The team of RDRS tells us why they decided to involve with LP4Y on the Green Village project and how we can work together for Youth inclusion.
Mylène Wang, GV leader Bangladesh, LP4Y
Rashedul Arefeen, Project Coordinator, ELCA, RDRS
Md Abdus Samad, Head of Development Programs, RDRS
Md Nazrul Ghani, Head of Administration and General Services, RDRS
Let me tell you about our partnership with RDRS Bangladesh, a very exciting story about a successful new partnership.
It actually started with a study. A very interesting study about the Youth employment situation in Bangladesh called “The Ignored Generation” that we read for us Catalysts to understand better the challenges faced by the Youth in the country. And at the end of this insightful study, a large table filled with the names of all the NGO contributors, with their field of actions, was annexed.
As my co-catalyst Jérémy and I were looking for new partners to collaborate with, to expand our knowledge of the country but also to find a building to settle our Green Village in, we added RDRS to our prospect list. Indeed, RDRS Bangladesh mission is “Committed to change through empowering the rural poor”, exactly the kind of partners we needed to reach the excluded Youth from remote and rural areas.
After a small discussion by email, we were beautifully welcomed in the RDRS Dhaka office, where we immediately clicked with the executive and management team: their message was clear, their action very organized, and their English delightful. Furthermore, in our luck, we found out that RDRS was not only an organization with a vision similar to ours, but also that they were pioneers in the NGO sector since the existence of the country. Along with BRAC, they really helped the development of the country, so they are, thanks to their +5000 people working on the field, very well connected both with the people and the decision-makers in Bangladesh.
Thanks to their great support, we were able to visit their centers, activities and buildings in the Rangpur Division (located in the North-West of the country), which is one of their main working areas (as their name originally implies - RDRS meant Rangpur Dinajpur Rural Services). There we had the opportunity to meet the both very helpful Md. Nazrul Ghani and Arefeen Rashedul. Long story short, this is how we finally found our Green Village building in Kaliganj, Lalmonirhat, one-hour drive from the main city of Rangpur, where our new team of 4 catalyst members will now settle up!
What are your names and your positions at RDRS ?
Rashedul Arefeen, Project Coordinator, ELCA Md Abdus Samad, Head of Development Programs Md Nazrul Ghani, Head of Administration and General Services
How long have you been at RDRS?
Rashedul Arefeen : I have been working with RDRS Bangladesh for about 20 years, on development projects and looking after RDRS property at Lalmonirhat. Nazrul Ghani : I have been working with RDRS for more than 30 years, my responsibility is to look after RDRS assets, building vehicle general administration, procurement, purchase, maintain liaison with government agencies and also property trust.Abdus Samad : I have recently joined with RDRS Bangladesh and it’s been two months almost!
When and how did you hear about LP4Y?
Rashedul Arefeen : I have heard about LP4Y three months back on the first visit of the team at Kaliganj. Nazrul Ghani and Abdus Samad : We heard about this initiative one month back in our Senior Staff meeting.
What was your first impression when you heard about the LP4Y project towards the Youth ?
Nazrul Ghani : We felt very much enthusiastic to become a part of this initiative after learning about the LP4Y project as it clearly links with RDRS business objective and also has a strong niche with our existing work of youth development and gender inclusion.
What do you expect about RDRS and LP4Y partnership?
Rashedul Arefeen : We expect the RDRS and LP4Y to work together to achieve the common goal of this two organizations which has a strong synergy with each other. RDRS expects LP4Y collaborate with RDRS:
To develop its field level implementation planning
To collaborate while setting beneficiary selection criteria
To partner with RDRS while undertaking community consultation and outreach
To partner with RDRS union federations while selecting beneficiaries
To share information about project work transparently with RDRS to allow support each other and reach the maximum for the beneficiaries
What impact do you think the Green Village Project will bring to the region and the community around Lalmonirhat ?
Rashedul Arefeen : Women are extremely vulnerable in this locality due to various socio-economic reasons and violence against women, harassment and deprivation. There are huge numbers of women who are now living as a single parent and taking care of their children who are victim of child marriage. Economic empowerment is a key to prevent VAW and empower women and girls. This LP4Y project can bring significant impacts in the lives of youths of this area and particularly for the women.
Do you have anything particular to share with our international community?
Nazrul Ghani : Bangladesh population pyramid shows the fatty youth segment that is lack of marketable skills, lack of entrepreneurship and start-up support, less scope of financial inclusion and improper distribution of opportunities. The youths and particularly women are extremely vulnerable in the northern part of the country due to poverty, social stigma and many other socio-economic factors, they need support.
The RDRS Bangladesh has its mandate to develop skills of youths and ensure their financial inclusion. RDRS is also working for youth entrepreneurship development by providing start-up support and ensuring their financial inclusion. RDRS and LP4Y can co-create projects by utilizing resources and expertise of each other.