Youth in Cox's Bazar vowed to become agents of peace and social cohesion while participating in a three-day long hackathon titled "Digital Khichuri Challenge for Pathway to Peaceful Societies: Catalyzing Youth as Responsible Citizens " jointly organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and ActionAid under UNDP's Partnerships for a Tolerant and Inclusive Bangladesh (PTIB) project.
Almost 100 students from different educational institutions submitted their ideas, among them, the top nine teams attended a boot camp from 25-27 September and presented their ideas on 27 September to the jury, reads a press release.
"Team Hurricane" & "Team Decode the Peace" were the winners among the nine teams who will receive mentorship from UNDP.
The event was attended by Nasir Ahmed, assistant deputy commissioner and district magistrate, Cox's Bazar; Sheela Tasneem Haq, senior governance specialist, UNDP Bangladesh; Md Abdul Quayyum, head of Communications, UNDP Bangladesh; Rezwana Hoque Chaity, head Of Procurement, UNDP Bangladesh; Nazmul Ahsan, manager - Young People, ActionAid Bangladesh; Nujulee Begum, protection lead, ActionAid Bangladesh; Md Arif Siddique, coordinator - Youth Hub and Mobilisation, ActionAid Bangladesh; Sousan Suha, officer - Documentation, Outreach, and Media Engagement, ActionAid Bangladesh and Ananda Kumar Biswas, DKC Winner- 2017 Jessore, along with subject matter specialist.
"The combination of youth power and innovation can take us one step ahead in solving national problems," said Nazmul Ahsan, manager of Young People, ActionAid Bangladesh, during his speech at the opening ceremony.
"Without adapting to advanced technology, it's not possible to make Bangladesh socially and economically viable," said Nasir Ahmed, assistant deputy commissioner, Cox's Bazar.
"Global citizenship is not a melting pot; rather, it is the differences and diversities which are respected and addressed. Technology and innovation can play a big role in creating peace and harmony," said Robert Stolemen, project manager, PTIB project, UNDP Bangladesh, while explaining how global citizenship is key for a more tolerant and inclusive Bangladesh.
"Being a winner is not as important as being a contributor", Sheela Tasnim Haq, UNDP Bangladesh, also added.
This year, there will be five Digital Khichuri Challenges across the country. ICT Division, RedOrange Media and Communications, and BetterStories Limited are supporting as strategic partners and Barishal Youth Society (BYS), Chalkboard, and Peace Maker Studio as implementing partners.
Additionally, these six DKCs will be organised in partnership with different host organisations, for example, educational institutions and national and international organizations, to expand the program and engage more diverse youth in peacebuilding.
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 targets 4.7 and 16.