Quazi Iqbal Sabery

Ashoka Fellow
Chittagong, Bangladesh
Fellow Since 2002


This profile was prepared when Quazi Iqbal Sabery was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2002.
The New Idea
Iqbal understands that children in rural Bangladesh lack opportunities to try out new ideas that would allow them to develop leadership skills and contribute productively to their families and communities. To address this need, he has started after-school centers in areas served by the nonformal schools that he established through the Center for Rural Child Development. His program includes 67 centers and involves more than 1,600 young people. It is largely run by children and offers a wide range of activities from sports to community building, for boys and girls, ages 8 to 16.
Iqbal envisions linking these centers in a network that will reach across the country. Members will elect a national children's parliament to convene shortly before the national parliament meets. The Children's Parliament will pass laws and make recommendations to the parliament's working committees as well as to relevant government departments.
Iqbal's program generates local resources in the form of service fees from parents and community space for the centers, thus making it less dependent on outside funding. Children are put in charge of activities like immunization-awareness campaigns, motivating others to attend school, and organizing sports competitions–activities from which they learn important communication, decision-making, and leadership skills while at the same time guarding against trafficking and other serious problems.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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