In September 2012, the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka and iEARN, hosted the inaugural Youth TechCamp in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The signature series hosted by the State Department to raise digital literacy, engaged 20 Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) porgram alumni.
Youth TechCamp Bangladesh provided three full days of training for YES alumni from Bangladesh. Participants interacted with top local technology experts specializing in civic journalism and social activism, including featured lecturers from Citycell, Change Makers and other Bangladeshi technology organizations. Presenters covered topics in social activism, citizen journalism, and digital storytelling - all with an eye toward the critical role connective technologies play in community activism.
Participants not only learned how to impact their communities through technology, but they also learned tangible skills that carry into their professional career. Alumni were empowered to code their own websites, use social media to build awareness and mobilize communities, and tell stories effectively online.
In turn, alumni implemented similar technology workshops in their own community's. One such project was the Youth Tech Drive. Alumni of the program organized an interactive 3 day workshops for 20 students selected from schools around the Dhaka region. Alumni presented on website development, social media, blogging and public speaking. Students came away learning how to leverage technologies to elevate their voice and social causes in their community.
Alumni continue to leverage the skills they learned through Youth TechCamp and share their knowledge with their peers and community.
Please click here to view a photo slideshow of Bangladeshi Alumni engaged in Youth TechCamp and the follow-up activities.