Barishal Youth Society (BYS) founder Faez Belal, a young social entrepreneur from Bangladesh, has been awarded the prestigious Diana Award.
The award has been considered the most prestigious accolade for a young person aged 9-25 for social action or humanitarian work since 1999.
Faez Belal was recognised for his role in various social contributions ranging from quality education, climate action and gender equality through his established initiative Barishal Youth Society (BYS), a youth-based organisation operating in the southern region of Bangladesh functional since July 2014.
The youth society based in Barishal has been involved in solving social problems through various innovative projects including Abhay, Girls Summit, Swapnajoy, Shomporke Bhalo Thakuk Desh, She is the First, Ami Theke Amra, Youth Fest and Barishal Nook.
In the last 6 years, around one million people have been part of different activities of the BYS.
As a recipient of the Diana Award, Faez said, "While everyone in our country talked about decentralisation, BYS made it happen."
"The small initiative that started its journey with the youths of Barishal has reached out to nearly one million people while trying to prevent violence against women and prioritising adolescent leadership development."
"This award has not only given recognition to BYS but also laurelled with dignity," Faez said adding, "I want to dedicate this accolade to the thousands of women and adolescents from the areas affected by climate change whose efforts and endeavors have enabled BYS to achieve this honour today."
The awards were announced in an ostentatious ceremony on 1 July.