Greek philosopher Diogenes once said, "The foundation of every state is the education of its youth." Youth is the part of life when one strengthens his/her intellectual abilities and masters skills that keep him/her growing throughout the career. Youths in Bangladesh, in recent times, are facing multifaceted challenges like unemployment, lack of skills and training, mental health problems, etc. which is concerning because Bangladesh is going through a phase of demographic dividend. And those problems are constraining the country from utilising the full potential of the phase.
Youth Advancement Institute (YAI) was founded in August 2020 by Sefatul Karim Pranto to work for youths and help them become asset amid this demographic dividend phase. The organisation that started with 30 members has now more than 110 members including officials and campus ambassadors
YAI has unique vision. The organisation not only works for skill enhancement. It aims to reform social structure, bring equality, peace and happiness to society and ensure safety for women. To materialise this vision, they are working with diverse aspects of youth development including soft skills development, networking, communication, patience, leadership, career guidelines, emotional intelligence and many more. They are defiant on their mission, and are continuing their efforts to create a society of youths with a positive and healthy mentality.
YAI, as part of its organisational mission, arranged 'Youth Career Summit 2021' from May 21 to 23. The event's purpose was to provide complete career guidelines to undergraduates, graduates and job seekers for their chosen career paths. 40 virtual sessions with 40 different guests were conducted throughout the event. More than 300 youths participated in the event and it reached an additional 50,000 through social media.
Last year in December, YAI organised another event 'Mini Youth Parliament 2020,' on the theme 'How Bangladesh can overcome the SDG problems in post-Covid times'. More than 400 youths participated. Both these events raised funds which were distributed among the poor, helpless families and street children.
YAI is simultaneously working for the students and the deprived section of society. The organisation distributes all its earnings from the events among its target sections. Along with individual help, they provide financial assistance to collective cause as well. For instance, YAI helped a slum school of 80 students in Mirpur, with study materials. The youth-led organisation also distributed gifts, dresses among street children during the last Ramadan.
YAI is now planning some mindful projects and activities for the betterment of the society. It will organise campaigns like animal feeding, anti-deforestation, climate change project, etc. Its flagship event 'Mini Youth Parliament 2021' will be held, and a project on budget involving the youth is also on the cards. The organisation's future plan includes campaigns for mental health and social reformation.