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Linking Young Minds Together
   Volume 2 Issue 47| December 12, 2010 |


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Where Leadership Begins: CLAP-RI
Youth Leadership Conference 2010

Md. Rezaur Rahman

It was a moment of great honour when the three of us, SUSI (Study of United States Institutes) alumni submitted a project proposal to Relief International as a post SUSI GPD' 2010 (GPD stands for ?Global Perspectives on Democracy) assignment. After a long analysis on development issues, we decided to focus on leadership. Without a strong leadership democracy can't be utilized to its full extent, not only in political arena, leadership is essential in every aspect of human life. That's why our main focus is to make a long term plan to build leadership skills within young generation. So we, the three SUSI alumni (Md. Saimum Reza Talukdar, Md. Rezaur Rahman and Mowmita Basak Mow) formed Center for Leadership Assistance and Promotion (CLAP), a non-profit, non-political, voluntary organization.

Finally our dream came true with the CLAP-RI Youth Leadership Conference 2010 held at the Asian University for Women (AUW), Chittagong on October 29, it was the very first initiative by CLAP. The Conference was inaugurated by Dr. Sangita Rayamajhi, Vice-Provost for International Faculty Exchanges and Programs, AUW. Nazrul Islam from Relief International, AKM Raisul Huq Bahar, Chittagong Bureau In-Charge of The Daily Star, Wasim Newaz from UNYSAB and Saiful Abedin from Bangladesh School Debate (BSD) were among the special guests.

Around 40 participants attended the daylong conference where they were taught about the Leadership Skills, Civic Engagement and New Media. Dr Faheem Hussain took the session on New Media to introduce the students with the examples of New Media, Alternative Media, such as twittering, publishing blogs, utilizing social networking websites; uploading audio and visual contents etc. Also Prof. Nasreen Chowdhury and Prof. Joly Wood took the session on Democracy. At the last session, students took part in a teleconference on “Leadership Skills” with Marina Freire Gormaly from Toronto University Leadership Club. At the end of the day, participants developed some leadership skills through the interactive sessions and got to know about some contemporary ideas like New Media. They also got a certification from the Relief International.

The conference was sponsored by the Relief International while AUW was the venue sponsor. The American Center in Dhaka also inspired us behind the success. Above all, it was not possible for us to organize such kind of conference without the help of United Nations Youth and Students Association of Bangladesh (UNYSAB) and the Bangladesh School of Debate (BSD) as the strategic partner. The Daily Star and Radio Foorti broadcasted the conference news as media partners.

With the success of the conference, now CLAP is very much looking forward to more social welfare activities of various dimensions. Through this kind of initiative, CLAP intends to create a core group of activists who will work for humanity with the power of their leadership skills. CLAP hopes to reach the underprivileged class of the society in the upcoming days. We urge expecting young, enthusiastic and creative minds to join our journey. So, CLAP invites young minds to join us through the website www.clapbd.org

(The writer is a student of CSE, Shahjalal University of Science & Technology (SUST))
Photo: Pratik Shorkar



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