MNA Editorial Desk: UNICEF and the European Union (EU) launched a peace-building programme for 20,500 adolescents and youth from Bangladeshi and Rohingya communities aimed at strengthening social cohesion in Cox’s Bazar.
The first centres or “social hubs” for the peace-building programme were inaugurated in Jamtoli and Shamlapur this week, with three more social hubs opening soon.
“This project helps to empower young people with knowledge and skills in innovative ways – through building skills for adaptability, peacebuilding skills, sports, recreation and adolescent focused programmes”, said UNICEF Representative to Bangladesh, Tomoo Hozumi.
“Empowered young people support the development of an increasingly tolerant and inclusive society”, he added.
The social hubs are part of a € 3.3 million programme funded by the EU to engage the next generation of adolescents as agents of change in their communities.
The social hubs are spaces where young people can socialise, share skills and learn about peace-building and conflict resolution.
“The EU is proud to bring young people from different backgrounds together to share experiences in a safe, supportive, learning environment. We are bridging gaps between communities and laying strong foundations for harmonious relations and social cohesion,” said EU Ambassador to Bangladesh, H.E. Rensje Teerink.
Over 12,000 parents, community and religious leaders from the Bangladeshi and Rohingya communities will be reached through dialogue and awareness raising activities to discuss social issues affecting their children and communities and find solutions.
Since the onset of the humanitarian response in August 2017, the EU has provided over €25.6 million to UNICEF to support Rohingya refugees and host communities, providing safe water, nutrition, education, child protection and gender-based violence support services.
“The EU is a key partner for UNICEF and we look forward to continuing this collaboration to support adolescents and young people from the Rohingya and host communities,” highlighted Tomoo Hozumi, UNICEF Representative in Bangladesh.