Shah Rafayat Chowdhury, Co-Founder and President of Footsteps Foundation, has been chosen as one of the 60 young and inspiring changemakers from around the world to represent at the five-day Global Youth Summit in Switzerland beginning from July 16.
These 60 of the most inspired and driven young people in the world will be gathering in Aarau, Switzerland, to determine how they can improve the world for the better. They’ve been invited by Global Changemakers, a Swiss-based NGO, supported by the Mercator Foundation Switzerland and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
According to a realease of the host, participants will learn key leadership skills like how to run a project, how to manage volunteers, and how to fundraise. Each of the young participants will also be presenting their ideas on improving their communities, and the 30 best ideas will be given financial support.
In this summit, Rafayat will be sharing the work Footsteps has been doing in Bangladesh for the past few years, especially Project Trishna. Project Trishna is a social venture implemented by Footsteps in 2015 which creates free access to clean drinking water in urban settings utilizing the platform of Corporate Social Responsibility and Youth Empowerment.
The project currently has 55 devices all over Dhaka and has created access to over 2 million litres of clean drinking water till now. He will also be sharing about Fempower, a recent project by Footsteps which will allocate resources to empower women socially as well as tackle the cases of sexual harassment.
Shah Rafayat has been an advocate for the environment and climate change since the age of 16 by representing Bangladesh as its Youth Ambassador at a number of United Nations Summits, including UN RIO+20, and has also received training from former US Vice President and Nobel Peace Laureate Al Gore in 2013.
Since its creation in 2007, Global Changemakers has supported 300 such youth-led projects in 128 countries, benefiting over 4 million people. Participants join a tight-knit, ever-expanding network, with members supporting each other and sharing their respective experiences.
Past Changemakers have gone on to start wildly successful projects or campaigns. This year’s Summit focuses on education and will feature guest appearances by Swisscontact, Greenpeace and Schindler among others. British stand-up comedian and activist Francesca Martinez will perform her award winning show ‘What the hell is normal’. The list of participants is equally impressive.
Rafayat believes that experiences and networking platform gained from this prestigious summit will be able to help Footsteps implement more effective strategies and ideas that will efficiently tackle the various social problems present in our community and make our societies a better place to live for all.