By Gulshan Jubaed Prince (YES 2010-2011, Bangladesh, hosted by Ayusa in Tupelo, Mississippi)
In Bangladesh, there are many remotes areas where young students' educational needs are not met, especially when it comes to developing important life skills. Pre-teens across the country have inadequate knowledge about their changing bodies, hygiene, sexual harassment, mental illnesses, and drug abuse. This is why a team of YES alumni in Bangladesh (Gulshan Jubaed Prince, Tahseen Lubaba, Afreen Zaman, Nazib Ninad and Tasawar Drupak) visited a school in Jessore, Khulna to conduct a one day workshop that would address these issues.
Our team conducted three separate training session themed “Team Building and Moral Education”, “Health and Environment” and “Creativity and Arts” with 50 students ranging from 10 to 12 years of age. We wanted to provide a well rounded yet simple approach on multifarious issues. It was imperative to us that we included and introduced topics such as cooperation, awareness and autonomy among the students.
Each session was 30 minutes long, and consisted of a mixture of speeches, Q&A, audiovisuals, and group exercises. The introductory session on team building and morality covered topics like empathy, cooperation, effective communication, group work, etc. The second session was a particularly informative session. It aimed to bring together the concepts of environmental awareness, hygiene, mental health, drug abuse and sexual harassment in order to encourage the students to be more aware about their personal well-being and autonomy.
Finally, the last session was a fun-filled ending to the workshop. In this session, the students were divided into groups for a poster-making activity. The students spent the next 30 minutes zealously playing with glues and glitter and decorating their posters. This activity ended the entire workshop on a high note.
The most gratifying aspect of the entire project, for the team, was the warmth with which the students welcomed us. The young students were excited to have such an opportunity, and they told our team that this was a completely new experience for them. They were keen on continuing this training with our YES alumni and repeatedly requested that we visit again.
The YES alumni team plans to continue this project and hold different workshops across Bangladesh. The plan is to target more schools in remote areas where such education is rare, and possibly non-existent.