Liton Tanchangya (23) lives with his parents and elder brother in a small village named Vijaypara in Rowangchari, Bandarban. Being a polite boy he has always been loved by everyone in his village. However, after passing the 7th standard he could not continue his studies due to the financial hardships of his family. Following the announcement to recruit the first cohort of the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC). The Youth Conservation Corps (YCC), a youth capacity enhancement initiative of USAID’s Community Partnerships to Strengthen Sustainable Development (Compass) Program, implemented by US Forest Service, International Programs (USFS/IP). YCC enhances the capacity of youth through a 5-month residential training with special focus on vocational skills, and a one-month internship on participants’ selected skill. YCC is empowering underprivileged and vulnerable youth of Cox’s Bazar and Bandarban districts to build them as environmental stewards and to ensure their sustainable livelihoods. The community leader of Vijaypara encouraged Liton to join YCC. The YCC training marks a new beginning in his life, to be financially independent and an environmental steward.
From YCC, Liton learned a lot of new things which he was not aware of before such as leadership, gender equity, environment conservation, protection, etc. He took an interest to learn driving as a part of his vocational course because he wanted to be self-dependent. Additionally, he wanted to make the tourist environmentally aware while he would give them a site-seeing tour in Bandarban as a driver.
Liton not only received instruction and expertise but also earned many friends at YCC, 20 of whom he still keeps in touch with today. Through the youth network, he stays in touch with everyone. By improving as a skilled driver in the future, Liton hopes to build a successful career in the tourism and transportation field. He shares, “Along with driving, YCC taught me Leadership and Gender-related training, which helped me to communicate with people easily. Environmental training also boosted my energy. It helps me to stay aware of tourists’ activities that may impact the environment negatively. YCC gave me friends and knowledge. Those always support me in achieving my goals.”
He is currently working as an assistant driver under his elder brother, a skilled driver in his upazila in Bandarban. He gets paid around 1500 BDT (15 USD apx.) per month and also earns regularly based on the trips. Simultaneously engaged in the transportation of seedlings of Forest Land Restoration (FLR) project of Compass program.