A new hope
On Wednesday, 25th April 2007, Campus 4 of Independent University Bangladesh (IUB) came alive with a flood of positive energy, as students, faculty members, and administrative stuff of IUB witnessed the launch of the first ever community service network in the university. Named “Help Our People Empathize”, or “HOPE” for short, this organization is an effort on the part of the students to somehow reach out to, and help, the less fortunate members of our society.
The program started with Munsia Naureen Ahmed, faculty member and coordinator of HOPE, speaking about what made her think of this initiative. Back when she was attending school in Vienna, Munsia had come across an image of a girl while participating in a community service program. The vacant look the girl had in her eyes has haunted her ever since, driving her to do something for those who are not as blessed as the rest of us. Then she found out that some of her former students are involved with NGO's like Streetwise and the Dhaka Deaf Welfare Association, and saw here a perfect opportunity to fulfill the promise she had made so long ago. In discussing her ideas for a student initiative towards community service, her students from the Verbal Communication course she teaches responded positively and pro-actively. Thus the HOPE movement was conceived and implemented.
Following the speech, the Vice Chancellor of IUB Professor Bazlul Mobin Choudhury officially launched the program, accompanied by a slideshow created by Taskin Rahman and the popular Phil Collins song “Another Day in Paradise”. Sabrina F Ahmad, Publications Manager of HOPE, spoke about the organization and outlined the activities of the team. Sadia Kalam, Event Support Manager of HOPE, then presented Streetwise, an NGO working for the rehabilitation of street children. Students of Streetwise entertained the audience with poetry recitation and through enacting a skit. The Vice Chancellor then presented these kids with some token gifts.
Pro-Vice Chancellor Dr. Omar Rahman praised the students for this initiative. Dr. Ahaduzzaman M. Ali, Director of the Department of Media and Communications, also lauded their efforts. The launching ceremony concluded with Farshid Alam and Adnan Islam singing the HOPE anthem.
The launching ceremony was immediately followed by an exhibition of paintings made by students of the Dhaka Deaf Welfare Association, inaugurated by the Vice Chancellor. The theme of the exhibition was “Amar Ekushey”, and the paintings depicted the Language Movement.
While all this was going in, yet another faction of HOPE was conducting a charity food sale at the entrance to Campus 4. A wide variety of food items were on sale, all homemade, except dry snacks donated by BD Foods Ltd. When the two-hour sale finally came to an end, with all items being sold out, the funds generated had amounted to Tk. 7000.
For the members of this novel student organization, the day ended in a festive mood, and with the first inkling of a new hope already on the horizons. We at Star Campus would like to offer our best wishes to all members of HOPE, and sincerely hope that more such efforts are made by the student body of this country. After all, it is the least we can do for a better tomorrow.