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Young Bangladeshis receive The Diana Award 2021

  • Published at 12:02 pm June 28th, 2021
Young Bangladeshi-The Diana Award 2021
The Bangladeshi recipients of The Diana Award 2021 Courtesy

The recipients have organized a variety of programs and projects to bring about social change

Several young Bangladeshis have been honoured with The Diana Award 2021 for their outstanding efforts to bring about and sustain positive changes.

The recipients of the award are Md Mahbubul Abrar, 24, Md Mostofa Zaman, 24, MD Shawket Arafat, 23, and Upoma Ahmad, according to press releases.

The three recipients named first are members of Volunteer for Bangladesh (VBD), the youth wing of JAAGO Foundation. Upoma Ahmad is the founder of youth-led community organization Evolution360.

Abrar is a is a leader, changemaker and youth enthusiast who works as a youth development expert for VBD. During the Covid-19 pandemic, he has kickstarted relief campaigns in more than 13 districts, directly impacting around 50,000 people. 

Through his initiative “Apnar Mask Kothai,” Abrar mobilized 7,000 volunteers in 45 districts of Bangladesh to distribute face masks and raise awareness of Covid-19 safety measures.

Mostofa Zaman has been a dedicated founding member and volunteer for VBD Mymensingh district for the last six years.

As a doctor, Mostofa initiated programs related to breast cancer and cervical cancer, spreading awareness among underprivileged girls. 

Through another program, he also taught canteen boys proper sanitation and empowered them through the supply of their own materials. His devotion to providing medical support within his community has impacted almost 10,000 people, the press release said.

Arafat rose from a volunteer at age 17 to president of Chittagong district in just two years. 

Being a community worker, he oversaw the documentation of 3,000 Rohingya refugees and helped them reunite with their families, build schools and shelter. 

He also raised funds for people displaced by a landslide in Rangamati and managed Iftar food for 100 children during Ramadan.

Upoma Ahmad founded Evolution360 in 2016 with the aim of creating a gender-equal world and eradicating gender-based violence. 

Also read- Where is your mask?

Initially, with a team of 15 volunteers, she started replicating the “HeForShe” campaign in different parts of Bangladesh, beginning in a small village. The session included teaching teenage boys about consent and teaching young girls self-defence.

The campaign was later expanded to other districts and is currently being conducted by a team of 300 volunteers.

Ahmad is also working to eradicate child abuse through the “Good Touch Bad Touch” awareness campaign.

Furthermore, Evolution360 has launched the national public speaking event “Speak for Change” to hone the presentation skills of the youth and enlighten them on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5, which is gender equality.

The organization has also arranged various campaigns and programs on women’s hygiene, safety and empowerment.

The Diana Award was established in memory of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. The award is given out by the charity of the same name and has the support of both her sons, the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex.  

The Diana Award CEO Tessy Ojo said: “We congratulate all our new Diana Award recipients from the UK and all over the globe who are changemakers for their generation. By receiving this honour, we know they will inspire more young people to get involved in their communities and begin their journey as active citizens.

“The Diana Award has valued and invested in young people for over twenty years, encouraging them to continue to make positive changes in their communities and the lives of others,” Ojo added.

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