30 Diversified Youth Gathered Cox’s Bazar and Graduated from Freedom Fellows

Bangladesh is a country where 30 percent of the total population is youth. It is said that a healthy youth society of a country ensures its future prosperity. Therefore, it is very important to develop the youth of the country properly and it is also important to provide them with proper education and values behind their development. Keeping these issues in mind, the Freedom Fellows Residential Bootcamp is organized by Preneur Lab and FNF Bangladesh every year. Where participants get good facilities for training as well as food and accommodation. Like every year, this program was also this year from 18 to 21 March 2023.

More than 300 young people completed registration to participate in the program after the Freedom Fellows Residential Bootcamp was announced. Out of these 300 registrations, 30 youths were shortlisted as eligible to participate in various categories. It was basically a four-day long workshop with the first day on 18 March 2023 and the workshop continued till 21 March 2023. The program was held at Hotel Kollol, a renowned hotel in Cox’s Bazar. On the morning of the 18th, these 30 young people arrived at this hotel in Cox’s Bazar from different parts of the country according to the previous instructions given to them.

Workshops organized through this four-day bootcamp provided training to the participants on various topics. March 18, 2023 was the first working day of the workshop. The activities of the day included introduction, short discussion about the session, selection of topics etc.

On the first day i.e. March 18, the main workshop started with the introduction of the two organizers. On this occasion, Preneur Lab was presented by Head of Operations and Admin Mr. Ashraful Tavir and FNF Bangladesh was presented by Mr. Omar Mostafiz, Program Manager of the organization. Then at the beginning of the main session Mr. Arif Nezami, Co-Founder and Trustee of Preneur Lab conducted a virtual session summarizing the entire programme. He also shed light on the expectations of both the organizers and the participants from the programme. Then the first day ended with planning for the following days and some fun activities.

The main program started on the second day. The first session of the day was conducted by Mr. Omar Mostafiz, Program Manager of FNF Bangladesh and the second session was conducted by Mr. Naimul Hossain, Co-founder of Bangla Institute, on “Content Creation: Innovation and Creativity”. Group activities also took place between these two sessions. The next session was moderated by Mr. Alamin Pranto, Co-Founder, BestAid Bangladesh and also a Freedom Fellow Expert. The topic of his session was “Mobile Journalism”. The third session of the program was on Economic Liberalism conducted by Dr. Najmul Hossain, Country Representative, FNF Bangladesh. And the last session of the day was on Fake News and Fact Checking, conducted by Mr. Ashraful Tanvir, Head of Operations & Admin, Preneur Lab.

The first session on the third day of the program was on Tolerance conducted by Mr. Omar Mostafiz. The second session was on Digital Rights, Privacy, Generative AI, moderated by Mr. Ashraful Tanvir. A special speaker was present on the day as a mentor, Mr. Hasan Benaul Islam, Awareness Campaign Specialist of EDGE Project of the ICT Division of Bangladesh. He presented a keynote session on Storytelling and Cyber Security and also conducted some group activities.

Participants were given all instructions on creating and submitting digital content as an assignment on their chosen topic and all participants submitted their contents within the stipulated time.

The fourth day of the program was basically an award ceremony day on the digital content created by the participants. On this day, five participants who created the best digital content on the topic assigned to them, were announced as winners and certificates were handed over to all the participants. A group activity on policy recommendations was also held on this day.

Speaking to the participants at the end of the event, they were very excited about the overall programme. They expressed their opinion that this program was the best program of their time. They also said that they want to use the knowledge and values acquired from here throughout their life and work for the country. Preneur Lab and FNF Bangladesh are very optimistic about organizing more such events in the future to develop the talent and mindset of the youth.