Muhammad Jahirul Islam, an aerospace engineering student, is making an immense impact in building the next generation doctor-engineers for our country. He is also a social entrepreneur from Dhaka, and he’s doing this in a way you won’t expect to be real. His organization Ignite Youth Foundation has a school for neglected street children who often used to be child workers. They probably wouldn’t get the chance to study if Jahir’s Foundation wasn’t there. I had a little chit-chat with him a few days back and here’s my writing from what I got to hear.
Gather some skills, learn to communicate with people, do hard work, and you don’t have to look back.
Jahir was once coming home after distributing warm clothes to the needy in Tongi. A local boy came to Jahir and hugged him, saying “We don’t want clothes, we want to go to school and study like the privilaged kids.” Jahir tried telling him that those warm clothes are more important than studying because they were shivering in the cold. That boy then pointed at a building and said he wants to make one for his mom. He also mentioned that his father has beaten his mom and forced them out of their home. He needs to sell balloons for their living. If he doesn’t do that, his father will come and beat him. Jahir was moved by this heart-melting story and wanted to do something for kids like them. So, he did.
In the early days of Ignite youth foundation, Jahir and his team went to those kids with the required stationaries in the weekends. They fed the kids and bought all their balloons. They used to bring back those stationaries so the family of those won’t find out. When the families did eventually find out, they started spreading different rumours about Ignite. A girl was beaten so severely by her father that her ears were bleeding. A volunteer immediately took her to the hospital. Despite all these setbacks, Ignite under Jahir’s leadership is working to change this demographic of the country.
Ignite Youth Foundation is currently a non-profit organization, but they want to become an NGO soon. Their economics are straightforward and transparent. You can sponsor a child for as low as one thousand takas! In exchange, you get the satisfaction of being their second parent. You can meet them, get to know their progress – everything. You can also sponsor a teacher’s salary, the school’s rent in the same way. They talk about it in details in their beautifully made website (http://igniteyouthfoundation.com/)
Jahir didn’t stop with this school. In this Covid-19 pandemic, they have distributed 1000+ cellphones for continuing their classes online. They also operate projects like a blood bank and social enterprise for women where they hire them to make hand-stitched clothes. A portion of that money goes back to fund the other projects, which gives them partial financial independence.
To become a part of the Ignite Youth Foundation by actively working in it, you can apply to become an intern or a volunteer by contacting them on their website. You just need to be a college student for that. If you are a school going student and still want to be a part of it, you can apply to become one of their ambassadors. They provide training to build you as an active and skilled member of the organization.
And finally, Jahir left some suggestion to the aspiring youth readers of Entreur. You need to be hard-working and persistent in your journey. Gather some skills, learn to communicate with people, do hard work, and you don’t have to look back.
It was charming talking to Jahirul. He is an amusing guy. I wish him and his team all the luck from all of us at Entreur.