I began my journey with IID’s Youth for Policy initiative through Policy Camp 2018. The workshop was a stepping-stone for me to get involved in policy advocacy work as a young individual. The training that I got at the camp helped me become more mindful and I learned to come at things with a different attitude than I used to.
Along with the other fellows, I also attended gender sensitization training. As a young woman living in Bangladesh, I know that gender-equal participation is still a big problem in our society. But, throughout my journey, I have seen that within all of the activities, special efforts have been given to ensure gender-equal participation. I realize that such an approach has made me feel more welcomed when participating in any advocacy work. Moreover, I have also observed the change towards gender equality in the male volunteers as well.
Since the policy camp, I have been getting involved with different types of policy dialogues, which not only gave me the opportunity to learn more about policy advocacy, also, to raise my own voice in the discussion.
This is one of the aspects I find very rewarding about my journey with Youth for Policy. That is, I finally have a platform to raise my voice, highlight my concern and make suggestions to the important stakeholders of policymaking. Because, I used to think that I will never have the scope to participate in policy advocacy, let alone include my voice in the discussion, at least not to this extent. For example, when I attended the roundtable on ‘Youth Employment and the 4th Industrial Revolution’ at Prothom Alo, I was able to outline the areas we are lagging behind to cope with the upcoming technological shift.
Recently, while attending the Youth Policy Conclave, I was able to highlight my concerns about the future of work in the country and come up with suggestions by working with 24 other volunteers. More importantly, we were able to forward our voices to the government representatives and other stakeholders.
“Before getting involved with IID’s Youth for Policy initiative, never have I ever thought I could come this close to public policy advocacy and gain the knowledge and confidence to work toward bringing positive change in advocacy work at such a young age.”
– Morium Aktar Rubi
After receiving the Fellowship, I also had the opportunity to go into the field to conduct surveys and visit local training centres, which allowed me to expand my knowledge about the real-world issue while working in policy advocacy.
It now gives me great pleasure to know that I will be hosting a PolicyCampX in my home district soon. I consider this to be an important step for me. Because, after everything that I have learnt throughout this journey, I now will be able to give back to my community. I know that I will be able to create a ripple effect through the camp by creating awareness about policy work among the youth in my community.
After that, I have no plans to slow down. I am very optimistic about what lies ahead, with the dreams of pursuing a career in the development sector.