Yazan’s world has gotten smaller as he has connected with people from across the globe.
In memory of YES alumnus Shayaan Rahim Chowdhury ‘05, who tragically passed away in a car accident on May 24, 2008, the YES alumni association of Bangladesh organized a series of community service events between the months of November 2009 and January 2010. Mr. Chowdhury was a member of the first group of students from Bangladesh to participate in the YES program. The first event was the Children’s Rights Awareness Campaign, held on November 7, 2009, which took place in a rural village school called Shaturia M.B. Dakhil Madrasa. There were approximately 200 student participants from this school and the neighboring Patilapara Bohumukhi Kindergarten School, as well as teachers and parents on hand to serve as volunteers and spectators. To help promote their campaign, YES alumni collected, displayed and distributed posters and brochures provided by the International Labor Organization (ILO) about Children’s Rights. The alumni also invited Mr. M. Habibullah, former Labor Director of Bangladesh and area native, to be the guest speaker. As a respected government official with extensive knowledge and work-related experience in child labor laws; Mr. Habibullah was able to provide expert commentary on the fight for the rights of children around the world.
This program was coordinated by YES alumna Shariqa Habib ‘08. Ms. Habib also enlisted the help of fellow alumni Rabiba Rahman Chowdhury ‘08, Solaiman Bin Adbur Rashid ‘08, Muksud Chowdhury ‘08, Ruxmini Reckvana Q Chowdhury ‘09, Salman Samiul Haque ‘09, Nasim Uddin Ahamed ‘09, A.S.M. Toufique-uz-zaman Tuhin ‘09, Khadem Samad Nitol ‘09, Faiaz Hasan ’09 and Atikur Rahman Nabil ‘10 to ensure the event’s success!
A second event organized by the YES alumni was a community Clothes Drive. This was held on January 4th 2010, and took nearly a month to plan. The alumni and volunteers began collecting donations for the clothes drive in December of 2009, following a survey done in the community district of Rajshahi that identified 140 underprivileged families in need of clothes and blankets. YES alumni Zareen Fatima Sattar ‘08, Mohammed Mustahsin Islam ‘08 and Sanjana Venus ‘07 helped sort and pack the items donated, which resulted in a total of 135 packets available for distribution containing articles of clothing for up to four people. Several of the alumni who participated in the Children’s Rights campaign also contributed to the success of this endeavor, including S. M. Fahad Bin Kamal ‘05, M. Imran Kayesh ‘05, Bappa Maitra ‘08, Taisir Mosharraf Hossain ‘09 and A. S. M. Shafayatul Alam ‘09.
The Clothes Drive took place at Hazrat Khaja Shah Shufi (R) High School, where students from underprivileged families obtain a free education. The event itself was divided into two phases: first, a packet of warm clothes was given to each family that participated in the original survey. During the second phase; blankets were distributed amongst the disadvantaged students of the school.
The school’s founder, Dr. Mohammed Abdul Khalek, who is also chairman of the Botany Department at Rajshahi University, was on hand as a volunteer to help distribute the clothes and blankets. Additional guests and volunteers included Mr. M. Shahidul Islam, Headmaster of Hazrat Khaja Shah Shufi (R) High School; Ms. Azadi Parvin Tuesly, Assistant Professor for the Department of Fine Arts at Rajshahi University; Anwara Begum, Councilor at the Rajshahi City Corporation; and Mr. Rezaul Karim, Bureau Chief for the The Daily Inquilab – Rajshahi. Even local authorities were on hand to assist where needed.
Over 270 people in the district of Rajshahi benefitted from the Clothes Drive. This project received a lot of support from community members throughout the region, and Dr. Mohammed Abdul Khaled gave a special thanks to our YES alumni in Bangladesh for their humanitarian initiatives.