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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 4 | February 4, 2007|


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Nazia Ahmed

Think the youth of today is indifferent to community service and charity? One look at the zeal and zest of the young participants of the Project D-Youth competition should be enough to change your mind.

For the past two months or so, these keen minds have been running the gauntlet of challenges that have tested their creativity, innovation and determination to the extreme. With each week, the more able teams have managed to knock out their feebler opponents to bring us to a most exciting chapter in this story.

In the last challenge, the four teams divided into groups of two to redecorate a room each in the Bottomely Home Orphanage. Each of them went through two and a half days of constant scraping, cleaning, painting and designing each room with new furniture and toys. Each group was given a budget of Taka 35,000 from the Project Bangladesh Fund, which was to cover the costs of decoration and the donation of a few food items and stationeries.

This task required the two groups to collaborate with each other under a team leader and come up with the best decoration. This challenge tested not only their creativity and money-management skills but also their cooperation skills and the leadership of the team leaders, all of which worked together towards an end product at the end of the allotted time.

“I have been managing this challenge for the last two days, and was astonished at their enthusiasm. They showed no signs of lethargy despite the constant hard work, like scrapping and painting an entire room. Seeing them work so hard for a noble cause like this, I could actually say that kids of today are definitely more conscientious than we were at their age.” says Mr. Deepac Bose, the manager of this week's challenge.

Group-1 with Lobdhi and Sobiyasachi was given a room with rather complicated corners and a concrete roof, while group-2 was assigned a huge square room with a tin roof, previously used as a laundry room.

Group-1 tried to recreate a jungle theme by painting grass murals on half the wall. To enhance this look, and also to promote the local cottage industry, they accessorized the room with candles, clay fishes and other handicraft products.

Group 2 focused on the children who would use the room, by putting their tiny handprints up on the walls, adding a rack full of books and furnishing a corner with toys and puzzles so that every time the children enter they'd find something they could readily relate to.

Each group had obstacles to work around, be it a room with too many corners, or a high tin shaded roof, which they had to cover with drapes reaching the top. After they were done though, they unanimously declared, “It is for the children, and if they like it, it doesn't even matter if we win or lose.”

The judges came in the afternoon as the teams patiently waited to present their respective rooms. Mr. Amir Khosru Mahmood Chowdhuri, Neo G. Mendes and UNICEF Chief Louis George Arsenault were the judges for this challenge. The children from the orphanage were also given the floor to decide which room was better, but as they moved from one to another, they were rendered speechless and in the end could not make a decision as to the better one, only proving the judges' dilemma true as well.

However, considering the long-term features in decoration, Group-1 was the winner of this challenge, which left the teams Laal and BUET bugs behind this week.

“Each time we thought Laal would not survive, they somehow managed to prove us wrong in the final presentation. This young bunch has confidence, something that will take them real far in the future. BUET bugs till now have also proved their skills to be unique.” Says D-juice, Project Bangladesh.

Now guess what the next challenge will be! It's going to be a D-juice event, a concert organized by the teams at the Bashundhara convention center, where the teams will be bringing in bands, negotiating and managing the whole thing. The tickets will be available in the D-juice Xtra Khatir points, but only at the team's clearance. Word has it James will also be performing! All this on Valentine's Day, 14th February. With each task, Project Bangladesh is getting the teams to push the limits of their creative energy even further, and inculcating in them the concept of community service and charity. As the final challenge for the two surviving teams of Project D-youth approaches, the finishing line is in sight and the adrenaline rush hits the ceiling. Which team do you have your money on? Will it be Lobdhi or Sobiyasachi? Keep your fingers crossed and keep reading to know what happens as the finalists lock horns in the ultimate challenge!

Log on to www.projectdyouth.com


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