Exploring a Window of Opportunities

on August 17, 2016.


by Makshudul AM Mondal Manik

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Human civilization is at a crossroads as it adopts to the new set of goals for an equitable and sustainable world where no one is left behind. It sounds simple, but the targets are ambitious and often daunting. Many countries are miserably failing to ensure equal opportunity for all. The issue of inequality in income, education, and access to social services, among others, would become the main impediment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is therefore not surprising that reducing inequality is one of the SDGs that intersects with the rest of the goals.

Let me share with you my personal story on inequality. Coming from a middle-class family from a lower middle income country, access to information and opportunities has been a real struggle for me. My struggles have been multidimensional, such as getting into the right university and choosing my future career path, or even simply engaging in social activities. Due to lack of knowledge and access to right and necessary information, I could barely focus on my role as a global citizen.

Fortunately, my earlier struggles led to a fulfilling journey. I was able to access the Internet, and connect with some prominent young leaders for help. I got immense support to further my involvement in issues that I love and care about. I started small, but through hard work, I eventually got connected with local and global youth and thought leaders who shared with me the opportunities to learn about matters of national and international importance.

According to a United Nations report, over 90% of the population in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) does not have Internet access which essentially implies that they are often unaware of knowledge being shared on the Web. They do not have easy and timely access to information. This is not simply a problem for the LDCs because intra-country disparity is alarming when we find significant differences in education, health care and other social services. The multifaceted nature of inequality cannot be solved only through policies but also through inclusive, pragmatic and time-bound actions designed to address the problems.

Because we believe that youth can be part of the solution, my team’s endeavor has been to work on this issue. We aim to ensure easy, timely, cost free access and circulation of information and opportunities for all. Four years ago, we started “Youth Opportunities” as part of our action towards reducing inequality, ensuring quality education, and promoting global partnership among different actors.

Youth Opportunities is an award winning opportunity sharing platform.  Through this platform we share latest and important opportunities that fall under ten different categories, such as scholarship, conference, fellowship, internship, and competition, for free. Our website (www.youthop.com) is regularly visited by millions of youth from more than 190 countries, majority of whom are from the age group of 14-35. There are more than 100 youths who get free services through our website per minute. In our own small way, we have taken an initiative to break social injustice, and provide equal access to opportunities for youth development. We bridge the local and global youth, and collaborate with national, regional and international institutions to ensure Equal, Easy and Timely Access to Opportunities for Youth All Over the World.”

“Success is not a destination but a journey” is our team’s favorite adage. We have just taken a small step to begin our journey of empowering youth to explore their potential and transform opportunities into success.  It’s not too late for you, our fellow youth, to be part of this journey.

 

About the Author: Makshudul AM Mondal Manik is a co-founder of Youth Opportunities.

Disclaimer: The view/s expressed in this blog are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Asian Development Bank, its management, its Board of Directors, or its members.

 

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