Young Changemakers set to fight for social justice

  • Published at 09:48 pm January 25th, 2020
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Asif Saleh, executive director of BRAC Bangladesh, addresses a press conference at Brac Center on Saturday, January 25, 2020 Courtesy

Ashoka has over 90 Fellows in Bangladesh that include people like Sir Fazle Hasan Abed , Shykh Seraj, Runa Khan, Ananya Raihan, Ejaj Ahmed, Sajida Rahman, Dr Muhammad Yunus, and many others

The first ever cohort of Sir Fazle Hasan Abed Ashoka Young Changemakers below the age of 20 has been selected to bring positive changes to society, change lives around them, and influence people to become changemakers like them. 

Ashoka, a network of changemakers and social innovators has launched the young changemaker  program in Bangladesh on January 24th-25th at the BRAC Centre in Dhaka in partnership with BRAC, in  memory of late Sir Fazle Hasan Abed. 

Ashoka has over 90 Fellows in Bangladesh that include people like Sir Fazle Hasan Abed , Shykh Seraj, Runa Khan, Ananya Raihan, Ejaj Ahmed, Sajida Rahman, Dr Muhammad Yunus, and many others.

Ashoka Young Changemakers are the equivalent of Ashoka Fellows in their generation.

The 15 young changemakers are Maimuna Fariah Jahan, Sanjidul Islam, Nibrasul Alam, Ahona Anjum, Tanjin Tanha, Labby Ahsan, Muhammad Abrar, Arafat Samir, Abdul Bashar Rahman, Tazreen Mehrav, Sk Shoaibur, Parvej Hasan, Sheikh Naeem Hasan Moon, Shahazadi Marium Binte Sahan, and Ridhi Jahan Dola.

These young changemakers are working on different social issues including ending child marriage, welfare of the transgender community, climate change, gender sensitivity, and mental health awareness. 

At a press briefing on Saturday at Brac Center, Asif Saleh, executive director of BRAC Bangladesh, said Sir Fazle Hasan Abed was a visionary who knew how to execute his ideas.

“He is the greatest  social entrepreneur I have ever met. He knew how to get to the bottom of a social problem and come up with a solution,” said Asif.

He said that Sir Abed is a role model for all the young social changemakers. 

“Young people do not like following instructions blindly. They want to take the lead and do something themselves. We should give them the opportunity,” said Asif.

Leadership group member of Ashoka Global, David Bonbright said : “ These are confusing times. The whole world is dealing with chaos and turmoil.”

He said amid this chaos and turmoil, young changemakers like these 15 young people can work as forerunners to figure out how to bring positive changes in this world.

Yashveer Singh, global executive director of Ashoka Young Changemakers said: "We are living in a truly historic moment, in a world that is defined by change. Ashoka believes that to thrive in this new world, every young person needs to grow up as a changemaker - a person who steps up to solve problems. It is critical for Bangladesh's future to have an ecosystem where young people can bring change from early on in their life."

The Ashoka Young Changemakers jury panel is comprised of various global leaders, media professionals, influencers, and social innovators. 

Dhaka Tribune Editor-in-Chief Zafar Sobhan, UN Tech Bank Vice Chair Sonia Bashir Kabir, ATN Head of News Munni Saha, Bangladesh Federation of Women Entrepreneurs Rokia Afzal Rahman, Khola Kagoj Editor Kazal Rashid Shahin, Brac Director of Advocacy, Partnership, and Technology KAM Morshed, and Leadership group member of Ashoka Global, David Bonbright, were the jury for the initiative. 

Each of these Young Changemakers will be exposed to a global platform where they shall be given access to co-leadership boot camps, media partnerships, public speaking platforms, exposure visits, and more opportunities to groom themselves to be influencers of youth culture in Bangladesh.

Ashoka will support this community of Sir Fazle Hasan Abed Ashoka Young Changemakers to influence other stakeholders of society such as schools, parents, and government.