At the VSOB National Sharing Workshop

“Some actors in this development world focus on building resilience of children, some actors focus on building resilience of youths, we need to build a bridge between these two and we get Climate Resilient Citizens for this world.”

At Action Research for Community Adaptation in Bangladesh (ARCAB) we believe that building resilience to climate change is not a one-dimensional task, neither can this be achieved by focusing on only one generation. To achieve true resilience we will have to focus on building Climate Resilient Citizens. We need to start building them from the very early age. Our actions should continue even when they grow up and become youth, as this is the age when majority of them start getting involved in politics, economy and social development. This is the common platform where Voluntary Services Overseas Bangladesh (VSOB) and ARCAB stand together, and through their strong partnership they are thriving to reach the common goal of building Climate Resilient Citizens through voluntary involvement of the youth.

ARCAB in partnership with VSOB, on 26th of September 2013, organized a National Level Sharing Workshop and the theme of this workshop was “Youth Leading Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change”. Participants attended the workshop from several INGOs & youth groups. I was lucky to be one of the organizers of this workshop and be a part of this along with my other ARCAB and ICCCAD colleagues and volunteers.

An interesting part of this workshop was VSO’s local partner organizations and their volunteers presenting the outcomes and lessons learned from their pilot projects; at local level they have taken on innovative approaches to adapt to climate change, i.e. rainwater harvesting, container gardening, arsenic water filters. The workshop participants appreciated all these pilot projects.

The workshop continued with a mind-mapping session, the participants were divided in 4 groups to brainstorm on specific topics; people from different area of worked together to generate specific recommendations to involve the youth in the development sector.

During the presentations of the outcomes from the mind-mapping sessions it was really interesting to see so many scope of involvement for the youth in all the selected issues, and also how youth in this country can really become the change makers. Syed Md. Iqbal Ali, Programme Director of ARCAB in his concluding remarks discussed the pivotal role the youth can play to achieve transformed resilience; he also emphasized the importance to address the development deficit. Imrul H Khan, Head of Programmes in VSOB, discussed the way forward; he mentioned that VSOB, together with ARCAB, will continue to work with the youth and focus on building Climate Resilient Citizens.

Writtten by: Reaj Morshed, Coordinator: Climate Finance and Governance Programme, ARCAB Programme, ICCCAD November Newsletter 2013