September 18, 2012

Youth TechCamp Bangladesh 2012: A skill development initiative for Social Activism through Media

Group work on Citizen Journalism products with trainers.

Youth TechCamp Bangladesh 2012 was held at Edward M. Kennedy Center for Public Service and the Arts, Dhaka on 16-18 September, 2012. This was a skill development initiative for the Bangladeshi  youth funded by the U.S. Department of State and organized by International Education And Resource Network – Bangladesh. Participating youth were the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program alumni in Bangladesh. Information Management Officer, Mr. Charles Eckert from the U.S. Embassy Dhaka inaugurated the event. His interesting and humorous speech welcomed all in the camp.
Theme of the TechCamp was Social Activism through Media with three sub-themes:  Citizen Journalism,  Digital Storytelling, and Social Media. On each sub-theme there was a pool of skilled trainers who are technologically recognized in Bangladesh. Trainers lead the learning journey of 22 participants with the aid of modern equipment and software tools. Trainers include President of Change Makers Advocate Tanbir-ul Islam Siddiqui, Director and Producer Golam Mustafa Shimul, Owner of OIDP IT Kaberi Mustafa, Software Engineer Samsil Arifeen,  Technology Author M.A. Hossain Tonu, Assistant Programmer at Water Development Board Shahid Shikdar, Owner of Sightline Syful Islam, Programmer at OIDIP IT Mashroora Nadi, Station Engineer at Massranga TV Nomaan Rahman. Participants learnt how to make plan of a social campaign, design with technology and finally reach the target group through communication media. News Editor of Diganta TV Khan Mohammad Salek and Regional Head of Citicell Mamun Atik shared their professional experiences. As guest speaker, Professor at the Dhaka University Imtiaz Ahmed inspired the participants to choose a right path of building their lives for serving the nation.
Each day was full of exciting experiences that finally came to an end with three end products. Three separated groups developed three products under each theme: a Blog with Wordpress, a documentary video with Dreamweaver, and a social campaign page with Facebook.  After showing their products participants were given certificates in the presentation ceremony in front of the audience with teachers, NGO leaders, State Alumni, IT experts and other important persons of the society. Quazi Sabir Amanullah, Alumni Coordinator at the American Center was present in the occasion. First time ever in Bangladesh, the Youth TechCamp ended with enthusiasm to serve Bangladesh.
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Related article: DipNote

Youth TechCamp Bangladesh (Day 3)

The first Youth TechCamp came to end today. A very effective learning experience which will be remembered for a long time by the K-L Youth Exchange and Study Program alumni participants went very smoothly from the beginning. The final day started with a quiz game where learners were divided into two groups. They were asked questions about the topics that were went over in Day-1 and Day-2. The point difference was very close and the winning team got chocolates as prize.
Dr. Imtiaz Ahmed. Professor, Dept. of International Relations, Dhaka University led an wonderful session about How to Build Critical Mass/How to Go Viral.
The learners were very much interested in the class and learnt about viewing the world in different eye using imagination. After the only session of first day, the three previously made groups got separated with their mentors. They worked on their final products which were a Social Campaign through Facebook, a video and a blog.
Quazi Sabir Amanullah, Alumni Coordinator, The American Center was present in the presentation ceremony where the products were showcased. Three groups individually showed their nicely created products. The social campaign group ran a campaign in facebook to promote Youth TechCamp Bangladesh. The video group made a short video about renewable energy. They showed the solar bottle project which was recently done by YES Alumni Bangladesh in the video. The guests of the ceremony were from different background of job. A diverse audience in therms of profession was present. They enjoyed the video and the blog that was made for YES Alumni community of Bangladesh.
The Youth TechCamp ended with certificate and crest giving ceremony. Every participants agree to one point that they had a great learning experience. They would like to see more of this kinds of events happening in Bangladesh.
Youth TechCamp Bangladesh (Day-3)

September 17, 2012

Youth TechCamp Bangladesh (Day-2)

Learners are blogging
Day started with recap of First Day by the organizers. Software Architect and Technology Author, M A Hossain Tonu led an interactive training on Blogging and Wordpress. It was very interesting topic and learners were very enthusiastic. Md Syful Islam. Proprietor, SightLine and Nomaan Rahman, Station Engineer, Maasranga TV took another session on Digital Storytelling. Training on Adobe photoshop and photo/video Manipulation was the main focus. After lunch break, a special guest speaker, Khan Mohammad Salek. News Editor, Diganta Television gave his presentation about Social Activism and Journalism. Another session was on basic CSS and HTML Coding for bloggers by Muhammad Shahid Shikdar. Asstt. Programmer, Bangladesh Water Development Board, Ministry of Water Resources. The last session of the day was on Importance of Social Media in building campaign, overview of different types of social media sources and methods of building a campaign by Mohammed Samsil Arifeen, Freelance expert
In between the sessions, there was entertainment arrangement by the trainers and organizers. Stand up comedy, dancing and singing was there to energize the learners. After the sessions, the three groups sat individually to work on their final products which will be showcased in the final day. All the participants, organizers and trainers had dinner together after a great learning experience from Day-2 of Youth TechCamp Bangladesh, 2012.
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September 16, 2012

Youth TechCamp Bangladesh (Day-1)

Youth TechCamp Bangladesh started today at 9:00 am at Edward M. Kennedy Center for Public Service and the Arts, Dhaka. Theme of the TechCamp is Social Activism through Media. Information Management Officer, Mr. Charles Eckert from the U.S. Embassy Dhaka inaugurated the event. His interesting and humorous speech welcomed the YES Alumni TechCamp participants. After the Ice Breaking session by alumni organizers, fast paced introduction of the trainers went on. Speech on Social Activism and Technology was given by Mamun Atik, Regional Head, Citycell. Advocate Tanbir Ul Islam Siddiqui, President, Change Makers gave a brilliant presentation on Introduction to Citizen Journalism. After lunch, Golam Mustafa Shimul, director and producer took an interactive training on Introduction to Digital Storytelling. Kaberi Mustafa, Owner, OIDIP IT and Mashroora Nadi, Tech Expert, OIDIP IT continued another interactive session on Social Media. After the training sessions, three participants were divided into three groups who will be working together to prepare the final product which will be showcased on 18th September.

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September 15, 2012

Youth TechCamp Bangladesh 2012

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), in collaboration with U.S. Embassy Dhaka and iEARN, will host a Youth TechCamp in Dhaka, Bangladesh, from September 16-18, 2012. A signature series hosted by the State Department to raise digital literacy, Youth TechCamp Bangladesh will engage Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program alumni.
Youth TechCamp Bangladesh supports Secretary Clinton’s 21st Century Statecraft policy by encouraging young people to learn about and contribute to the digital networks and technologies of today’s interconnected world.
Youth TechCamp Bangladesh will provide three full days of training for YES alumni from Bangladesh. Participants will interact with top local technology experts specializing in civic journalism and social activism. Youth TechCamp Bangladesh will enable these future leaders to learn how they can leverage connection technologies to make a positive impact in their communities and around the world.
The event will take place at the Edward M. Kennedy Center for Public Service and the Arts, an interactive, youth-focused space designed for Bangladesh’s next generation of social entrepreneurs, artists, and change makers.
Join the conversation on Youth Tech Camp Bangladesh on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #TechCamp.
For more information and media inquiries about the Youth TechCamp, contact Suzanne Philion,

September 12, 2012

Alumni attended GIST Seminar

On June 29, two Dhaka University students won the U.S. State Department’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) "I Dare" business plan competition with their mass marketing of Jutin, a jute fiber and resin-based building material for affordable and sustainable housing. Their plan was one of 384 entries from 48 countries. GIST sought technology entrepreneurs and innovators to participate in its annual Technology Idea (Tech-I) Competition to encourage individuals to launch and/or grow a company in their countries.

The American Center hosted a discussion with the two Bangladeshi GIST “I Dare” business plan competition winners: Saimum Hossain and Badhan Mazumder on Wednesday, September 12 from 2:00 - 3:30 PM at the American Center in Baridhara. Saimum and Badhan discussed entrepreneurship and shared tips about the GIST contest.

18 K-L YES Alumni were present on the occasion at the American. It was a productive session for them as they talked with the two entrepreneurs and they asked questions and took notes as the two shared tips about how to set up business ventures in Bangladesh, how to face difficulties along the path as well as tips and pointers for the competition.

Photo Credit: American Center, Dhaka

September 11, 2012

Removing Day-Darkness by Solar Bottle Bulb (Phase-2)

The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Alumni- Bangladesh observed Global Youth Service Day from April 20-22, 2012. The motivated youth group took up an innovative idea to illuminate the lives of those who had little to almost no light even during the day; by installing solar bottle bulbs.

Developed in Brazil, practiced in the Philippines’ to address under-illuminated slums, the solar bottle light is a simple idea that has expanded to other developing areas where many low-income homes lack access to either daylight or electricity. The solar bottle bulbs reuses clear plastic bottles filled with water and a few drops of chlorine to keep the water clean, clear and bacteria free. The bottle is inserted half way through the roof to allow sunlight from outside to illuminate the inside of homes through refraction of light.
For the first phase, a group of 25 YES alumni and peers installed 35 solar bottles in three slum areas in Dhaka including South Bishil, Shamoly, and Pike Para.

The second phase, under the name ‘Removing Darkness of the Day – Solar Bottle Bulb’ lasted from 5 to 11 September 2012 illuminating over a hundred households in the slum of Kalshi, Mirpur-12, impacting about 600 people. K-L YES Alumnus Gulshan Jubaed Prince and fellow BYEI member Shitab Daiyan Akash initiated the project. International Education and Resource Network-Bangladesh (iEARN-BD) and Bangladesh Youth Environmental Initiative (BYEI) sponsored the project. Several youth leaders from K-L YES Alumni Bangladesh volunteered for the project with utmost dedication.
There is a plan of arranging a fundraiser, and installing solar panels in the community of the slum in Kalshi, so that the residents can utilize the electricity, which seems to be a scarce resource. Such an initiative would ensure at least partial exemption from the over 7 hours of daily power cuts, and sustain electrical machineries such as television and ceiling fans. The people are eager for such a day when the government would come and aid their distressful lives.

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Project Coordinator: Gulshan Jubaed Prince,  K-L YES Alumni Bangladesh
Written by: Mohammad Mustahsin Islam, K-L YES Alumni Bangladesh

September 10, 2012

New Executive Committee

On September 10, 2012, the first meeting of the newly elected Executive Committee (EC) was held at the American Centre in Dhaka. Mohammad Mustahsin Islam, the only representative of the previous EC at this meeting and also an elected member of this EC, began with the handing over ceremony.
The nine elected EC members present were Mohammad Mustahsin Islam, Sakib Noor Billah, Shafayat Alam, Farazi Ghani, Gulshan Jubaed Prince, Sadman Mondalib, Kazi Tamjeed Newaz, Arunima Bhattacharjee, Shomy Hasan Chowdhury.
Mr. Wasi Mahmud Moni, Mr. Rajib Lochan Das, Ms. Tahnia Shahid, Mr. Quazi Sabbir Amanullah were also present at the meeting.
Consensus was reached among the 9 EC members regarding the posts of General Secretary and Treasurer. It was decided that Mohammad Mustahsin Islam would be General Secretary and Sadman Mondalib would be Treasurer.
All the EC members want to take the association in a higher level in terms of recognition and activities. Signing of Charter, Assembly of General Members are some of the next projects in hand of the EC members.