The Empowering Our Youth event, organized by the dynamic team at I Love Bangladesh (ILB), unfolded at The Empire Suite, honoring 13 remarkable young individuals whose contributions have left an indelible mark in their neighborhoods.
ILB, a Facebook page born in 2009, initially dedicated to sharing picturesque glimpses of Bangladesh and promoting its rich culture, has evolved into a vibrant community-focused organization. Idris Ali, the founder of ILB, elaborated on their journey: “We organize various events, from friendly gatherings and Lungi Parades to Pita Mela and Honoring our Elders, all designed to celebrate our cultural heritage.”
Ali continued, “Through these activities, we’ve been able to raise funds for the construction of water wells in rural villages in Bangladesh. To date, we’re proud to have supported the creation of 17 such essential water sources. I’d like to express my gratitude to the past and present ILB administrators and all our supporters over the years.”
The event was meticulously coordinated by Idris Ali, Shamima Khanom, Mahbubur Rahman, Saleh Uddin Talukdar Sumon, and a dedicated team of volunteers hailing from Oldham and Birmingham.
The program commenced with a poignant opening speech by Oldham’s Youth Mayor, Charlotte Clasby. It was followed by enriching discussions and captivating poetry recitals in both English and Bengali, showcasing the multicultural essence of the gathering.
As the event concluded, a joyous parade swept through the venue. The parade, led by the youngest participant who held the hand of their teacher, saw the waving of both the British and Bangladeshi flags on either side. In reflection, the ILB Team remarked, “Tonight, we’ve witnessed the power of unity, determination, and a shared vision. These young achievers are proof that our community’s future is bright and promising.”
Among the recipients of an award for their charitable endeavors was Milad Sarwar. With over 70,000 followers on his Instagram page, Milad also manages a small charity with a noble mission to aid some of Bangladesh’s most underprivileged populations.
Milad shared, “One of our most significant fundraising efforts was raising £20,000 in just two days for the victims of the Sylhet floods in 2022. Following that, a few brothers and I raised £12,000 by scaling Mt. Snowdon during Ramadan while fasting.”
He humbly added, “This recognition shouldn’t be solely mine. It belongs to everyone who has supported this charity.”
Idris Ali shared the heartfelt motivation behind the event, stating, “The inspiration for this event stems from my personal experiences and the challenges I’ve encountered, as well as those I’ve witnessed during my three decades of volunteer work.”
He continued, “When my brother battled cancer, I was profoundly moved by the unwavering support of my nieces and nephews. It was truly incredible. There are countless young unsung heroes out there tirelessly doing good work, and they deserve recognition and encouragement to continue their noble endeavors. I hope these awards will serve as an inspiration and empowerment for other youths to engage in voluntary work and various activities.”
As the event shone a spotlight on 13 outstanding youths, Idris Ali emphasized, “While thirteen youngsters were awarded tonight, we mustn’t forget the hundreds more out there making similar contributions, often unnoticed and unknown. This event is dedicated to them as well.” It was a heartwarming celebration of community, compassion, and the boundless potential of youth.