A youth facilitator is narrating the LEAD Bangladesh learning journey.

In the past two years, the British Council's 'Leadership for Advancing Development in Bangladesh (LEAD Bangladesh)' project has supported 4500 youths across Bangladesh to enhance their leadership skills to identify innovative, sustainable solutions to local and global challenges. 40 experienced professionals and leaders from the Bangladeshi diaspora community in the UK have volunteered mentorship support to young Bangladeshi leaders.

After receiving the training, the young people initiated 240 Social Action Projects (SAPs) in three critical areas of Bangladesh's development linked to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Social Entrepreneurship, Climate Change, and Civic Engagement, benefitting more than 80,000 community members. The LEAD Bangladesh project has focused on increasing youth engagement, voice, agency, and participation in policy development in Bangladesh and developing future change-makers with a global perspective.

The participants from Bangladesh also have had access to 'Commonwealth 100' - an online platform which provides further self-access training on leadership and opportunities for global collaboration and networking with young people across the Commonwealth. As direct participants of the SAPs, conducted by the young leaders, Bangladeshi community members at SAP locations, including local government, were involved through discussion and action in the design and implementation of the SAPs, which was a critical aspect for the success and sustainability of the programme. 

Awareness-building session on water conservation and alternate water sourcing.
LEAD Bangladesh youth leaders are conducting an advocacy meeting for better waste management in the Tutltikor community.
Sumiya is leading a social enterprise that created employment opportunities for women living in Par Krishnapur, Chuadnaga district. 
A leadership symposium was held in Fuller Road on 15 December 2022 to celebrate the success of the LEAD Bangladesh project.

The LEAD Bangladesh project is designed based on the Active Citizens Programme (ACP) methodology. ACP is a global social leadership programme that builds trust and understanding and promotes intercultural dialogue and community-led development by focusing on local engagement through social action and supporting partners and other community and local government organisations. Working in Bangladesh with leading CSO partners and the government since 2009, the programme has supported more than 45,000 young people to develop their social leadership skills and undertake Social Action Projects (SAPs) in their communities. The project launched on 1 October 2020 and continued till December 2022. The main outcomes of this project are:

  • Enhanced leadership and social skills for young people in Bangladesh to take on key challenges of Bangladesh’s development.
  • Diaspora leaders understand more widely about development challenges in Bangladesh and act through ongoing mentorship of future leaders/youth to provide solutions and overcome challenges.
  • Empowered young people are motivated to engage in communities on issues around social entrepreneurship, climate impact, and civic engagement in local governance.
  • Increased dialogue between young people, local government and sectoral experts - providing meaningful opportunities for Bangladeshi youth to participate in policy discussions and debate, enabling them to help shape the future of Bangladesh.

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