Jahin Rahman of Queens Village is on a mission to help educate the youth in the slums of Bangladesh who will be unable to attend school after COVID-19 due to financial constraints.
Rahman is a 16-year-old entrepreneur and student at the Academy of American Studies in Long Island City. She is a National Prudential Award winner, a 2020 Bank of America Student Leader, and a recipient of other awards for her social work.
She is the founder of Efforts in Youth Development of Bangladesh (EYDB), a nonprofit student-led organization in New York City and Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. The team provides quality education to at-risk youth in Bangladesh by developing paths toward social sustainability for the next generation.
In partnership with organizations, EYDB has built a library and computer lab, established a literacy program, and donated clothing to benefit children from underserved communities in Bangladesh.
Through EYDB, Rahman and 300-plus youth from across the U.S. and eight countries are currently working on their next project: creating yearlong educational materials for impoverished children in Bangladesh.
“In Bangladesh, because of the pandemic, schools are obviously closed like it is in the U.S. and we have access to remote learning,” Rahman said. “But in Bangladesh, especially for youths living in the slums, they don’t have access to the internet or any device for remote learning, and we were thinking about how we can create materials to support their learning.”
In collaboration with Interns 4-Good, an organization that connects high school students with virtual, skill-based internship opportunities at nonprofit organizations, EYDB is working with 102 interns to create content for Bangladeshi youth.
“The interns have been trained over Zoom and assigned to specific grades and subjects. We are focusing on three subject areas: English, Bengali and Art,” Rahman said.
According to Rahman, the team is preparing worksheets with lessons for kids in kindergarten through eighth grade. Rahman travels to Bangladesh once every year, and is hoping to visit Dhaka in August to deliver 4,000 copies of the workbooks to kids living in the slums, she said.
The organization is also looking forward to collaborating with Queens politicians to provide services across New York City, but that initiative is currently on hold due to the pandemic, Rahman said.
Additionally, EYDB’s other projects — the construction of a drug rehabilitation center for street children affected by drugs, bathrooms for girls in rural schools, and a daycare center — have been postponed as well.
This summer, Rahman is also partnering with Base For Girls to distribute 500 menstrual product kits to girls in Bangladesh, and conduct menstrual hygiene and reproductive health classes.
For Rahman, helping to change at least some of the kids’ lives in Bangladesh is a huge accomplishment for her, she said.
“I’m a very action-driven person and anything I can do for the community motivates me to go on in my life,” Rahman said. If at this moment I can help thousands of children, I don’t know what can be a bigger blessing than that and if I change the lives of youth, that gives me happiness.”