The US state department will present one of its 10 Emerging Young Leaders Awards to Bangladeshi youth, community development and women’s rights activist Tanzil Ferdous. The 24-year-old president of Volunteer for Bangladesh, Chittagong and senior programme assistant at UNHCR will be presented with the honour on May 2.
Ferdous has organised numerous successful events through her organisation and engaged hundreds of youth in volunteerism. She believes that such efforts will deter them from engaging in extremist activities. Ferdous has also been active in working with Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and has helped develop a safe space for 500 refugee children at the camps through the JAAGO Foundation. In a statement to the US state department, she said her goal 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”.
The US Department of State’s Emerging Young Leaders Award and Exchange Program recognises 10 youth leaders (18-24 years of age) around the world every year for their efforts to enact positive social change. The recipients of the Emerging Young Leaders Award will visit the US for a two-week programme to recognise and support their efforts.
The honourees will first visit Washington, DC, to meet with US government and non-government officials. They will then travel to Austin, Texas to engage in professional meetings with their American counterparts before reconvening in Washington, DC to share project plans. Upon returning home, the awardees will be able to apply for grants to support their work.
“The award and exchange program set young leaders on a path for increased collaboration on global issues affecting youth by providing skills and tools for continued success,” the US state department said in a statement.