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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Establishing debate clubs in Jheneidah

Following is the Social Action Project story narrated by Sazzad Hossain from Bangladesh. Read to find how the "Debate Clubs" are helping the young people in improving their minds.

We have initiated four Social Action Projects after the Active Citizens workshop in Jheneidah and one of them is the establishment of “Debate Clubs” in all the institutes of the city. We wanted to establish “Debate Clubs” because we felt this helps students become more creative and rational. This would also keep the young people updated with various important local and national issues.


We began this project by getting in touch with all the institutes and gained their support in favor of our movement. Then, we held workshops with the institutes’ teachers and students in which we discussed the purpose of “Debate Clubs” and showed them a clear picture of what we really wanted to do. We also developed a special module to conduct this workshop, but before running it, we took their feedback on the module from the elders of the community on improving it.

After we had run workshops, we encouraged the institutes to form “Debate Clubs” and helped them execute different activities. We are also doing regular follow ups with these “Debate Clubs” and are constantly motivating more students and teachers to join in.

The impact of the “Debate Clubs” is very apparent amongst the students. They are keener to read and discuss important local and national issues. They’ve begun thinking about these issues and are coming up with solutions of various community problems. I am hoping the students will enhance their critical thinking skills, will become rational in their approaches of solving problems and will unleash their creative juices which will certainly improve their lives.

Today, there are 7 debate clubs in 6 educational institutes in Jheneidah with altogether 275 club members.

On the other hand, we (the ones involved in SAP) have benefited tremendously after initiating the “Debate Clubs” project. We can plan a project now and collectively implement it. Our communication skills have improved and we can work as a team now. We have also developed personal skills as well.

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