Updated: Jul 31, 2021
International Volunteer Day (IVD) is a celebration to honour volunteer efforts at the local level. This year, over 400 nominations came in from across the country for the 2020 IVD Bangladesh award which focused on Covid-19 Response and Recovery. Among the top winners, a Multi-Action Partnership (MAP) member from Platforms for Dialogue, Fahim Sheikh, was awarded this prestigious honour.
A volunteer with the CSO Jagoroni Sangshad Kusumpur in Munshiganj, Fahim Sheikh was awarded 6th place in the IVD Bangladesh Volunteer Award 2020 for his outstanding achievements helping his community and the local government reduce the spread of Covid-19. He is one of the 15 young volunteers who has been given the award. The Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives, Department of Youth Development, Ministry of Youth and Sports, UNV Bangladesh, and WaterAid Bangladesh came together for the ceremony on 5 December 2020, titled “Volunteering for Achieving the SDGs in Bangladesh”.
Fahim was very grateful to receive such an honour, and plans to continue volunteering in his community. His nomination arose from his role in mobilising young volunteers and supporting government initiatives in Munshiganj to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. He and his fellow-volunteers have used digital tools and physical posters to promote accurate information and practices about health and hygiene in the community. He said was motivated to act when the Covid-19 pandemic spread to Bangladesh in order to help keep his community safe and informed.
Fahim is studying Local Government at Haraganga College and is working towards an Honours in Social Work. He originally started volunteering in 2018 after he attended the P4D volunteer training.
Before his efforts to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, he has worked to raise awareness of social accountability tools such as the Right to Information, Citizen’s Charter, Grievance Redress System and National Integrity strategy in his community.
With the support of Jagoroni Sangshad Kusumpur, he with his fellow MAP members, have primarily worked on a Social Action Project (SAP) to promote the Right to Information (RTI). His work on RTI has motivated him in his volunteer work and studies. Fahim said,
“I first read about RTI in class 9, but now I am more aware of its use, and I am helping my community achieve results. Policies don’t only belong on pen and paper.”
In the future, Fahim plans to go abroad for work, but he wants to continue serving his community, no matter where he located.