PRODIGY (Promoting Democratic Inclusion and Governance through Youth) is one of the many initiatives of the British Council to enrich the youths of Bangladesh with the knowledge and skills to grow into productive and visionary members of the workforce. PRODIGY has developed the knowledge and skills of 540 young people to engage the wider community through volunteer activities including youth club activities, theatre performances, internships with local government, community radio programs and public dialogues, creating platforms and channels to ensure that the wider community has access to government information.
The British Council in partnership with Civil Society organisations including Democracywatch, Shushilan, The Hunger Project, Uttaran and Wave Foundation, organised a ‘National Youth Summit’ under PRODIGY at the Bangla Academy on 12 March 2016.
‘Bangladesh now is going through a very important phase of its history. For at least the next 15 years, the country is going to have a large portion of its population at optimum working age, who, with the right guidance and initiative, could take Bangladesh to the next level of socio-economic and democratic prosperity. Integrating education with social initiatives is extremely important for young Bangladeshis to take the country forward as they move along,’ said Dr. AAMS Arefin Siddique, Honourable Vice Chancellor, University of Dhaka, who was present at the event as the Chief Guest.
There were two panel discussions: “Role of youth in promoting democratic inclusion and good governance at local government level” and “Civic participation in local governance: challenges and opportunities”. These discussions enabled the participants the opportunity to learn from distinguished panellists who are the sector experts in the area of local government. The ‘National Youth Summit’ was a platform for showcasing the achievements of PRODIGY participants. An award ceremony was held for the social action projects that were showcased in the summit. This summit gave PRODIGY young leaders encouragement to continue and spread their good work in the community.