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    South Asian Youth Festival 2020 launched by a2i and Glocal After School

    The Aspire to Innovate (a2i) Programme, Bangladesh and Glocal After School, Nepal have jointly organized the virtual opening of the South Asian Youth Festival 2020 on the occasion of International Youth Day 2020. The 03 weeks-long festival has begun and will continue till the 3rd of September. The festival is organized in collaboration with various South Asian organizations such as UNICEF- ROSA; UNESCO; Aspire to Innovate-a2i of the ICT Division and the Cabinet Division, supported by UNDP Bangladesh; National Youth Council, Nepal; CYDA, India; CYN, Sri Lanka; Pinnacle Consultancy Pvt. Ltd, Maldives; Dynamic Youth Afghanistan; Maldives National Youth Council; Coca-Cola; Turkish Airlines & South-South Network.

    The festival, which will be held over 3 weeks will include exciting segments like insightful panel discussions, skillful workshops and creative competitions. Youth aged from 14- 24 years from South Asian Countries are encouraged to participate in this event and register for the activities that they are interested in, free of cost. The event is being organized with the motive to gather youths from South Asian Countries, connect them, share and learn their perspective and develop strong bonds between these groups. The festival is being organized virtually.

    The festival was inaugurated with opening remarks from the Chief Guest Rameshwor Ray Yadav, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security, Nepal. He said, “I would like to congratulate Glocal Pvt. Ltd. for creating a grand platform to celebrate youth power. Also, I’m thankful to the multi country organizers for coming together to celebrate the “International Youth Day”, 2020 in unique way. I believe that the 3 weeks long South Asian Youth Festival will definitely bring a solution on youth issues.”

    The opening festival had a series of Panel Discussions to overview the situation of Youth, challenges, opportunities in South Asian Level as well as country specific discussions where youths from specific countries will come together and discuss on topics related to Youth Engagement and Skilling. These panel are being organized with the motive to discuss about the hinderances in youth sector and solutions in South Asian Perspectives.

    Jean Gough, Director, Regional Officer for South Asia, UNICEF during the panel remarked, “I am very honored to be here to celebrate the South Asian Youth Festival. I would like to thank the organizers for putting this forward to celebrate the “International Youth Day”, 2020 in grand way and encourage today’s youth in making a difference. I am proud that local and global enterprises has come together to support and empower the South Asian Youths to lead the way.”

    Aishath Athiya Naseer, State Minister of Education, Maldives said, “This is the time for youths of nations to come forward, come together, and brainstorm ideas and solutions. Young people now and in the future will play a big role in how our world adapts to challenges associated with this pandemic and after.”

    Mentioning how this festival will be crucial in uniting youths to share their ideas and learn from each other, Dr. Mozammel Haque Khan, Chairman, SAANSO and Commissionar, Anti Corruption Commission, Bangladesh expressed, “On this International Youth Day, I would like to state that there is no alternative to making sure that the youth, the most creative and enterprising ones, participate in building solutions to global challenges.”

    Dr. Dewan Md. Humayun Kabir, Joint Secretary and Joint Project Director, a2i, Bangladesh focused on how this festival is a golden opportuniny for global cooperation among youths to face challenging situations. He stated, “From this summit, we can learn from the best practices, share experiences on how we overcame challenging situations in the past and identify areas of collaboration such as education, capacity development, developing partnerships, arranging global conferences, etc. With 10 years remaining to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this is the time to engage our youths, both male and female, to work towards a brighter world.”

    Other distinguished panelists, representatives of Government, National/International Delegates and Inspiring Youth from South Asian Countries, focused on the importance of youth engagement in the development of the society. They mentioned young leadership can play smart role in facing social and national challenges like COVID-19 pandemic. They also spoke about the urgency of participation and skills development of youth to recover the economic loss due to the pandemic.

    The festival will feature several competitions on Creative Writing, Painting and Video Making which will be open for the youths of South Asian Countries. The theme of this year’s International  Youth Day is “Reimagining Youth Employment and Skilling Solution”, focusing on youth engagement for global actions. The festival will also hold a number of workshops to be conducted by national and international trainers on ‘Youth Empowerment for Active Citizenship’, ‘Public Speaking’,’ Digital Storytelling’, ‘Virtual Strategy for productive teams’ and ‘Policies for Education’. A real time South Asian Quiz will also be conducted in between the festivals, where the participants will be asked questions related youth’s engagement in today’s world affairs.

    The South Asian Youth Festival aims to engage youths from all over South Asia to gather in a single platform to celebrate youth power and capabilities. The festival will bring out productive discussions and skilling solutions for the South Asian region through active cooperation, competitions, workshops and panel discussions.The festival will also launch the ‘South Asian Youth Group’ where youth representatives from across the South Asian region will provide insights, perspectives, cultural inputs, etc. with an aim of working together to drive innovation and change, and participate in the development of societies.

    Rameshwar Ray Yadav, Hon’ble Minister of Labor, Employment & Social Security, Government of Nepal; Mr. Aishath Athiya Naser, Hon’ble State Minister of Education,  Ms. Jean Gough, Director, Regional office of South Asia, UNICEF, Dr. Md. Mozammel Haque Khan, Chairman, SAANSO and Director, Anti Corruption Commission, Bangladesh, Smt. Vandana Chavan, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, Government of India, Dewan Md. Humayun Kabir, Joint Project Director and Joint Secretary, a2i, Bangladesh, Mr. Madhab Dhungar, Executive Vice-Chairperson, National Youth Council, Nepal, Ms. Humayra Ibnat Badhan, Senior Rover mate, Bangladesh, Mr. Pamir Hassas, Director of relations to IPU, House of people, Afghanistan, Mr. Kusala Fernando, Principal, Prince of Wales College, Sri Lanka, Mohammad Rafiqul Islam Sujon, Education Technology Expert, a2i, ICT Division, and Mr. Asish Thakur, Executive director, Glocal Pvt. Lmt., Nepal, were present in the opening panel of the festival.

    Event page link for more details of the festival:

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