Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home


1° Initiative

If I could change the world, I would for the better…
1° Initiative is a non-profit organization run by youth leaders for motivating youth-led development in Bangladesh. It started out with a simple mission but with deep beliefs. The mission: make small differences in the lives of people who need help. The belief was to bring together their school friends, communities and those who can, to make changes for individuals so that they can come up with a better community. Small changes in the lives of street children, children who are unable to read, children who don't have the money to afford a simple smile on their faces are the main target groups of this amazing organization. 1° Initiative (1dI) started out in August 2006, by a group of high-schoolers who wanted to give back to their community. So far, 1dI has conducted several projects, notably the selling of CRP artwork cards and Adult Literacy Project. 1dI sold about 150 cards, whose artworks were done by Centre for Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed children.

The Adult Literacy Project was in collaboration with Mastermind Community Service Club (MMCSC) for providing basic education to the helping staff of Mastermind Junior Section (and in future, Middle Section and Senior Section). Basic arithmetic and communicative English, were taught in this 3 month long project and was a huge success.

Apart from these, there were several other projects like providing them with warm clothes during winter, or a simple thing like taking and publishing their picture, which helped the street children to light up their faces. Here are the bright youngsters who initiated 1dI.

Executive Committee
1. Sabhanaz Rashid Diya
2. Zubair Idris
Members (m)/Senior Members (sm)
1. Tushmit M Hasan (sm)
2. Amreen Rahman (sm)
3. Ahmed Ashiful Haque Niloy (sm)
4. Aaqib F Hossain (sm)
5. Asif Rayhan Rasha (sm)
6. Mayeesha Azhar (sm)
7. Samwan Bin Rob (m)

1° Initiative is a platform of young , energetic student leaders who want to inform and inspire youth in Dhaka (Bangladesh) and put them on the trajectory of youth-led development. 1d-I is a non-profit organization that aims to make a difference in the lives of young people. These youngsters are passionately interested to craft a change in the country and also motivate others to do the same. This is their effort to turn their dreams into reality. They have named themselves as 'One-Degree Initiative', because of their motto that a small, 1° change can make a huge difference. 1° is all it takes to turn ice into water; 1° is all it takes to revolutionize one's mind - so a 1° change can indeed be the most significant change. 1 is the number of hands they need from each one of you!

Contact them at: 1d.initiative@gmail.com
Bangladeshi youth on the rise! Kudos to all those who care.
By Shamma M. Raghib

The journey of HOPE begins

The sky was overcast on Wednesday, April 25, 2007, but that didn't stop the lounge in Campus 4 of the Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) from lighting up with sheer energy, as Help Our People Empathize (HOPE), launched the first ever community service network in IUB.

The story of HOPE started many years ago when the coordinator, Munsia Naureen Ahmed, now a teacher at IUB, was attending school in Vienna. The international school was big on community service, and encouraged empathy. She recalls that once while watching a documentary on poverty, she saw a little girl who 'had this completely blank look in her eyes, and tears rolling down her cheeks,” she tells us. “Right then, I made this vow that I would do what I could to help these people.” (in case the correction doesn't seem coherent, this is the part from my speech… if u can make this in a nutshell then go ahead: '…mixing with so many people from so many different cultures helped us understand each other better. I guess I was taught the importance and the valuable skill of empathy from very early on. Empathy: To understand, share or experience another person's emotions and their feelings and thoughts.

I remember that we were repeatedly made aware of the privileged life we had and how we can contribute to the society. One day in class we were shown a documentary of poverty and I vividly remember seeing the face of a 5/6 year old girl. She looked at the camera with a blank look on her face but tears were rolling down her eyes. I remember feeling very sad and the suffering and hopelessness she felt. I was in grade 7 but I promised myself that day that one day I would work to help those who were suffering the like girl. And the image of the girl still remains with me till this date. )

Several years later, while teaching at IUB, Munsia Ahmed heard about StreetWise, an organisation that works with street children, which was co-founded by one of her former students. At the same time, she also met with another IUB student who founded the Dhaka Deaf Welfare Association (DDWA). A germ of an idea for promoting community service amongst students began to form at that point. Having worked with a group of students in her Mass Communication course on a bake sale to raise funds for a cancer patient one and a half years ago, she felt that her vision could be implemented, so when she encountered the same group of students in her Verbal Communications course this year, she enlisted their support, and HOPE was born.

The fledgling organisation has three main objectives: a) to promote social awareness through workshops and publications, b) to organise fundraisers and other events in coalition with affiliated community-service networks, and c) to facilitate volunteer work activities for students who are actively interested in social work.

The launching programme featured, amongst other things, poetry recitation and a dramatic presentation by the students of Streetwise. The young artistes wowed their audience with their histrionics and expressive choreography.

The speeches and presentations were followed by the inauguration of an art exhibition at the HOPE Headquarters at Campus 4, (IUB) 90, Park Road, Baridhara. On display were paintings by the children of the Dhaka Deaf Welfare Association, which had the theme of 'Amar Ekushay”. At the same time, a food sale was underway, featuring home-made goodies by the HOPE volunteers, as well as snacks donated by BD Foods Ltd. Two hours later, when the whole show packed up, the initiative had raked in a whopping Tk 7000 to be split between Streetwise and DDWA. One hopes that they are able to continue in their commendable efforts.

For more information about HOPE, visit their blog at http://helpourpeopleempathize.blogspot.com

By Sabrina F Ahmad

What you don't learn at School

Most schools in Bangladesh basically teach you to memorize information and to regurgitate it back to your teacher, only to completely erase the information from your mind the moment you walk out after sitting for the examination. The stuff that you need to learn to effectively deal with real-life situation is through the elaborated process of getting kicked out of your first job, getting laughed at by your friends or perhaps, suffering from low self-esteem. This segment isn't a life buoy to save you from the sinking in the vast ocean called life; it's something that keeps you floating while you're learning to swim. You can learn the outlined contents sinking and learning to swim, or simply, by reading and following what we've prepared for you.

Lesson 1: First Aid, Part One
Most people generally freak out when they see somebody suddenly dropping on the floor or when any animal bites anyone. There is a rush to go to a hospital or panic-attack. Well, save it for a worse situation.

When a dog or cat or any animal bites or scratches you?
No, you won't go insane. Animal bites and scratches can become infected and spread bacteria to other parts of the body.

* If the bite or scratch wound is bleeding, apply pressure to the area with a clean bandage or towel until the bleeding stops. If available, use clean latex or rubber gloves to protect yourself from exposure to another person's blood.

* Clean the wound with soap and water, and hold it under running water for at least 5 minutes. Do not apply an antiseptic or anything else to the wound.

* Dry the wound and cover it with sterile gauze or a clean cloth.

When there's bleeding from a large cut or laceration
* Wash the wound thoroughly with water. This will allow you to see the wound clearly and assess its size.

* Place a piece of sterile gauze or a clean cloth over the entire wound. If you can, raise the bleeding body part above the level of the person's heart. Do not apply a tourniquet.

* Using the palm of your hand on the gauze or cloth, apply steady, direct pressure to the wound for 5 minutes. (During the 5 minutes, do not stop to check the wound or remove blood clots that may form on the gauze.)

* If blood soaks through the gauze, do not remove it. Apply another gauze pad on top and continue applying pressure.

You can then call a doctor or hospital for further instructions.

By Sabhanaz Rashid Diya

When you search for me

On the very edges of your lips
I am fused with your smile,
In pages of your diary
My name still can be found,
Along certain streaks of your hair
My scent silently persists,
In those alluring shady eyes
My memories can be found.

On every beauty spot on your skin
My kisses till now linger,
Inside your body
My warmth still tenders,
Around your waist
My embraces are evermore firm,
Within your heart
Can you feel my quiet prayers?

By Adnan M. S. Fakir


home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2007 The Daily Star