Name: Shaheba Sultana
Organization: Bangladesh’s Participatory Development Action Program (PDAP)
Awards/ Achievements: (1) Leader of an Adolescent Group through PDAP (2) Past Dancer through Nitto Rang Sangstha, a Bangladeshi Cultural Institution (3) Current Dancer in PDAP’s Cultural Program (4) Advocate for Girls’ Safety and Education
I have been involved in PDAP for three years, since I was eleven years old. I lead an adolescent group through the organization that meets weekly to discuss various girls’ rights issues including education, reproductive health, safety and security, sexual abuse and child marriage protection. There are twenty members in my group to whom I have been able to share my experiences. If any problem occurs within the community, I discuss with my group and family members to find a solution to the issue. In the past, I also learned dance from a Bangladeshi cultural institution, Nitto Rang Sangstha, but now currently am involved in PDAP’s cultural program and dance activities.
I am passionate about sharing my experiences with young women and girls, encouraging them to fight for women’s rights in their own communities. I also am eager to understand problems that girls are facing around the world as well as use solutions from other communities and countries to implement in my own community.
Due to a lack of safety and security, girls often get married at a young age. We talk to girls about these issues, as well as encourage them to be safe and get vaccinated to avoid any diseases. In addition, we teach them the importance of a clean environment and ways to reduce contagious diseases. We also encourage them to pursue their education and that they are also able to have a successful career.