The British Council Bangladesh hosted an International Study Visit (ISV) under its flagship global project 'Active Citizens' from 16 to 22 January. Active Citizens is a global programme run by the British Council and its partners in over 30 countries. It promotes community cohesion and development through capacity building of young leaders for civic engagement. More than 25 young volunteers participated from different countries into this ISV. They were students from the United Kingdom, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Lebanon, Vietnam, Myanmar and Bangladesh. The key objective of the visit was to increase understanding of the power of global networks engaged in social development. This journey gave them a concrete understanding of Bangladesh’s cultural context, the power of networking and how the youth of Bangladesh are mobilising resources in their communities through leadership skills to bring about a positive change.
The activities during the visit were designed to gather partners, facilitators and participants of different backgrounds from around the world. Following the theme 'Being present through engaging the MIND, BODY, HEART', the programme commenced with a speed network session where participants shared their information about their community and inspiration with each other that focused on past, present and future experiences. They also shared insights on how they are engaged with social activities in their own countries and cultures, the problems and their accomplishments.
Community visit was the most exciting part of this event. It took place when the whole group was divided into two groups and travelled to Chittagong and Barisal to witness the real communities where Active Citizens of Bangladesh are creating impact through innovative social action projects. During these excursions, ISV participants had the opportunity to visit social action projects run by the Active Citizens and meet the local volunteers. Both groups also enjoyed the chance to meet local Members of Parliament (MP) in both Chittagong and Barisal.