Bangladeshi youth Tanzil Ferdous among 10 others from around the world will be honoured by the US Department of State as outstanding young leaders on May 2.
The 10 recipients of the third annual 'Emerging Young Leaders Award' will be acknowledged in a public ceremony at the State Department for their efforts as partners for peace and drivers of economic growth and opportunity on the day, reads a press release issued on Thursday.
The 2018 awardees are Sara Abdullah Abdulrahman, Iraq; Diovio Alfath, Indonesia; Ece Ciftci, Turkey; Tanzil Ferdous, Bangladesh; Zina Salim Hassan Hamu, Lithuania; Dania Hassan, Pakistan; Nancy Herz, Norway; Isasiphinkosi Mdingi, South Africa; Jose Rodriguez, Panama; and Firuz Yogbekov, Tajikistan.
Aged 24, Tanzil actively works towards youth and community development and women’s rights in Bangladesh, while simultaneously personally challenging traditional gender norms in her country. As the President of Volunteer for Bangladesh, Chittagong in 2015 -- the largest platform for youth volunteerism in Bangladesh -- Tanzil organized numerous successful events for community development, engaging hundreds of youth in volunteerism.
She believes that if youth are engaged and motivated to do community service, they will be deterred from extremist activities. Currently, Tanzil is working with the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, to help them not become victims of extreme violence. Her work has helped support a safe space for 500 refugee children with the JAAGO Foundation in the Rohingya camps. Tanzil’s mission is to empower adolescent girls and women, to bring them to leadership positions through capacity building and strengthening them to become the leaders of tomorrow, according to the US Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' Exchange programs.
The award is given in recognition of the positive role young people play in building sustainable peace, according to US Department of State.
These 10 remarkable young people will visit the United States for an intensive programme from April 29 to May 12, especially designed to expand their leadership capacities, strengthen their knowledge of management strategies in the non-profit, government and private sectors, learn and share best practices, and broaden their networks of resources and support.
The exchange programme provides skills training to set awardees on paths for increased collaboration on global issues affecting youth, particularly those involved in building peace, combating extremism, and empowering youth.