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World Bank and BRAC advocacy event stress the use of standard motorcycle helmets

A discussion event focusing on the importance of the use of national safety standard helmets for motorcycle riders took place today on Sunday (21 May) at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel. Key personnel of government, World Bank, civil society, private sector, and non-governmental organisations involved in this issue participated in the discussion.

BRAC and the World Bank jointly organised the advocacy event.

Chief guest at the event was ABM Amin Ullah Nuri, Secretary, Road Transport and Highways Division. Nur Mohammad Mazumder, chairman, Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA); Md Abdus Sattar, director general, Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institution (BSTI); Md Atiqul Islam, additional inspector general of Police (crime and operations); and Abdoulaye Seck, country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, World Bank, were special guests of the programme.

The welcome speech by Dipan Bose, senior transport specialist, World Bank, and team leader, World Bank-financed Bangladesh Road Safety Project, highlighted that “The World Bank recognises the importance of road safety as a critical development priority. We are committed to working together with the Government of Bangladesh and all relevant stakeholders in this endeavour”.

Chief Guest of the event Road Transport and Highways Division secretary ABM Amin Ullah Nuri in his speech said, "I am not for restricting motorcycles as a mode of transport. What we need to do is ensure safety. We have to remove substandard helmets. I request all from the NGOs to other stakeholders to move forward to create awareness. The government cannot alone implement the standard helmet law. We have to create a social movement."

BRTA chairman Nur Mohammad Mazumder said, "The use of motorcycles is increasing with the growth of our economy. An increasing number of motorised vehicles and roads as well give way to a rise in road crashes. Often reckless driving lies behind road crashes, while wearing no helmets at all or substandard helmets contributes to the severity of casualties. Now that BSTI has fixed the helmet standard for Bangladesh, we have to make sure that no one is allowed to ride motorcycles without wearing the standard safety helmets."

BSTI director general Md Abdus Sattar recommended safe driving education for vehicle riders in all training programmes, arranging a series of awareness programmes with relevant stakeholders, enforcing the law on the motorcycle riders, making licence issuing process for riders more rigorous, not selling fuel without the rider wearing BDS 1136 certified helmet.

Additional inspector general of Police Md Atiqul Islam said, “While we have been successful in creating a steady downward trend for homicides in recent years, road accidents and resulting deaths could not be checked so steadily. In the first three months of this year out of 915 total vehicles involved in different accidents, motorcycles were 147. The actual number of motorcycle accidents may be even higher. It’s a matter of grave concern that many lives are lost each year worldwide due to the neglect of simple safety measures, such as wearing proper helmets”.

Abdoulaye Seck, country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, World Bank, said, "I want to congratulate the Government of Bangladesh for its adoption of the national safety standard for helmets in October 2022. Unfortunately, most helmets available in Bangladesh do not meet international standards when it comes to quality and protection. World Bank is honoured to partner with Federation Internationale de l'Automobile, BRAC and the Government of Bangladesh to launch and advocate for standard helmets”.

Pierre CASTAING, international consultant for World Bank for its road safety initiatives, said, "Now that the government of Bangladesh has enacted its law making it compulsory to wear a standard helmet, facilitation measures should be undertaken to execute the law. This can be done by banning the use of non-standard or modified helmets and enforcing the law at three levels i.e. importers and producers, dealers and users".

Ahmed Najmul Hussain, director, Road Safety Programme, BRAC, said, “Enforcing laws for standard helmets will need both training of traffic police as well as setting up of traffic cameras, especially on city roads and highways to watch on the helmets used by the riders. Public awareness of the law is crucial to its compliance and law enforcement. People are more willing to abide by laws when they learn its benefits”.

Dilshad Dossani, programme coordinator, World Bank, presented a summary of recommendations on the basis of discussion at the advocacy event in her concluding remarks. The recommendations included formation of a committee comprising government and non-government organisations concerned to prepare a roadmap, strategies and activities plan focusing on how the national safety standard helmets would be implemented, where and how many testing institutes will be required to be set up, how the police will be oriented and trained for enforcement, when will standard helmets be available in the market at an affordable price, how the awareness programs will continuously be planned for the general public and how the roadmap for updating national legal framework regarding certification and use of motorcycle helmets will be adopted and implemented.”

After the discussion was concluded, UN standard helmets were distributed among selected individuals.

The UN Global Road Safety Week is being observed for the 7th time and this year the stretch of 15 - 21 May has been selected for its observance. Hashtags #RethinkMobility #StreetsforLife #RoadSafety is being used this year to promote the campaign on social media platforms to create mass awareness.

Road crashes are one of the major reasons in the world for untimely deaths and physical disability. According to the World Health Organisation, nearly 1.3 million people die and 20-50 million people receive injuries in road crashes every year. Many of the injured become permanently disabled. Around 60% of the world’s vehicles are in low- and middle-income countries, while these countries share an overwhelming 93% of the total road crashes. One in every four people who die in road crashes is a pedestrian or cycle rider.

BRAC, Dutch-Bangla Bank launch partnership for financial inclusion

BRAC and Dutch-Bangla Bank have started a partnership for financial inclusion. Arinjoy Dhar, senior director, Microfinance, BRAC, and Abedur Rahman Sikder, deputy managing director, Dutch-Bangla Bank Ltd, launched the initiative at a ceremony on Wednesday (3 May 2023) at the BRAC Centre.

At the launching event the speakers focused on the importance of digital technology to enhance financial services for clients. Under this partnership, client interaction points (CIP) of BRAC Microfinance will provide financial services mainly for the workers of readymade garments industry through digital transactions.

The partnership was inaugurated at 11am by cutting ribbon and cake. Earlier on 15 January this year, the two organisations signed a deed of agreement for the partnership. Speakers also noted that the initiative will be marked as a milestone for digital cash transactions.

BRAC Microfinance senior director Arinjoy Dhar said, “BRAC is working for the marginalised communities. Besides this digital service, we are also interested to explore other avenues for joint initiatives with Dutch-Bangla Bank.”

Dutch-Bangla Bank deputy managing director Abedur Rahman Sikder said, “We are delighted to start this partnership with BRAC. We’ll be really glad to create opportunities for our clients through our digital services.”

Later on at the event, the representatives of the digital transformation unit of BRAC Microfinance called on all concerned to work together to take this partnership forward.

Earlier this month we celebrated our 50th anniversary at the Houses of Parliament in London, where we were joined by over 150 partners and friends of BRAC.

We were fortunate to have speeches and participation from:

  • Chris Law MP, who was also our gracious host for the evening.
  • Lewis Temple, Chief Executive of BRAC’s London Office
  • Her Excellency Saida Muna Tasneem, Bangladesh’s High Commissioner to the UK, Ireland and Liberia (Watch speech)
  • Asif Saleh, Executive Director of BRAC, and Shameran Abed, Executive Director of BRAC International and Baroness Minouche Shafik, President and Vice Chancellor of the London School of Economics and Political Science, as moderator. (Watch panel discussion)
  • Scott MacMillan, the author of Hope Over Fate: the wonderful newly published biography of our late founder Sir Fazle Hasan Abed.
  • A troupe of dancers from Akademi who performed traditional Bengali dances. Their upcoming show Pravass will take place in May and share stories of the climate-driven migration of people from the Sundarbans mangrove forest in India and Bangladesh.
  • A special video address from Andrew Mitchell, the Minister for Development and Africa at the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

Now that the 50th Anniversary year has officially come to a close, we look forward to a bright future and 50 more transformative and impactful years for the BRAC family.

You can view our video summary of the event to get a feel for the celebrations.


BRAC and Meta host discussion on empowering women and youths

BRAC, one of the largest development organisations in the world, and Meta, formerly known as the Facebook company, have been collaborating to empower women through economic and digital awareness in Bangladesh.

The two organisations organised a discussion and project learning session on the occasion of International Women’s Day (IWD) 2023 at the BRAC Centre. The event titled “Empowering women and youth in digital spaces” was in line with this year’s IWD theme of “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”. At the programme, organisers shared the experiences and learning of the pilot project implemented under the collaboration of the two organisations to promote online safety.

Under this project, over half a million BRAC programme participants have learned about online safety, privacy tools, and how to tackle misinformation. Around 75 per cent of these participants were women. Apart from that, nearly 10 million women and youths were reached through a social media campaign on the safe and effective use of social media.

Keya Khan, additional secretary, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA), attended the programme as the chief guest. Rita Houkayem, first secretary, High Commission of Canada in Bangladesh; and Priyanka Bhalla, safety policy manager, South Asia, Meta, were present at the event, among others. Ruzan Sarwar, deputy head, Public Policy, Bangladesh, Meta, participated in the event online.

Nobonita Chowdhury, director, Gender Justice and Diversity Programme, BRAC, gave the opening remarks. “We need to ensure equity in digital access, as the current gender discrimination in accessing and using advanced technology is quite high,” she said.

In the panel discussion Priyanka Bhalla, safety policy manager, South Asia, Meta, said Meta is investing heavily to ensure the safety of digital platforms, and trust in partnerships. Subjects like non-consensual intimate image sharing, two-factor authentication, and strong passwords are prioritised.

Rita Houkayem, first secretary, High Commission of Canada in Bangladesh, stressed that digital rights are human rights. “They are part of our everyday life. We have the right to access the internet and phone.”

In her concluding remarks chief guest Keya Khan, additional secretary, MoWCA, mentioned the partnership between the private and public sectors is very important to bring change to society.

BRAC and Meta began collaboration on this project in May last year.

Argentine foreign minister lauds BRAC’s social development and financial inclusion initiatives

The Argentine minister visited BRAC Head Office today on Monday (27 February) in the capital as part of his first-ever bilateral visit to Dhaka from 27 February - 1 March 2023. The purpose of his visit was to learn about BRAC’s approach to designing anti-poverty solutions, especially with a focus on women's empowerment and financial inclusion of rural women.

Santiago Andres Cafiero is leading a 26-member high-level delegation in his maiden state-level visit from the South American nation. Luciana Tito, chief of cabinet; Guillermo Merediz, undersecretary, trade and investment; and other key government officials were present along with BRAC leadership.

Asif Saleh, executive director; Arinjoy Dhar, senior director, microfinance; Moutushi Kabir, senior director, people, culture, and communications; and Anna Minj, director, programmes, BRAC International; Tasmiah Tabassum Rahman, associate director, skills development programme were present from the BRAC leadership.

The Argentine minister said, "Microfinance is a growing sector in Argentina and there are a number of organisations which are trying to support vulnerable families." He added, "Covid-19 accelerated the growth of the financial inclusion in general as the Argentine government opened 3.5M bank accounts for Argentine citizens for them to access different family welfare programmes."

The Minister enquired about BRAC's intention of providing technical assistance to Argentina for Microfinance.

BRAC executive director said, "Financial inclusion is one of the many tools that BRAC offers to combat poverty from multiple directions. We will be very much interested to pursue opportunities to collaborate with the Argentinian government to share our decades-worth of learning and knowledge on how to bring about financial inclusion in a responsible manner."

The Argentine delegation will leave Dhaka on 1 March.

BRAC fun learning boats for children inaugurated in Chandpur Sadar

Children's play-based and experiential learning through floating boats now in Chandpur. Education Minister Dr. Dipu Moni inaugurated BRAC’s boat school on Friday, 27 January 2023 at Al-Amin Academy School and College in the city on the riverside.

At her speech as Chief Guest, Education Minister Dr. Dipu Moni said "Science and mathematics are very interesting subjects, they can be learned with great pleasure if we teach them with fun. If we don't, even the simplest subjects can become difficult. BRAC, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary, has transformed many boats into boat schools, using accessible materials such as pictures, animations, games to teach children of hard-to-reach areas science and mathematics. At the same time, children are learning the value of being humane, empathetic from the young age.

The basic philosophy of our new curriculum emphasises on the same. Children will not be afraid of examinations and will become persons with empathy and values. I believe our government's effort and BRAC's effort complement each other, which will take it further."

Safi Rahman Khan, Director, Education, Skills Development, and Migration, Profulla Chandra Barman, Programme Head, Education Programme along with BRAC head office and field staff were present at the programme.

Thematically designed around values, mathematics and science to celebrate the golden jubilee of BRAC, the three boats started their journey in September 2022 from the northeastern district of Sunamganj and will travel down to the coastal area of Bhola. The boats are making stopovers en route so that a wide range of children, students, teachers and people from the community can visit, and experience the travelling exhibits along with different activities. The duration of the stopovers are for 7-10 days, everyday from 10am-4pm. The boats draw volunteer teachers from the local communities to guide visitors. Special ramps have been designed for children with disabilities.

The educational activities and materials have been particularly designed for primary school children, although older students and visitors will also be able to experience the joy of learning. The visitors will be offered activities and contents on values, while maths and science subjects are designed with puzzles, hands-on experiments, problem solving with fun activities and games, and posters with short bios of great scientists and mathematicians.

The Values Boat was inspired by the philosophy of Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder of BRAC, who ensured that along with regular academic subjects, values education and performing fine arts were incorporated in BRAC schools.

All the boats are covered under CCTV surveillance and strictly follow BRAC’s safeguarding policies along with the health, safety and security guidelines.

BRAC introduced the concept of boat schools in the wetlands (haor regions) of north-eastern Bangladesh in 2011. The idea was to bring the classroom to the children who were disconnected from schools due to their homes being surrounded by water for most of the year. The Boat School project was selected as a “100 Global Inspiring Innovations of 2017” by HundrED, a Finnish global education non-profit organisation.

BRAC will organise a three-day long festival, of culture, stories, crafts, music and art, titled ‘Hope Festival’ as the epilogue of its year-long observances which marked 50 years of its founding. The announcement came at a press conference today at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon in the capital.

Venue: Bangladesh Army Stadium
Date: 9 to 11 February 2023
Time: Everyday 11 am to 10 pm

Hope Festival, an open-for-all event, will be held at Bangladesh Army Stadium in the capital on 9, 10 and 11 February, 2023. Everyone is welcome to take part in the festival by simply visiting the website and registering for the event.

Asif Saleh, Executive Director of BRAC Bangladesh and Tamara Hasan Abed, Managing Director of BRAC Enterprises made the announcement during the press conference.

Asif Saleh, Executive Director of BRAC Bangladesh said, “We believe that social change can’t be brought without partnerships. We have to come forward with new and innovative solutions to deal with these challenges. Building on the potential of the youth, we need to work together to meet the challenges of the future. Through this festival, we aim to get everyone onboard today to solve the social challenges of tomorrow.”

Tamara Hasan Abed, Managing Director of BRAC Enterprises said, “50 years of working with people, believing in their potential and organising the people to help them turn their lives around, this distinct approach to development, which BRAC stands for, is now being lauded the world over for its efficacy. We want to share insights we get from the ground with everyone. We want to inspire the vision of doing development differently and promote innovative approaches to tackle social problems.”

Selim R F Hussain, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of BRAC Bank Ltd Kamal Quadir, Chief Executive Officer of bkash and Mominul Islam, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of IPDC Finance Ltd were also present in the press conference.

BRAC’s founder Sir Fazle Hasan Abed used to say – when people have the opportunity to realise their potential, a light of hope gets switched on.

BRAC witnesses that belief turning into reality, every day, right from the frontline, to the last mile. Each of the over 100 million people BRAC works with – teachers, healthcare workers, entrepreneurs, artisans, farmers, producers, partners – from the heart of Bangladesh to the most remote corners of the world – is evidence of hope triumphing over adversity.

Hope Festival aims to inspire Bangladesh’s youth with those very stories of people turning their lives around, on their own, with just a tender rekindling of hope.

The three-day festival will cover three thematic areas with the first day (9 February) dedicated for a tribute to Bangladesh. On the second day (10 February), Hope Festival’s celebrations will be centred around showcasing the potential of people to transform their lives. Festivities of the final day (11 February) will lay out a vision for an equitable and prosperous future for all by sparking a discussion on the pathways to building the world we want.

Hope Festival aims to inspire conversations around five key focus areas, namely education, financial empowerment, gender equality, climate change and mental health.

To build a community of changemakers and find innovative ways of addressing these social issues, Hope Festival will provide a platform for everyone to submit their ideas to tackle these social challenges. People can submit their ideas online while registering for the festival and shortlisted ideators will get to share their ideas, connect and partner with other changemakers.

There will be open workshops with artisans, cartoonists, and urban greenscapers in the festival. People will get to stroll through a world of inspiration, experiencing bioscopes, puppet shows, human libraries, children’s play areas, and exhibits showcasing the power of hope. In a bid to inspire the youth to take ownership of solving social challenges, a group of young changemakers will be felicitated in the festival for their contributions through the ‘Amra Notun Network Young Changemakers Award’. Also, TAAGA Outstanding Young Professionals Award will be given out at the festival to women for their contributions at the workplace.

To ensure inclusion of persons with disabilities, Hope Festival will incorporate inclusive infrastructure in festival grounds. Moreover, visitors will get the opportunity to experience the life of persons with disabilities through interactive exhibits and a sign language performance. Everyday the festivities will be topped off with cultural performances in the evening by some of the biggest names from the cultural sphere of Bangladesh. Fazlur Rahman Babu, Nagar Baul (James), Arnob, Artcell, Lalon band and Nemesis will enthral the audience with their live performances. Bengal Parampara Sangeetalay will stage a special session.

Bkash, BRAC Bank, IPDC Finance and BRAC University are proud partners of the Hope Festival.

'Climate Adda' to raise awareness of environmental protection

"Green Office Day" was celebrated at the BRAC Center of the capital on Tuesday, 27 December with the aim of reducing harmful carbon emissions and raising awareness of environmental protection. As part of this event, keeping in mind the theme of "Carbon Footprint Reduction" a "Climate Adda" was organised.

The organiser of the event says, the Adda was aiming to bring together in one discussion two essential ideas of “Moving towards a Carbon-Neutral World” and “Youth Engagement” as a pivotal stepping stone in taking our overall objective forward at BRAC which is to raise awareness on carbon footprint reduction and in contributing towards BRAC’s aim of becoming carbon-neutral in the near future.

“Climate Adda” mainly involves lively discussions to identify and acknowledge the problems at hand, which is the increasing carbon footprint leading to more global warming; how feasible and challenging are the solutions towards "Carbon-Neutrality"; and apart from this, how the steps can be taken to make a difference – were also discussed in detail.

Chairman of parliamentary standing committee on the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Mr. Saber Hossain Chowdhury MP; Mr. Nahim Razzak MP; and Advocate Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Member, BRAC Governing Board and Executive Director, Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) participated in the climate chat (Climate Adda). Dr. Md. Liakath Ali, Director of Climate Change Programme of BRAC and BRAC International moderated the discussion.

Mr. Saber Hossain Chowdhury said, “at this year's COP conference, we talked about an important gap. That is, lack of trust, faith. If developed countries do not keep their words, then we will not be able to move forward in any way towards the future. There is even no definition of what we mean by climate finance. Developed countries claim that they gave us $80 billion last year. However, according to the data of neutral organisations, it is not even $20 million.”

Mr. Nahim Razzaq says, “The carbon footprint is something we can all play a part in controlling. Be it in our home or outside home through behavioural changes. Unfortunately, we have yet to influence behavioural change. Especially those who are young need to be included in this process. National consensus and guidelines are needed.” He suggested adding climate change as a chapter in textbooks and curricula.

Advocate Syeda Rizwana Hasan said, “We have a lot to do from individual to social to state levels. We can emphasise on the use of public transport over the use of private transport. Then the role of the government should be to improve the public transport system. Bicycle lanes should be introduced to encourage the use of bicycles. Young people should come forward with proper leadership. To be able to be more climate-friendly we need to reduce consumption at personal and state levels. Youths have to raise questions on the safety of food and air.”

To sum up the discussion, Dr. Md. Liakath Ali said “BRAC has been at the forefront of reducing the organisation’s carbon footprint. One of the major initiatives successfully taken up in recent times has been the ban on single-use plastic within the organisation. In addition, we also discontinue the unnecessary use of items made of plastic including communication materials, encouraging paperless communication, and other climate-friendly energy resources, in an endeavour to save our forests — and, our planet.”

In the discussion, guest speakers talk about the global perspective on climate change, the role of the current government and the role of BRAC in this regard. How to engage our young generation, how they can play a more active role in the goal of building a carbon-free world, were discussed.

At the end of the discussion, members of the Popular Theatre, Social Empowerment and Legal Protection (SELP) Programme of BRAC performed Gombhira, a type of song originating in northwestern Bangladesh. BRAC officials, members of BRAC Youth Platform, and alumni of the Aamra Notun Network (ANN) under the BRAC Youth Platform participated in the programme.

“Build a world of play” campaign celebrates Play Labs

BRAC Centre at the capital’s Mohakhali went festive with children cheering and enjoying themselves doing a range of creative activities today on Wednesday, 7 December. They came with their parents and caregivers at a programme organised to celebrate the “BRAC Play Lab” model. BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BRAC IED), which developed this innovative model, organised the event as a part of celebrating 50th anniversary of BRAC, and 90th anniversary of LEGO Foundation – BRAC’s funding partner.

One of the largest development organisations of the world, BRAC, has established and supported its partners to establish play labs following the “BRAC Play Lab Model” so far in Bangladesh, Tanzania and Uganda. This model has been developed with funding from the Denmark-based child development organisation LEGO Foundation.

The children participated in diverse plays in the event, such as, making clay objects, drawing, learning through pictures, muppets, and word and number games. The event also showcased a research-based display of a range of traditional plays and games of Bengali and ethnic minority communities of Bangladesh.

The event was attended among others, by social media influencers of the country, cartoonists and artists Morshed Mishu, Syed Rashad Imam Tanmoy and Masuda Khan and magician Asif Asgar. They spent time with the children and participated in many activities.

Dr Erum Mariam, executive director, BRAC IED, and Kristine Morch, senior programme analyst, LEGO Foundation, were also present at the programme.

The Play Lab Model assists usually 1-5 years old children to learn through diverse play-based activities. The BRAC Play Lab model is particularly community-based, of high quality and cost-effective, so that joyful learning opportunities can be created for children with socioeconomically constrained situations. This model follows a play-based curriculum, for developing social-emotional learning, self-regulation, language, playfulness, creativity, empathy and problem-solving skills in children. The play labs are facilitated by “play leaders” who are local adolescent girls and young women and extensively trained in their facilitators’ role.

Apart from BRAC operated Play Labs, the organisation has provided technical assistance to the Bangladesh government to establish 400 Play Lab centres in 32 upazilas (sub-districts) of nine districts with over 25 thousand children participating. On the other hand, BRAC is running 656 play lab centres in Bangladesh, Tanzania and Uganda involving around 11,500 children.

BRAC has also developed an especially designed “humanitarian play lab” model for children in humanitarian emergency settings in conflict or post-conflict zones. This model is currently being implemented in the camps of Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar district. BRAC is also operating such context and culture specific play labs in Uganda for children from refugee families taken shelter from neighbouring countries.

The humanitarian play lab model explores the therapeutic dimensions of play to foster resilience and healing process among the survivor children. The humanitarian play labs provide the Rohingya children with a space to play and express their emotions freely which, in turn, helps them feel safe. The design of these play labs reflect Rohingya culture and nurture children's spontaneity.

A global survey has found that 84% children want their parents to spend more time playing with them. Specialists observe that learning through play is a critical component in early childhood development and education. The BRAC Play Labs are built in a cost-effective process with locally available resources and reusable materials reflecting the local culture and language, and socio-economic and geographic contexts. Local community and parents are closely involved in the play lab centre operation.

The LEGO Foundation launched the #BuildaWorldofPlay campaign early this year on the occasion of its 90th founding anniversary. BRAC, as its partner, has joined the campaign, also as a part of its 50th anniversary celebration, in Bangladesh, Uganda and Tanzania focusing on the local context.


বাংলাদেশের উন্নয়ন এবং সমৃদ্ধির ক্ষেত্রে অভিবাসন খাতটি অত্যন্ত গুরুত্বপূর্ণ। জাতিসংঘের সর্বশেষ পরিসংখ্যান অনুযায়ী ২৭ দশমিক ২ কোটি মানুষ (বিশ্ব জনসংখ্যার ৩.৫%) কাজের জন্য বা অন্য কোনো প্রয়োজনে নিজ দেশে বাস না করে অন্য দেশে বাস করছেন এবং উভয় দেশেরই আর্থ-সামাজিক উন্নয়নে গুরুত্বপূর্ণ অবদান রেখে চলেছেন। বৈশিক শ্রম অভিবাসনে বাংলাদেশের অবস্থান ষষ্ঠ এবং প্রবাসী আয়ে সপ্তম।

বাংলাদেশকে আর্থিকভাবে সমৃদ্ধ করতে বৈদেশিক কর্মসংস্থান প্রবাসী আয় অত্যন্ত গুরুত্বপূর্ণ ভূমিকা পালন করলেও প্রয়োজনীয় তথ্যের অভাবে অভিবাসন প্রত্যাশীরা প্রায়শই প্রতারণার সম্মুখীন হচ্ছেন। বিশ্বের সর্ববৃহৎ বেসরকারি উন্নয়ন সংস্থা হিসেবে ব্র্যাক বাংলাদেশের অভিবাসনপ্রবণ জেলাগুলোতে নিরাপদ অভিবাসন নিশ্চিত, মানবপাচার প্রতিরোধ ও সচেতনতা সৃষ্টি এবং বিদেশফেরত অভিবাসীদের পুনরেকত্রীকরণের লক্ষ্যে কাজ করে যাচ্ছে। প্রতিবছর প্রবাস থেকে অনেক মানুষ দেশে ফেরত আসে। কিন্তু তাদের পুনরেকত্রীকরণের বিষয়টি একেবারে উপেক্ষিত থেকে যায়। বিষয়টির গুরুত্ব বিবেচনা করে ব্র্যাক ড্যানিশ দূতাবাসের সহায়তায় ‘সোশিও-ইকোনোমিক রিইন্টিগ্রেশন অব রিটার্নি মাইগ্রেন্ট ওয়ার্কার্স অব বাংলাদেশ- ফেইজ ২ (অনুপ্রেরণা)’ প্রকল্পটি বাস্তবায়ন করছে। এই প্রকল্পের অধীনে বিদেশফেরত অভিবাসীদের কাউন্সেলিং সেবা ও আর্থিক সহায়তাসহ বিভিন্নভাবে সহযোগিতা দেওয়া হচ্ছে।

দেশের উন্নতি ও সমৃদ্ধিতে গুরুত্বপূর্ণ অবদান রাখা অভিবাসী কর্মী ও তাদের পরিবারের অধিকার রক্ষায় গণমাধ্যমের ভূমিকা অনস্বীকার্য। অভিবাসনবিষয়ক সাংবাদিকতাকে আনুষ্ঠানিকভাবে স্বীকৃতি দিতে ব্র্যাক ২০১৫ সাল থেকে ‘ব্র্যাক মাইগ্রেশন মিডিয়া অ্যাওয়ার্ড’ প্রবর্তন করে। এরই ধারাবাহিকতায় অভিবাসন বিষয়ক সাংবাদিকতাকে অনুপ্রাণিত করতে অষ্টম বারের মতো ‘ব্র্যাক মাইগ্রেশন মিডিয়া অ্যাওয়ার্ড’ প্রদান করা হবে।

যেসব বিভাগে/ক্যাটাগরিতে ‘৮ম ব্র্যাক মাইগ্রেশন মিডিয়া অ্যাওয়ার্ড’ প্রদান করা হবে
(ক) সংবাদপত্র (জাতীয়): অভিবাসন বিষয়ে দেশে ও বিদেশে যে কোনো জাতীয় সংবাদপত্রে প্রকাশিত প্রতিবেদন।
(খ) সংবাদপত্র (আঞ্চলিক): অভিবাসন বিষয়ে বাংলাদেশের যে কোনো আঞ্চলিক সংবাদপত্রে প্রকাশিত প্রতিবেদন।
(গ) অনলাইন: অভিবাসন বিষয়ে দেশে ও বিদেশে যে কোনো অনলাইন পত্রিকায় প্রকাশিত প্রতিবেদন।
(ঘ) টেলিভিশন সংবাদ: অভিবাসন বিষয়ে দেশে ও বিদেশে যে কোনো টেলিভিশনে সম্প্রচারিত অনুসন্ধানী প্রতিবেদন।
(ঙ) রেডিও: অভিবাসন বিষয়ে দেশে ও বিদেশে যে কোনো রেডিওতে সম্প্রচারিত অনুষ্ঠান/প্রতিবেদন।
(চ) সোশ্যাল মিডিয়া: নিরাপদ অভিবাসন প্রতিষ্ঠায় ভূমিকা রাখা মানসম্মত ফেসবুক পেজ/ব্যক্তিগত আইডি/ব্লগ বা ইউটিউব চ্যানেল।
(ছ) গনমাধ্যম প্রতিষ্ঠান: অভিবাসন বিষয়ে বছরব্যাপি ভূমিকা রাখা প্রিন্ট/অনলাইন/টেলিভিশন/রেডিও।

প্রতিবেদন/অনুষ্ঠান/সোশ্যাল মিডিয়া কনটেন্টসমূহ প্রকাশ বা প্রচারের সময়সীমা
দেশে অথবা প্রবাসে অবস্থানরত যেকোনো বাংলাদেশি সাংবাদিক ও গণমাধ্যম ব্যক্তিত্ব আবেদন করতে পারবেন। এছাড়া সোশ্যাল মিডিয়া ক্যাটাগরিতে যেকোনো বাংলাদেশি ব্যক্তি আবেদন করতে পারবেন। অভিবাসনবিষয়ক প্রতিবেদন/অনুষ্ঠান/সোশ্যাল মিডিয়া কনটেন্টসমুহ অবশ্যই ১ জানুয়ারি ২০২২ থেকে ৩১ ডিসেম্বর ২০২২ এর মধ্যে প্রকাশিত/প্রচারিত হতে হবে।

প্রতিবেদন জমা দেওয়ার নিয়ম:
সিরিজ রিপোর্ট ছাড়া কোনো প্রতিযোগী একই ক্যাটাগরিতে একের অধিক প্রতিবেদন জমা দিতে পারবেন না। সিরিজ রিপোর্টের ক্ষেত্রে পর্ব সংখ্যা এবং প্রকাশিত/প্রচারিত হওয়ার তারিখ উল্লেখপূর্বক সিরিজের সবগুলো প্রতিবেদন জমা দেওয়া যাবে।

যোগ্যতা ও সতর্কতা
মিডিয়া অ্যাওয়ার্ডের জন্য জমা দেওয়া প্রতিবেদন/অনুষ্ঠানসমূহের স্বত্বাধিকার নিশ্চিত করতে হবে। সংবাদপত্রে প্রকাশিত প্রতিবেদনসমূহের অনলাইন লিংক এবং টেলিভিশনে প্রচারিত প্রতিবেদন/অনুষ্ঠানের ইউটিউব লিংক (যদি থাকে) প্রতিবেদনের সঙ্গে জমা দিতে হবে। যদি অনলাইন লিংক বা ইউটিউব লিংক না থাকে সেক্ষেত্রে সংশ্লিষ্ট গণমাধ্যমের সম্পাদক/বার্তা সম্পাদক কর্তৃক নির্ধারিত সময়ের মধ্যে (১ জানুয়ারি ২০২২ থেকে ৩১ ডিসেম্বর, ২০২২) সংবাদ/অনুষ্ঠানটি প্রচারিত হয়েছে মর্মে (প্রকাশ/প্রচারের তারিখ উল্লেখসহ) সত্যায়নপত্র সংযুক্ত করতে হবে। সোশ্যাল মিডিয়ার ক্ষেত্রেও কন্টেন্টগুলো উল্লেখিত সময়ের মধ্যে প্রকাশিত/প্রচারিত হতে হবে। অসম্পূর্ণ/ভুল তথ্যসংবলিত আবেদন বাতিল বলে গণ্য হবে।

আবেদন করার শর্ত
১. অভিবাসন খাত, অভিবাসী ও শরণার্থী কিংবা তাদের পরিবারের অধিকার রক্ষায় গুরুত্বপূর্ণ ভূমিকা রাখে এমন প্রতিবেদন/অনুষ্ঠান/সোশ্যাল মিডিয়া কনটেন্ট (প্রকাশিত বা সম্প্রচারিত) হতে হবে।
২. সংবাদ প্রতিবেদন বা অনুষ্ঠানের ক্ষেত্রে দেশে বা প্রবাসে অবস্থানরত শুধু বাংলাদেশি সাংবাদিকরাই এই অ্যাওয়ার্ডের জন্য আবেদন করতে পারবেন।
৩. সোশ্যাল মিডিয়া কন্টেন্টের ক্ষেত্রে যে কোনো বাংলাদেশি ব্যক্তি আবেদন করতে পারবেন।
৪. আবেদনকারীকে অবশ্যই তাঁর জীবনবৃত্তান্ত যথাযথ ফরমেটের মাধ্যমে (ফরমেটগুলো সর্বশেষ পাতায় সংযুক্ত) পাঠাতে হবে। প্রয়োজনীয় নথি হিসেবে প্রতিবেদন যে মাধ্যমে প্রকাশিত হয়েছে তার বিবরণ জমা দিতে হবে।
৫. আবেদনকারী তাঁর কর্মজীবন সম্পর্কে অর্ধেক পাতার মধ্যে সংক্ষিপ্ত বিবরণ (বাংলা ও ইংরেজি ভাষায়) সংযুক্ত করে পাঠাবেন। সংযুক্ত ফরমেটটি পূরণ করে আবেদনপত্রের সঙ্গে পাঠাতে হবে।
৬. প্রিন্ট মিডিয়ার প্রতিবেদনের ক্ষেত্রে (জাতীয় ও স্থানীয় উভয় ক্ষেত্রে) সংবাদপত্রে প্রকাশিত মূল কপিটি প্রেরণ করতে হবে। সংবাদপত্রের এবং প্রতিবেদকের নাম ও তারিখ অবশ্যই দৃশ্যমান হতে হবে। সংযুক্তি হিসেবে প্রকাশিত কপি ছাড়াও সিডির মাধ্যমে সংবাদটির ওয়েব লিংক এবং সফটকপি জমা দিতে হবে।
৭. বেতারের ক্ষেত্রে এএম, এফএম এবং পডকাস্ট বেতারতরঙ্গে সম্প্রচারিত অনুষ্ঠান অথবা প্রতিবেদন হতে হবে। এর সঙ্গে সংক্ষিপ্ত/সম্পূর্ণ স্ক্রিপ্ট যদি বর্তমান থাকে তবে জমা দিতে হবে। নিয়মিত বেতারে সম্প্রচারিত অনুষ্ঠানের অন্তত পরপর তিনটি অনুষ্ঠানের কপি জমা দিতে হবে।
৮. টেলিভিশনের ক্ষেত্রে অবশ্যই সম্পূর্ণ স্ক্রিপ্ট সহকারে প্রতিবেদনটি সিডি/ডিভিডির মাধ্যমে জমা দিতে হবে।
৯. অনলাইন মিডিয়ার ক্ষেত্রে প্রতিবেদনটি ওয়েবসাইটে প্রকাশিত হতে হবে এবং অনলাইনে যেভাবে প্রচারিত হয়েছে সেভাবে সংশ্লিষ্ট প্রতিবেদনটি স্ক্রিনশটসহ জমা দিতে হবে। এছাড়াও ইউআরএলসহ সফটকপি সিডিতে জমা দিতে হবে।
১০. সোশ্যাল মিডিয়ার ক্ষেত্রে ফেসবুক পেজ/ব্যক্তিগত আইডি অথবা ইউটিউব চ্যানেলে প্রকাশিত অভিবাসন বিষয়ক অন্তত দশটি কন্টেন্টের লিংক এবং সোশ্যাল মিডিয়ায় যেভাবে প্রকাশিত হয়েছে সেভাবে স্ক্রিনশট দিয়ে পাঠাতে হবে। (২০২২ সালের ৩১ ডিসেম্বরের পর কন্টেন্টের কোন ধরনের সম্পাদনা গ্রহনযোগ্য হবে না)।

যেসব প্রতিষ্ঠান বা সংস্থার সম্মানিত বিচারকমন্ডলীর দ্বারা আবেদনকৃত প্রবন্ধ/অনুসন্ধানী প্রতিবেদন মূল্যায়ন করা হবে:
১. প্রবাসী কল্যাণ ও বৈদেশিক কর্মসংস্থান মন্ত্রণালয়ের একজন প্রতিনিধি।
২. গণযোগাযোগ ও সাংবাদিকতা বিভাগের একজন শিক্ষক।
৩. আন্তর্জাতিক সংস্থার একজন প্রতিনিধি।
৪. একজন সিনিয়র সাংবাদিক/গণমাধ্যম ব্যক্তিত্ব।

আবেদনের শেষ তারিখ
২০২৩ সালরে ০৯ই জানুয়ারীর বিকেল ৫টার মধ্যে আবেদনটি ‘৮ম ব্র্যাক মাইগ্রেশন মিডিয়া অ্যাওয়ার্ড’ আয়োজক কমিটি ঠিকানায় পৌঁছাতে হবে। নির্ধারিত সময়সীমার পরে কোনো আবেদন গ্রহণযোগ্য হবে না। আবেদন সরাসরি বা ডাকযোগে জমা দিতে হবে। তবে প্রবাসে অবস্থানকারী সাংবাদিকেরা ইমেইলের মাধ্যমেও প্রতিবেদন জমা দিতে পারবেন।

আবেদন জমাদানের ঠিকানা:
‘৮ম ব্র্যাক মাইগ্রেশন মিডিয়া অ্যাওয়ার্ড’
মাইগ্রেশন প্রোগ্রাম, ব্র্যাক
ব্র্যাক সেন্টার, ৭৫ মহাখালী (১২ তলা)

ইমেইল: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

প্রয়োজনে যোগাযোগ: ফোন: ৮৮০২ ২২২২৮১২৬৫ এক্সটেনশন: ৩৯১৩

পুরস্কার বিতরণী অনুষ্ঠান
‘৮ম ব্র্যাক মাইগ্রেশন মিডিয়া অ্যাওয়ার্ড’ এর পুরস্কার বিতরণী অনুষ্ঠানের তারিখ সংশ্লিষ্টদের যথাসময়ে জানানো হবে।

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