Author: Zahid, August 28 2013           Corruption is a disease which makes obstacles to developing a nation's economy. As a result of corruption the poor suffer the most. In Bangladesh, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has been working since 1996 as the accredited national chapter of the Berlin-based Transparency International, the global social movement against corruption. Its intention is to establish good governance and transparency in various sectors of Bangladesh. One of the most important activities of TIB is to engage the youth in the Anti-Corruption movement. As a part of that TIB has started a platform-based movement for the youth that is called Youth Engagement and Support (YES).

TIB believes that YES is an innovative effort to make all impossible thoughts into a reality. The main aim of YES is to make the largely talented and promising youth of Bangladesh aware of the negative effect of corruption and motivate them to join in the Anti-Corruption social movement that TIB has been carrying out.

According to the history of Bangladesh, for the Language movement in 1952, for the Mass revolution in 1969, for the Liberation war in 1971, the youth of Bangladesh have had a great role in establishing human rights, good governance, equality, democracy and freedom. As a part of the tradition of those movements, the platform of the Youth-YES is also working to create leadership among the youth and to make a strong workforce to build the future nation - also one of TIB's visions. YES would ultimately enable the young generation to fight against corruption.

YES is making a platform for youth, the future leaders of Bangladesh, who will contribute to development and social change at the national and local level. TIB would like to sensitize the youth at the very vital stage of their educational-professional life about the basic values of democracy, governance, and anti-corruption. YES applies a unique participatory communication approach method which enables its members to identify their own problems of corruption and address them accordingly through various advocacy and campaigns. This programme has been implemented both at national and local levels.

TIB’s YES Groups are formed in all its local level offices with a view to engaging the younger generation in the Anti-Corruption movement and bringing it under the (YES) programme. They are planning and designing their own activities under the supervision of the YES sub-committee of the local level offices and the support and guidance of TIB.  

Although the volunteer activities were started from the very beginning of TIB from 2006 - March 2012, these have now come under the umbrella of YES.  At present at the local level in 45 areas, there are 45 YES groups and, in the capital Dhaka, 15 YES groups adding strength to fight against corruption. YES members are  receive an orientation and training about the key issues and implications of deviating from the fundamental values and norms in ways that lead them to taking a positive stand. As a part of the orientation, they make a work plan to develop and create significant examples in their respective areas. There are around 5000 members including theater activists, volunteers and cultural workers ( 30% female and 70% male).

In addition, YES members organize issue-based Anti Corruption campaigning, a Day of Observation, competitions and award giving, workshop/ trainings, and assistance to: organize different events, collect information for different kind of research, run an advice, satellite and information desk activities, and organize a cartoon exhibition, and anti-corruption youth gatherings. Both at the national and local levels, one of the major tools of YES has been its People’s Theatre Groups which organize an anti-corruption theatre show for creating awareness among poor and marginalized audiences. The idea of YES is to strengthen the Anti-Corruption movement and sustain it by bringing people and educational institutions/ cultural groups as partners under an umbrella of YES so that they will take the lead in future.

"We believe: the invincible youth shall surely resist corruption."