Igniting Change through Volunteerism

Shahab Uddin, a 17-year-old youth travelled from Myanmar to Bangladesh during the 2017 exodus. The incident took a toll on Shahab, as he found very limited opportunities for work in the camp. Shahab wanted to improve himself, but he struggled to find the right opportunity.

One day, the volunteer services staff from ActionAid Bangladesh knocked on Shahab’s door. They were looking for enthusiastic participants for the Volunteer Services-Safety Net System for Poorest project, connecting young individuals from different blocks of the camp. The project's goals echoed with Shahab, and he expressed interest in participating in its activities.

Shahab joined the interactive theatre but faced a significant challenge—overcoming his shyness and speaking confidently in front of a mass audience. The initial stages were tough; nerves and self-doubt clouded his attempts to present himself effectively. However, with dedication and regular practise, he gradually honed the necessary skills and gained the confidence to speak boldly in any situation. This activity paved his way for personal growth and the ability to address large audiences with ease.

Reflecting on his journey, Shahab shared, “I used to struggle a lot when talking in front of a crowd. But, with the experience of doing drama and interactive activities, I've learnt a lot. Now, I can talk confidently with everyone.”

Shahab’s captivating performance in the play on human trafficking gained him a lot of appreciation. The audience were blown away with the dedication and performance of the volunteers. “We're really impressed by how committed our volunteers are. They're using plays to teach and help our community understand important things,” shared one community member after watching the play.

As the volunteer services project continued to unfold, more young people like Shahab Uddin joined as volunteers, eager to contribute their skills and efforts towards positive change. The project became a platform for personal development and sharing of crucial information on topics like human trafficking, disaster risk reduction, child marriage, and female education.