The British Council has organised a National Youth Summit under its PRODIGY project (Promoting Democratic Inclusion and Governance through Youth) in partnership with leading Civil Society organisations of Bangladesh including Democracy Watch, Shushilan, the Hunger Project, Uttaran and Wave Foundation on 21 March 2019 at Bangla Academy, Dhaka. Kanbar Hossein-Bor, Deputy British High Commissioner to Bangladesh inaugurated the summit as the chief guest. Andrew Newton, Deputy Director, British Council was also present as the special guest.
The National Summit provided youth with a platform to showcase the brilliant work they have done in the communities to increase people’s access to government information and services. Over 500 youth leaders attended the summit. This event also provided opportunities to the participating youth to demonstrate their achievements and the positive youth engagement in different spheres. The summit brought together representatives from the government, sector experts, development partners, academia, social activists, researchers and enthusiasts. Along the course of the summit, the participants presented 15 Social Action Projects in a stall-exhibition setup in the venue premises. After the introductory speeches at the inauguration ceremony, key guests visited the booths, and the participants shared their experiences and achievements of their Social Action Projects. The summit also included two panel discussions with key sector specialists. The first discussion focused on “Role of Youth in Achieving SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions” and the second discussion was titled “Role of Youth in Building Social Harmony.”
The National Youth Summit encouraged the youth participants to continue their excellent and inspiring work in the community through an award ceremony for the 15 highest achieving Social Action Projects. "If there are two things to take away from my words today are, first, the importance of being proactive, and second, the importance of being resilient and not being put off by failure,” Kanbar Hossein-Bor addressed the youth leaders in his speech.
The PRODIGY project aims to increase peaceful and meaningful civic participation in local governance and to create a more inclusive society by promoting accountability, transparency, inclusivity and social cohesion as well as upholding pluralism and valuing differences in perspectives.