The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Asian University for Women (AUW) joined hands to create a safe and tolerant digital space through UNDP's Partnerships for a Tolerant and Inclusive Bangladesh (PTIB) project.
Under this partnership, UNDP and AUW organized a three-day long hackathon titled "Digital Khichuri Challenge for Pathway to Peaceful Societies: Catalyzing Youth as Responsible Citizens" from 18 to 20 September 2022, said a press release.
The six finalists from more than 50 applications of the hackathon presented their ideas on 20 September. "Team Illuminate" & "Let's Spared Humanity" were the winners for their ideas to promote peace and tolerance by creating different content on social media and raising awareness of the students of AUW and beyond. The winners received Tk50,000 as a grant to implement the initial ideas and will receive a mentorship programme from UNDP.
The event was attended by Asif Uddin Ahmed, assistant professor and director of MBA Programme, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB); Dr Beena Khurana, dean of arts and sciences, Asian University for Women; Dr David Taylor, dean of humanities, AUW; Suman Chatterjee, director of student recruitment and acting dean of students, AUW; Mohammad Masudur Rahman, instructor in performing arts, AUW; Md Abdul Quayyum, head of communications, UNDP Bangladesh; Farhana Shahnaz, communications officer, PTIB, UNDP; Habibur Rahman, associate coordinator, CRI; Dr Ahmedul Kabir, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, AUW and Robert Stoelman, project manager, UNDP along with representatives from various national and international NGOs, and faculties from AUW.
"There's plenty of potential in our society which can be realized through better communication. The DKC is such a platform to convert such potential candidates into change-makers," said UNDP Bangladesh Head of Communications Md Abdul Quayyum.
Asif Uddin Ahmed, assistant professor and director of MBA Programme, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB), stated that "We need more powerful young women in society. There are plenty of young women who are very willing to access the world of learning, but we have to initiate the change and ensure their access."
This year, there will be five Digital Khichuri Challenge cohorts across the country where ICT Division, Red Orange Media and Communications, and Better Stories Limited are supporting as strategic partners and Barisal Youth Society (BYS), Chalkboard Communications, and Peace Maker Studio as implementing partners.
The Digital Khichuri Challenge, started in 2016, is a platform that enables young people to leverage digital means and tools to promote peace, tolerance, and diversity in Bangladesh as responsible citizens and further contributes to SDG 16.