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Linking Young Minds Together
  Volume 6 | Issue 33 | August 18, 2012 |


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Youth in Action

Inside the classroom.

Bringing In Smiles

Syed Sajid Ahmed
Photos: Smile Foundation

In recent years, there has been quite an upsurge of social welfare based organisations in our country. In most of the cases, it has been the youth who have been in the forefront and helped these organisations become successful. Smile Foundation is one such organisation which aims to help and develop the living conditions of the deprived majority of this country by providing education as well as necessary primary medical aids. It was founded in November 2011 by Quazi Taif Sadat, who is a successful young entrepreneur, an ex-student of Independent University Bangladesh (IUB) and at present, a lecturer at Bangladesh University.

Classrooms outside the four walls.

Smile Foundation is funded by Taif and run by a young group of students from different schools and universities around the city. This community based organisation has already set-up two schools in the country which provide free education and meals to the under-privileged children in their respective areas. “We established our first school in the Chalan Bil area of Rajshahi where, currently, a total of 30 students are receiving their primary education,” said Taif. “We hope to increase the number to 100 within the next year.” added Taif. The second school was set-up recently in the capital's Adabar area. It will begin its academic session from September this year with 50 students. Two teachers are appointed to look after each of the schools in addition to any volunteer who wishes to help them. “We are associated with quite a few educational institutions and have managed to set-up 'Smile clubs' in many of them,” stated Moin Mohiuddin, who is the team leader of the Smile Club in International School, Dhaka. These Smile Clubs help the Smile Foundation acquire volunteers from these institutions for its various projects.

Young volunteers help bringing in smiles!

Late last month, Smile Foundation, through the hard work of its volunteers and members in different projects, have managed to secure a place in ProPoor, which is an internet-based portal that provides information, resources and news about development work in South Asia by NGOs. Regarding the achievement, Taif said, “It's a matter of great pride to be listed with approximately top 15000 NGOs and community organisations from our sub-continent and we are grateful to all the volunteers who have made it possible.” Apart from setting-up schools, Smile Foundation has also undertaken and completed a lot of projects including clothes distribution drive, food drive, tree plantation programme, road safety awareness programme and the beach cleaning project which was held in Cox's Bazaar. “We provided food to around 300 people for a day when the residents of Korail slums were evicted by the government in the city's Gulshan area,” added Moin. Earlier last month, they also organised an event to clean the Dhanmondi Lake which they consider a great success and which they intend to continue every month.

Early September this year, Smile Foundation is organising a substantial project to clean the Buriganga River where more than 500 volunteers will be working for the whole day to help reduce pollution in the water body. “It is going to be a challenging task and I believe our bunch of young volunteers is going to make it a success.” said Taif about the project. Anyone interested to join the Smile Team and help them as a volunteer can contact Taif at taifsadat@hotmail.com. “We will highly appreciate it if anyone wants to join us and hence we will be giving certificates to acknowledge their hard work and effort.” added Taif.

“The world of tomorrow belongs to the one who has the vision for today,” and “The Youth of a Nation are the trustees of Posterity” these are quotes by Robert Schuller and Benjamin Disraeli. Indeed, it is the young people who can bring change and help in building a better tomorrow for themselves. So, do your part and help bring in SMILES!

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