Helal: from a trainee to a trainer

Helal Uddin comes from the Tekpara Village of the Eidgaon Upazila of Cox’s Bazar District in Bangladesh. Helal’s education stopped after Secondary School Certificate (SCC) examination because of his family’s financial hardship. His family’s situation worsened as the COVID-19 pandemic hit lives and livelihood. In July 2021, Helal came to know about the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) of USAID’s Community Partnerships to Strengthen Sustainable Development (Compass) Program, implemented by United States Forest Service (USFS)/International Program (IP). YCC was inviting application from disadvantaged and school-dropout young men and women from Helal’s community to take part in a training program. Helal applied and after appearing in a multi-step selection process, Helal was selected as one of YCC’s 1st cohort trainees.

With 39 young boys and girls like him, Helal joined the YCC residential training venue in Cox’s Bazar. “Every day arrived with new things. We learned many life skills from this training. Time management, gender, effective communications are to name a few. Later came the vocational training part”, Helal recalled. 

Helal chose the driving trade for vocational training. Along with the driving trade, YCC offers vocational training on tailoring, electric house wiring, and agriculture. He completed the driving training with utmost dedication. After the training, he joined Compass’s partner organization Academy of Information Technology (AIT) for a month-long internship. During his internship, he received hands on training on the mechanism of a vehicle. 

With his quick learning abilities and skills, Helal drew AIT’s attention during his internship period. After completion of his internship, AIT offered him to join them as an Assistant Trainer. Helal accepted the offer and has been working with AIT since March 2021. Now, Helal earns BDT 10,000 (USD 117.65 apx.) each month. Along with his salary, AIT is offering him transportation cost and accommodation facilities free of charge.

As an Assistant Trainer, Helal is assisting in training the YCC’s second cohort trainees. He has become an example of what achievement looks like for the new trainees.  

“I want to become an entrepreneur and this job is the pathway to my dream. I want to start a transportation business. I want unemployed youths to find jobs at my venture”, said an optimistic Helal.