Dhaka, April 25 – The Democracy International (DI) on Wednesday organized a graduation ceremony under the `Young Political Leaders Fellowship Program’ and awarded certificates to 21 young leaders affiliated with Bangladesh Awami League and Bangladesh Nationalist Party at the Long Beach Suites in Dhaka.
It was the 10th fellowship organised by DI and the organisers told the meeting that the trainees would join an Alumni of 250 graduates. The fellows are district level Junior leaders of the two parties. It appeared DI succeeded to form district level teams comprising members of both the parties who jointly worked for helping the solution of at least one local problem faced by people.
The program was organized under the Strengthening Political Landscape (SPL) project jointly funded by USAID and UKAID and implemented by DI.
The fellowship began in December 2017 and the young leaders have completed monthly residential trainings in Dhaka on various topics including the role of political parties in democracies, internal party democracy, campaign management, promoting peaceful elections, political communications. In their districts, the fellows also completed advocacy campaigns on local issues and women and youth conferences to utilize the knowledge and skills learned in the trainings. Through the multiparty advocacy campaigns, AL and BNP fellows brought their senior leaders together to solve local issues including water logging, waste management, and restoring children’s playgrounds.
Zeinah Salahi, Deputy Mission Director, USAID Bangladesh, was the Special Guest at the graduation ceremony which was addressed by Rasheda Begum Hira, Training Affairs Secretary, Central Executive Committee, Bangladesh Nationalist Party; ABM Mosharraf Hossain, Training Affairs Secretary, Central Executive Committee, Bangladesh Nationalist Party; and Barrister Mohibul Hassan Chowdhoury (Nowfel), Organizing Secretary, Central Working Committee, Bangladesh Awami League as panel speakers.
Katie Croake, Chief of Party, Democracy International expressed her satisfaction at the progress made by the young leaders and expressed her confidence that they will continue to work together to strengthen peaceful and participatory politics in Bangladesh.
The Strengthening Political Landscape in Bangladesh program (SPL) is a five-year project that promotes inclusive and peaceful politics in Bangladesh by supporting political party activists and politically active citizens to be effective leaders and to advocate for more inclusive and peaceful party policies and practices.
With eight regional offices along with a head office in Dhaka, DI works with thousands of grassroots political activists across the country.
The result the narration of the fellows indicated was good. The fellows worked together, managed to involve district level leaders of their own parties and the city corporations or municipalities to help settle some burning problems. They spoke very positively about the experience of working together and expressed their eagerness to help the creation of a tolerant and inclusive democratic order.
One point made by some of the fellows was to involve senior leaders of their parties in the process. They believe this would strengthen the efforts to practice inclusive, tolerant and participatory democracy in Bangladesh. – GreenWatch Dhaka Report