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Date: September 23, 2023

Venue: GreenTech Foundation Bangladesh

The Young Unheard Voices for Action (YUVA) Second Mentoring Workshop, organized by the Bangladesh Youth Environmental Initiative (BYEI), took place on September 23, 2023, at the GreenTech Foundation Bangladesh. YUVA is a project that provides a platform for young innovators to address key issues, convey policy messages, and present their ideas for creating positive change. This project aims to build cross-border youth coalitions for climate action on waters and linked ecosystems in two critically important biospheres of South Asia; namely, the transboundary delta system of the Sunderbans (India-Bangladesh) and the transboundary river system of Manas (India-Bhutan). Today, the day-long program showcased the culmination of the efforts of seven selected youth teams, who pitched their meticulously developed ideas and projects aimed at addressing pressing societal challenges. Distinguished judges and esteemed guests graced the event to evaluate and inspire these young change-makers.

The YUVA Second Mentoring Workshop served as the culmination of months of dedication and innovation from seven youth teams, each focused on unique issues and solutions. The event aimed to empower these young voices to be heard and to catalyze positive change in their respective domains. 

The heart of the event was the presentation of seven carefully developed projects by the youth teams. These projects spanned a wide range of topics, including environmental conservation, social justice, pollution management  and community development.  The pitching started with Ratul Hasan, Tohidul Islam of Team Nature Plug, then Tanvir Hossain from Red Gold, Nafesa Anzum Helaly from the Team Ecolery, Deloar Hossain Khan from Team Agrisense, Adel Mahmud Zaddary, S M Manjurul Islam of Team CocoCraft, Fariya Sultana from Team Greentro, and at last Masum Billah of team Shobuj Porjotok. Each team presented their ideas, policy messages, and proposed solutions to the audience and esteemed judges. Eventually, five teams among these pitchers were selected for the final event of YUVA in Kalkata.

The selected five teams were: Nature Plug (Best Pitching), CocoCraft (2nd best Pitching), Shobuj Porjotok (3rd Best Pitching), Ecolery and Red Gold. These teams are now chosen to present their ideas for the final event of YUVA in Kolkata.

BYEI extends their gratitude to the panel of distinguished judges, including Lutfor Rahman, Executive Director & CEO of GreenTech Foundation Bangladesh. Fatematuz Zohura: From OXFAM Bangladesh, who shared insights into social and environmental justice.

Sufian M Chowdhury: Senior Manager, Customer Value Management of Banglalink Digital, who discussed the role of technology and digital innovation in driving positive change. Also, Makshudul Alam: CEO & Consultant of Youth Opportunities Ltd. joined virtually. And, Prithviraj Nath, Director of BRIDGECoordirator of YUVA joined the event virtually from Kalkata. Their contributions added depth and perspective to the discussions. They provided valuable feedback and assessments to help the teams refine their projects and move forward.

The YUVA project is a testament to the creativity, dedication, and commitment of the youth in Bangladesh. It not only provided a platform for these young voices to be heard but also inspired and motivated them to continue working towards positive change in society.

BYEI remains committed to supporting youth initiatives like YUVA and will continue to organize events that empower the youth to drive meaningful change in their communities and beyond.

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