Active Citizens is an exciting, youth-centred programme, run by the British Council in 22 countries, including Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka in South Asia region. This Programme focuses on developing a network of Active Citizens who are learners, actors and influencers in their communities, promoting international and intercultural trust and understanding.
Active Citizens has delivered more than 475 training sessions in 450 communities around Bangladesh to more than 15,500 young people aged between 18-35 years. A large percentage of these young people have engaged in more than 1,175 community-based social action projects addressing local priorities. Over the last five years, Active Citizens has provided opportunities to around 80 young Bangladeshis to take part in different international exchange programmes and conferences, which have helped them understand and appreciate cultural diversities. Participants of this programme also work to establish various skills development clubs, including English Language and debate clubs
The Active Citizens Achievers’ Summit 2014 was organised by the British Council to recognise the best three social action projects among the 750 projects creating awareness on social issues such as sanitation, dowry, early marriage, violence and sexual harassment of women. The winning projects were chosen through a selection process across the country – 20 of the best community initiatives led by Active Citizens were showcased during a day-long social action fair. Moreover, there were two interactive plenary sessions on leadership and global citizenship, engaging six sector specialists and 500 young people over the course of the day.
The inaugural ceremony of the Active Citizens Achievers’ Summit 2014 was held on Saturday, 29 March at Bangla Academy auditorium. The Honourable Foreign Minister Mr Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, MP, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh inaugurated the event as the Chief Guest. His Excellency Robert W. Gibson, CMC, British High Commissioner to Bangladesh was the special guest at the Inaugural Ceremony.
Mr. Brendan McSharry, acting Country Director of the British Council Bangladesh welcomed representatives of the government, civil society organisations, sector specialists on global citizenship, human rights, youth development, intercultural dialogue and community development, Active Citizens programme participants and other distinguished guests.
The Active Citizens programme has provided a platform for the youths of Bangladesh to initiate innovative activities for social change. The summit was a celebration of young people across the nation who have created the maximum impact in their communities through their hard work and dedication.
Active Citizens was launched in Bangladesh in 2009 in partnership with The Hunger Project Bangladesh. Eight other organisations – Democracy Watch, Centre for Communication and Development (CCD), Mass line Media Communication (MCC), Jaago Foundation, Voluntary Services Organisation (VSO), Uttaran, Wave Foundation and Shushilon – joined in this project as partners between 2011 and 2013.