Twenty-eight young Bangladeshi leaders met in Dhaka to share their vision for building peace in their communities and to learn key skills at the third Faith in the Commonwealth Youth Training of Trainers workshop.
The four-day workshop – opened by Shri Biren Sikder MP, State Minister for Youth and Sports, and A.B.M. Ruhul Azad, Additional Secretary – led participants through a practical programme on peace facilitation and project management, based on the values of global citizenship, mutual respect, and youth empowerment.
Through dialogue and common action, participants examined ways to mobilise their communities around shared values rather than perceived differences. Discussions on faith, culture, identity and gender encouraged participants to test outdated assumptions, and open up to new possibilities for productive and mutually respectful coexistence.
In his opening remarks, Dr Sikder said: “As we live in an increasingly interconnected and complex world, it is more important than ever that young people learn the values, attitudes and communication skills that equip them to navigate their way in the world, and to work with others in ways that promote mutual respect and understanding. The programme you have come here to take part in over the next four days is one way for you to learn these skills, and become peacebuilders in your own communities.”
Participant Bivuti Bhuson Mahato said: “Faith in the Commonwealth Youth Training of Trainers Workshop was a great opportunity to connect with creative and potential youth leaders from Bangladesh. The workshop enriched my skills and knowledge to facilitate in the community.”
Saraban Tahura Zaman, Co-ordinator of the Commonwealth Youth Peace Ambassadors Network in Asia, commented: “Through this Training of Trainers, we will be able to multiply the spark of youth movements in Bangladesh which definitely contribute in bringing positive changes in communities.”
“Faith in the Commonwealth training provides more than just practical facilitation skills,” said Nasir Kazmi, Education Adviser at the Commonwealth Secretariat.
“It builds networks between young people, many of whom are already community leaders, and connects them with each other, with their host government, and with opportunities for personal and professional development. By training trainers, we are extending the reach of the skills that are being taught: by training one, whole communities benefit. It’s the far-reaching impact of this programme that makes it special,” Mr Kazmi added.
Faith in the Commonwealth: promoting global citizenship and religious literacy is a partnership between the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Khalili Foundation. Funded as a pilot in 2017-18, the project is actively seeking support and resources to extend its reach beyond the three test countries of Bangladesh, Kenya and Trinidad and Tobago.