The First Episode of ‘Bridges, not Borders’ Held Successfully

Even though we are more connected to each other in this era of globalization and social media, but how much do we actually know about each other? how much do we know about the history,‌‌ heritage and culture of other nations around the globe? With that aim in mind, Reflective teens in collaboration with Global youth club organised a culture exchange program between Bangladeshi and Pakistani teenagers. Five of our members sat down virtually with our friends in Pakistan on 27th June to discuss our respective countries. The two and a half-hour session started with discussing the COVID-19 situation in both the countries and what they’re doing to cope with the pandemic. The whole session was conducted by Nizar Ahmed from Pakistan and Yusuf Munna, Founder and CEO of Reflective teens was also present throughout the session.  Then our Pakistani friends gave us a brief presentation on Pakistan, which included the geographical information, people and races living in there, traditional cuisines, tourist spots, overall culture and different social and political problems of Pakistan. Then from Bangladesh first we gave some general information about Bangladesh, then we presented our culture dividing it into five parts, namely Literature, Foods and cuisines, Festivals, Tourist spots and heritages, Sports. After all the presentations, we had a very interactive and enthusiastic discussion for around 10 minutes and asked each other questions to know more about the other country. Overall, the purpose of the session was well served, and as quoted by Nizar Ahmed “The whole purpose of this session was to bring diverse people together, because the more you interact with people, the more you know about them, so you see more good on them which promotes a sense of unity and peace between people.”

Author: Abid Bin Ahmed, Executive Member

Impact Report | rt Advantage | Teenage Mental Health and Wellbeing

Teenagers around the globe currently suffer from mental health issues more than anything else. And the problem is worse when it comes to countries like Bangladesh where people have mostly zero awareness about this type of serious problems. At an age where they are supposed to take steps to build up their future, we see millions of youths around the world keeps suffering silently from this disease and in cases chose an opt-out system like suicide.

So in order to raise awareness about this issue we invited Tahmida Hossain Sheemu, a mental health enthusiast currently living in Dallas, Texas over our online Facebook Live session. At first, she talked about what to do when we face unwanted situations in life, and how to cope up with those. Then she gave suggestions on how to come out of depression or mental health-related problems. She told that no matter what the situation is, it’s always helpful to speak out your heart to someone. She also advised trying to keep ourselves busy with productive activities during this Quarantine period to be mentally healthy and also to introduce a healthy lifestyle in day to day life. When asked about how can someone help their close friends when they fall in depression, she told always to be cautious about our close one’s activities and try to help them whenever someone thinks It’s necessary.

Tawshipa Jarin, a student who participated in the session as an audience gave the following feedback to us – To begin with, it was honestly great how everyone in the session clarified that even though mental health is considered a stigma, it actually isn’t. I liked how the session gradually proceeded by talking about mental health at the present time as well as other usual times as well.

Tahmida Shimu started with how we can be productive in this time of the pandemic going on, which was great considering everyone gets to invest time in doing something. But like still contradictory, because doing something productive is not mandatory at all.

Also, I thoroughly support the segments of how we are told to seek support from the environment around us and accept failures to move forward. It is actually one of the key issue that either stands in our way to progress or give us a heads-up.

I overall think the relevancy of the mental health issue of this generation was established. And several ways of overcoming those and accepting those with a wider point of view was established. Really enjoyed the session!”

Author: Abid Bin Ahmed and Shusmita Shil

Impact Report | rt Advantage | Responsible Citizenship

Citizenship is a concept that is having a growing influence day by day on the average people. From the greek concept of citizenship, we have come a long way of democratization where most of us are part of some state system as its citizen. But, Citizenship offers its perks in exchange for some responsibilities. And most of the citizens aren’t aware of this responsibility nor do they have many methods of getting to understand these responsibilities. To shed light on this and for our future generation of citizens, Reflective Teens Organized Their 4th-day Online session of RT Advantage, a series of sessions for everyone on “Responsible Citizenship” on 5th May 2020 from 9.30 PM. The session was conducted by Mohammad Abdullah Al Kaiser, Founding Admin of Desperately Seeking Chittagong and Founder of Team Chittagong and Hosted by Hasan Habib and Miskatul Islam, respective members of Reflective Teens.

Throughout the session, the expert speaker gave us a crystal clear idea about the very concept of modern citizenship. He talked about the growing concept of it and the impact of various factors such as the internet, generational trends on the idea of citizenship. Furthermore, he went on to give us explanations and examples of responsible citizenship through his experience of running voluntary organizations and also public help groups. He also shared his optimistic views regarding the future of Bangladesh in terms of citizenship, how active and healthy politics can change a country and how the youth should be more proactive in its approach to state matters. The queries of the audience were also entertained and the entire idea of citizenship was appreciated by them.

In conclusion, the entire session garnered 1.6 thousand views and the audience was as interactive as they were enlightened about such a concept that affects everyone. One of the audiences, an O level candidate stated, “The session was very enlightening. The speaker was amazing and the interactivity of the session was appreciated as well, and our future citizens need more conversations like this”. Another viewer, an HSC candidate, stated, “I simply learned a lot from this session, where the main focus is us, the future citizens. And it was worth the time and Reflective Teens should provide more content like this. It was a fruitful session by Reflective Teens and we are open to more amazing sessions like this one.”

Author: Hasan Habib and Mishkatul Islam

Impact Report | rt Advantage | Safe Internet for All

The Internet has become an important platform for almost every mode of communication and the number of internet users is increasing as the days pass by. Moreover, during this lockdown, almost everything is being accomplished by using the internet including online classes and working from home. However, due to the rising use of the internet, crimes in the virtual world is also increasing. People know that whenever they face any threat in the real world, they need to seek help from the police but they often face problem in understanding the ways to deal with cyber-crimes. Keeping all these in mind, reflective teens organized their 3rd day of the online session of rt advantage about ‘Cyber Security’ on May 4, 2020, Monday from 9.30 pm. The session was conducted by an expert in the respective field, Zifran Islam, cybersecurity expert of cyber 71 and hosted by Nuzaba Tasannum, program coordinator of rt and Tasnim Bin Mahfuz, executive member of rt.

During the session, the expert speaker gave a complete concept of the term, cybersecurity. He discussed the do’s and don’ts of the virtual world, how to stay safe and avoid the threats of the cyber realm. Furthermore, he discussed the importance of cybersecurity at an individual level. He further explained that even not having personal information like credit card number does not mean that the individual is safe from cyber threats. He explained all the possible security threats including commercialization of information, phishing (the process where the hacker redirect the user to their website to steal credentials), hacking, social engineering (when someone steals a user’s account by regularly interacting with them to find probable passwords), scam sites, cyberbullying, misinformation and rumours as well as the probable solutions to these problems and seeking help from the law and order system regarding this. He also answered several questions from the audience related to the safety of using zoom, why the users need to check every time before granting permission to install an app etc.

To sum up, the 1-hour long session which was viewed more than 2.7 thousand times gained huge praise from the audience. One of them, a 12 standard student said, “To be honest, I joined the session after being invited by my friend, and, I thought, why not learn something new? And I’m really satisfied with the session. It was 100% effective. I learnt so many things which I believe would help me a lot in staying safe in the cyber world.” Another student who is currently an HSC candidate said, “The speaker explained everything so nicely and clearly. We need more sessions like this in the future. Thanks to rt!” Reflective teens is always ready to organizer more fruitful sessions like this one.

Author: Nuzaba Tasannum & Tasnim Bin Mahfuz

Impact Report | rt Advantage | Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is the possession of the set of skills and knowledge which allows one to make informed and effective decisions with all of their financial resources. It’s necessary to know properly about financial literacy to make one’s life better financially. If people truly understand the way that financial system work, it will help them to plan for the future, to meet financial goals, to get the most of their income, overall it provides life skills on improving many areas of life -relationships, careers, hobbies and home life.

In the current condition when people are sitting at home, it’s very important to gain a broad knowledge of this context. Therefore, rt organized a session to make people mostly the students more concern about financial literacy on its 2nd day of rt Advantage Live Session, 3rd May 2020. The session was conducted by sir Ali Haider Khan Tonmoy, author of “অর্থবিজ্ঞানের হাতেখড়ি” and hosted by Ruthmila Haider Chowdhury and Nubaha Tahannum, executive members of rt.

During this one hour session, our expert shared a lot of knowledge including his own life experience on this object. First, he gave a clear concept about the importance of financial literacy in our day to day life. Also, he shared some basic ideas on investment on a project, emergency fund, a students personal money management etc. which everyone needs to know. He inspired all to maintain a personal budget. Besides, he shared his thought on how one could get out from the economic downturn after the corona epidemic. He told the students not to lose their morale and to do some productive work after this situation to recover their own economic imbalance.

The purpose of this session was to give a wide idea of financial literacy to the audience. An audience, a first-year university student said, “I joined the session because I found the topic very interesting and it was worth attending. I have learned many effective matters.” Another student from class 11 said, “The session was very educative. I enjoyed it.” Also, an HSC candidate as a spectator said, “To me, the best part of the session was the importance of a budget. How it can ensure financial stability I have got to know from this session.”  They are hoping for a more effective session from rt in future.

Author: Ruthmila Haider Chy & Nubaha Tahannum