Olympiad focuses on Sustainable Development Goals

Dhaka,  Fri,  22 September 2017
Published : 18 May 2017, 00:23:41

Olympiad focuses on Sustainable Development Goals

Ahmed Ishtiaq Zadid

The Saturday morning seemed brighter than ever with the presence of the vibrant, cheerful and enthusiastic young girls, who travelled from all across the country and gathered at the EMK Centre on the May 06, 2017 to take part in the National Sustainable Development Olympiad (NSDO). South Asian Youth Society (SAYS) organised the first ever National Sustainable Development Olympiad (NSDO) - the third and final phase of their initiative 'Girls for Global Goals', supported by the US Embassy. The National Sustainable Development Olympiad (NSDO) has been the first of its kind in the world that has been disseminating the knowledge of SDGs to at least five to six lac young minds and reached out to more than 50 academic institutes across the country. The initiative has already been recognised as one of the leading global programmes on SDGs by the Commonwealth Secretariat in 2017. South Asian Youth Society (SAYS) is determined to continue this endeavour in the years ahead to contribute to the process of championing SDGs globally.

Of the best selected participants from all across five divisions of the country, the top 60 brilliant young girls- from diverse educational background, including English medium, Bangla medium and madrasah, from grades eight to twelve, has appeared in the first ever NSDO that took place in the capital on the Saturday morning. 'The passion to serve the community and work on these goals were reflected through their performance in the Olympiad', remarked Punna Islam, the project coordinator of the initiative. Jafnah Alam from BAF Shaheen College- Dhaka South, Ashfika Islam from Motijheel Model School and College- Dhaka North, Sadia Jaman Sharifa from Khan A Sobur Mohila Fazil Model Madrasah- Khulna, Atkia Fariha from Masjid Mission Academy- Rajshahi, Sharod Simonteni Tridha from Government Agragami Girls’ High School and College- Sylhet  and Sabia Mushira from Presidency International School-Chittagong, took the top six positions from each division and were awarded as the winners of the National Sustainable Development Olympiad (NSDO).

On winning the title, the delighted girls shared their vision and dream on working on these global goals to create a sustainable community and world. Public Affairs Officer and Director for The American Centre, US Embassy, Dhaka Ann Mc Connell was the chief guest. Ms. Connell thanked everyone, especially the girls, for their undying enthusiasm and conveyed her support on behalf of the American Centre, and the US Embassy all way from the Washington DC.

'Quality education is the investment today that will reap fruits tomorrow,' remarked the chief guest in her closing note. Among others, Public Diplomacy Officer of The American Centre Kelly Mitchell Clark was present as the special guest. Ms. Clark expressed her privilege to have been a part of this  journey and that having the ability to speak one's mind is truly the indication of empowerment. She further added that the end objective of equipping the girls with the knowledge is the self-empowerment. Professor Abdul Hannan Chowdhury, chief advisor of SAYS  and VC of Primeasia University, mentioned how vital these global goals are and how the work of SAYS is affecting the country and beyond South Asia. He stated, 'Our children are truly talented, excellent performers and are in no way behind others in the global ground' and emphasised our united responsibility to create a sustainable world.

Towfique A. Khan, founder and president of SAYS, shared this vision of seeing these young girls as the global future leaders, the seed of which has been harvested within them through this initiative. He delightfully said to the participants, ‘The first female Nobel laureate from Bangladesh or the first astronaut from Bangladesh or The UN Secretary General might be from among you’. The winners were awarded with medals by the guests and the participants were recognised for their endeavour and successful participation in the initiative with a certificate handover ceremony, followed by cheerful group photo sessions.

The writer is studying BBA at American International University- Bangladesh. He can be reached at

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