December 15, 2012

Youth Tech Drive, a TechCamp Follow-up Project

Youth Tech Drive was a follow-up project of Youth TechCamp 2012, Bangladesh. It was successfully organized by YES Alumni Bangladesh. The project held from 13th to 15th December 2012.
First day of Youth Tech Drive began with the session where the previous YES graduates and currently YES alumni, Imran Jahan Digonto, Scionara Shehry, Shomy Chowdhury, Sakib Noor Billah, and Rubaiath Hossain, introduced YES program to the participants. The trainers also told how to apply for this scholarship and the criteria that they have to consider. The students were very eager to know about the program. The second session of the day “Class 1: Computer and Internet Basics” was run by Scionara Shehry, Mohima Srishty, and Imran Jahan Digonto. The students were very responsive when asked questions, and a lot of them could answer correctly. The trainers made the session fun and interesting for the students. After that, the participants got the chance to socialize and know each other in this ice-breaking session as they all a little snack. Rubaiath Hossain, Mohima Srishty, Munif Khan helped the students to have a fun time with games as they are starting to enjoy this wonderful opportunity to learn about technology and internet. Participants made colorful wishes and greetings for the K-L YES program for 10th year anniversary. Bright and dazzling cards that were drawn by the participants were mind-blowing. Some of the trainers made a poster wishing YES Program a happy 10th anniversary. They took photos along with the YES alumni at the end of the day. The motto of the coordinators was to celebrate the 10th anniversary of YES Program by organizing this project with YES Alumni. Participants were divided into four groups to have ideas about making website, getting to know basic rules. Gulshan Jubaed Prince went ahead to let the students know about two ways of making websites by using soft-codes and ready to make websites. The team leaders, Munif, Scionara, Rubaiath, and Digonto, held an interactive website making session and helped the participants go through the steps to create, register with a sub-domain. The teams came up with their newly created websites with the knowledge gathered all by themselves. After the students came up with their own websites, they were given instructions for the next day. By the end of Day 1, students were free and interactive with each other, and learned and enjoyed team work and leadership, even if it was within a range from grade 7 to 12.
On the second day participants took a quiz about the knowledge that they learnt on the previous day and also gave their responded on their experience that they gathered by the presentations and works. Experienced trainers Rafita Binta Alam and Chowdhury Amir Abdullah led this session to let the participants have knowledge about Model United Nations. They presented and told how Model United Nations works, and some terms to know about it, how the flow of debate, discussion goes on in a Model United Nations conference. The session ended as the participants got a new-fangled experience in this presentation. Rafita Binta Alam, and Sakib Noor Billah trained in the next session, “Class 4: How to campaign an idea using social media”, which would introduce social networking sites to the participants, began as the trainers gave some knowledge about websites which we can use for social networking such as ‘Ibibo’, ‘Google +’, ‘Linked In’, ‘Twitter’, ‘Facebook’. Rafita Binta Alam radiantly presented in this session.

Sakib Noor Billah, skilled YES alumni, then went on to describe how to run a campaign using social networking sites; expertise and skills to run campaign successfully through Facebook page. Participants got the chance to socialize and know each other in this ice-breaking session. This session provided the students to enjoy this wonderful opportunity to learn about model United Nations while socializing as they were having snacks.Next, the participants were shown a video that was highly enthusiastic and informative about using social networking sites to do business campaign. Although it talks slightly off-topic, it was good enough to let the participants have some extra knowledge about what they are about to do next.It was fun and interesting as the participants showed great enthusiasm in their work. Day three was the final day of the whole workshop which took place at the Edward M Kennedy Centre, Dhanmondi-27, Dhaka. 
Both the coordinators and most of the trainers got to the venue around 9 am and started preparing for the day. All of the participants for the workshop were present at the venue by 10 am. 16 participants, who were already divided into two different groups on the second day of the workshop, received an hour to prepare themselves to work on their presentations about “Computer Basics”, “Creating a Webpage”, “Model United Nations”, and “Campaigning through social network media” that they had made in the first two days of the workshop. All the students were done in time, and the “Presentation Session” took place. All the participant presenters did an excellent job with their presentations, discussing about most of the topics that were covered in the past two days in their own words. The “Certificate Giving Ceremony” took place right after then. One of the two country co-coordinators of iEARN-BD, Wasi Mahmud Moni, handed out the certificates to all the participants. We had another special guest with us, Ms. Nadi, our TechCamp trainer for the group “Campaigning through social media”. And thus, Youth Tech Drive officially came to an end; but we weren’t completely done yet, we had a little ending ceremony. We had baked a cake to celebrate the 10th year anniversary of the YES Program, and dedicated “Youth Tech Drive” as a sign of appreciation to the YES Family. The whole workshop has been a huge success, with great feedback.

November 17, 2012

Halloween Party

The Halloween party for the State Alumni took place successfully on the 17th of November at the Edward M Kennedy Center at Dhanmondi 27. The party started at 3:30pm afternoon and continued till 7:00pm evening. The American Center Cultural Affairs officer, Ms. Tahnia Shahid and iEARN-BD coordinators, Mr. Wasi Mahmud Moni and Mr. Rajib Locan Das attended the event as guests. The whole event was hosted by Shaikh Ahmad. About 45 State alumni attended the event.
The party started with Shaikh Ahmad giving a brief introduction of the first ever Halloween party to be observed and organized in Bangladesh by the YES Alumni Bangladesh. Followed by was a short speech by Ms. Tahnia Shahid. Then there was a fashion show by some participating YES Alumni from different batches exhibiting their attire and costumes. After the fashion show, all the attendants of the party were requested to vote for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd best costumes. A entertaining dance was then performed by a few alumni. Then the results of the voting were announced and crests were given to the winners by Mr. Wasi Mahmud Moni, Mr. Rajib Lochan Das and Ms. Tahnia Shahid. This was followed by one of the key events of the Halloween party, "The Haunted House"!! All the people who attended the party went through a dark, decorated room called the Haunted House where they were haunted by zombies, vampires, and monsters.

Then a video was shown to the people attending the party where Shaikh Ahmad's area representative, exchange friend and host mother talks talks about what they think of the YES Alumni celebrating Halloween for the first time in Bangladesh. Later it was time for refreshments and socializing. There were soft drinks, water, cupcakes and pastries for the Halloween party.
The party then ended with Photo sessions and Trick or Treating where everyone was given a bag of Halloween candies.
Overall it was a successful project coordinated by Shaikh Ahmad (YES7), A H M Zuberi Ashraf (YES9), Shomy Hasan Chowdhury (YES9) and Scionara Shehry (YES9)

November 5, 2012

YES Alumni and Radio Kolergan

Radio Kolergan, one of the most famous online radio stations in Bangladesh, featured YES alumni Bangladesh in its very popular talk show on the 5th November at 8:30 pm. Five YES alumni, Preva Shomy, Scionara Shehry, Imran Digonto, Shyer Amin and Zuberi Ashraf represented YES alumni Bangladesh and talked about their experiences during the exchange year. And how YES alumni is helping them to shape their future and on-going projects of YES alumni Bangladesh. People from all walks of life curiously listened to them as they shared their surreal experiences and talked about how it changed their lives. A lot of people got inspired and enlightened about YES program. At the end the five YES alumni talked about the current students and how to apply on the YES program. With warm messages from the audience and greetings from the host, the show ended. 

October 16, 2012

Global Handwashing Day Project

On the 15th and 16th of October 2012 around 35 YES alumni have participated in the Global Hand Washing Day. Yes alumni had joined hands with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to undertake a project that would create awareness about washing hands in the proper way among the school children and vendors of Dhaka city.

Around 7 schools and many vendors on the streets around the schools have been reached. Yes Alumnus has created a presentation and a video on hand washing, both of which were shown in the schools. The presentations were shown to around 1800 hundred students and around 20-30 vendors have received knowledge about the effects of not washing hands. There was a grand rally for the awareness of washing hands where around 800 students participated. Sufficient awareness has been created around Dhaka city about personal hygiene.
All in all, the entire project was a grand success!

October 15, 2012

YES Alumni with BYES

YES Alumni Bangladesh had been invited on the 15th of October to EMK Center to a program organized by the Bangladesh Youth Empowerment Society to present and promote Youth Exchange and Study program. It was program where all the exchange student programs funded by the U.S Department of State are presented and promoted. 
Three YES Alumni ( Sadman Mondalib, Farazi Ghani and Suravi Jahanara) had gone to EMK center on behalf on YES and iEARN-BD to promote the program. Even though the target audience for YES program was not present, as all of the audiences were from undergraduate background, it was a good opportunity for YES promotion and hopefully the word will spread around through the audience present at the program. 
As a whole it was a good day to spread around the word for YES since the promotion for the upcoming YES year has already started!

October 14, 2012

AEBA Convention

There was a press conference at the National Press Club on 14th October,organised by All European Bangladesh Association (AEBA), a newly floated forum of Bangladeshi expatriates in Europe. Expatriates representing eight European countries attended the press conference. One of our YES alumni,Sadman Mondalib got an opportunity to attend this press conference.All European Bangladesh Association (AEBA) will arrange a two-day grand convention in December 1-2 in Athens, the capital of Greece where Bangladesh origin community leaders from 30 countries in the Europe will take part.Mainly,the convention will focus on continuing the united efforts of Bangladeshi expatriates for development of their respective communities and extending their contribution for development of Bangladesh. AEBA members informed that during the grand convention on December 1-2 in Athens, they would award 16 Bangladeshi origin celebrities in seven categories in recognition of their excellence.

October 12, 2012

YES Alumni in Human Development Workshop

On the 12th of October two YES Alumnus (Farazi Ghani and Sadman Mondalib) went to Sylhet to help work on a project called "Increasing Democratic Attitude in Underdeveloped High School Students." It was a two day workshop where all the invited Master trainers including some senior Master trainers who have worked with the project coordinator Ms. Badrunnesha before had worked together to create the materials needed to get the project going. This was a very new thing and a very new idea that has been brought by Ms. Badrunnesha and it was a brilliant project to work at. The whole concept of creating materials and sessions for teachers to train the students with was a very challenging and equally enjoyable experience.
The two days were very intense as almost everybody that worked together on the project were not familiar with each other. They had to debate on several topics to come to a conclusion and had to create full sessions with all the details and material necessary for each session. It was even more challenging since the sessions were being created for students of Madraasas and issues relating religion and social norms had to be dealt with carefully. On the second day the sessions and materials had to be finalized and each group had to do a presentation on the things they worked at.
All in all it was a great success and the two YES Alumnus had been highly appreciated for their help in the project!