Shaping the future of young people

 
Sadmeena, Proshanta and Maliha are few among the many graduates from Grameenphone’s upskilling platform. Their experience at the Grameenphone Academy are testaments of the real needs and impact in the lives of young people.
 
Sadmeena’s story
 
I am Sadmeena Promi, working as a Curriculum Developer, BRAC IED (in Early Childhood Development Program) also an explorer of Grameenphone Explorers Program where over 340 bright students from all over the country had gathered and showed their interest. The experience of the GP Explorer 2.0 program was quite incredible where this program included a variety of virtual and live interactions between participants and mentors, with a focus on improving communication, entrepreneurship, and digital skills. It provided a conceptual understanding learning setting in which we were able to meet with industry leaders, work in groups, and receive ongoing guidance from our coaches. That had a significant impact on the overall experience, and I believe that this is the program's unique feature: it allows individuals to go beyond their main strengths. For example, the few GP Explorers sessions on developing technical skills inspired me to pursue new interests, and I was awarded the "Commonwealth of Learning: Grow with Google '' scholarship as a result. And it was in this way that the GP Explorers program expanded my horizons. Secondly, I'm aiming to carry my learning forward and progressively transform into my area of expertise using the information I gained during the program on technical skills, leadership, and soft skills. Hence, I am really thankful Grameenphone’s initiative to organize GP Explorer-youth development program aimed at upskilling and preparing us for future.
 
Proshanta’s story
 
Hi! This is Proshanta Bhowmik, currently studying for master’s degree in IT from Macquarie University. I am a proud explorer of Grameenphone Explorers, where the program not only taught me communication skills and digital marketing, but also presented me with a comprehensive view of acceptable employment practices. It prepared us all for the job market, and as a result, I was able to secure my first job before the end of the program. As explorers, we had the opportunity to test our ideas, knock through boundaries, and rediscover ourselves. Along with the course contents and weekly mentorship, we also received something unique called the Masterclass, where large corporate experts and changemakers presented their practical expertise, listened to our ideas, answered our questions, and directed our views in the proper path. The GP Explorers program encouraged us to look for new chances and use them to further our education. We had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with a wide range of people. This helped us become better team players, leaders, and communicators. I feel prepared to embrace the transformation and contribute to the advancement of my country as a result of the GP Explorers program. Every obstacle or stepping block, in my opinion, creates innovative approaches. If Covid-19 was the key barrier in my situation, GP Explorer provided me with the opportunity to expand my knowledge and improve my skills. Thank you for having a wonderful experience, Grameenphone.
 
Maliha’s Story
 
I am Sarwat-A-Maliha, currently working as a Digital Ninja of Grameenphone Academy, Grameenphone Ltd. I am an explorer of Grameenphone Explorers where the program gave me a broad overview of acceptable workplace behavior along with communication, digital marketing & entrepreneurship skills. It trained us all for our future careers, and I was able to land my first job before graduating. I never thought I would get the first job with the first interview of my life because I always had a fear of facing interviews but through adequate training and coaching, this program really helped me to overcome the fear and get my first job. GP Explorers program gave me the chance to broaden my skills and sharpen my talents. Thank you for having a wonderful experience, Grameenphone.

Enabling rural fishing community with deep sea network

Grameenphone completed the enhancement of its deep-sea network capacity in the Bay of Bengal. As a result of the wider mobile network range, fishermen and commuters on the deep sea will now be able to communicate through GP with the mainland.
 
We are providing this deep-sea network coverage from the point of Cox’s Bazar, Kuakata, Char Kukrimukri in Bhola, and Char Montaz in Patuakhali, up to 38 km from the Bangladesh coastline
 
From the currently available data, more than 500 vessel units use Grameenphone’s services to connect with the mainland. With this advancement, we once again reiterate its promise to empower societies through connectivity solutions.
 
Every year the coastal area faces a lot of natural disasters such as cyclones, tornadoes and tidal waves which results in loss of lives as well as damage in the economy. The average loss per year can accumulate up to BDT 45 billion due to these natural disasters. Apart from natural disasters, pirate activities also hamper the livelihoods of fishermen and commuters.
 
This network development is poised to aid these bread earners and commuters at sea and keep them safe with prompt communication with relevant authorities and with their families.

A life changing phone call

Fourteen-year-old Tahmina (not her real name) a happy go lucky girl had all the usual dreams of an adolescent girl. But that changed when she met a boy she liked and upon persistent request shared couple of intimate pictures. This was the turning point when she was constantly under pressure to have a more intimate relationship.
 
Fortunately, she was aware of 1098, the helpline for children and called the helpline during pandemic. Initially she was very unsure and scared, but after few calls she found the much needed assurance and comfort which gave her the courage to open up. So she sought help from the call center counselor. The call center agent reassured her and gave her more examples of support. 
 
Her story is not unique. She reported that she had developed a relationship with a 16 year old boy during the lockdown and at one point of their interaction through popular digital communication app she shared two private photos with him. She never thought she would be at any risk as she trusted him and had an emotional attachment with the boy. However, after she shared the pictures the entire scenario changed. The boy became more demanding and wanted much more intimacy in the relationship. Which made Tahmina uncomfortable, and she refused. This made the boy more adamant, and he started threatening her with dire consequences by making the photos digitally viral.  At this point Tahmina remembered the helpline number that she had noticed in one of the online safety banners, a co-branded communication part of Grameenphone Unicef online safety project.
 
Learning the details the psychosocial counsellor, social worker, and the manager decided to contact the boy. They counselled him, including informing him of the legal and social consequences of his misconduct. Multiple session made him conscious and ashamed which led him to a promise to change his approach.
 
Since then the helpline has checked with Tahmina few times and learned that the boy is behaving very well and has not bothered her ever since. Tahmina thanked Child helpline 1098 for their support and for helping her to overcome this problem of online abuse. Since then she has been trained on online safety and she has promised to be digitally cautious and smart.
 
As part of a comprehensive child protection system, the government of Bangladesh has set up child helplines, to strengthen programmes and support children and their families, through a 24- hour toll-free telephone service. The programmes serve to build the capacity and increase the number of call centre agents. Grameenphone, in partnership with UNICEF, has extended its support to strengthen the service, whether it is the training of call centre agents to psychological counsellors or the core operation of the centre. 

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