The Alteryouth Revolution

Alteryouth has built a C2C scholarship platform for people who want to create a revolution to give Literacy Scholarships to government primary schools. Their vision is to build a 100% literate Bangladesh which has led them to join Batch 4 of Grameenphone Accelerator program.

A few years back after his visit to United States, Asifun Nabi founded Alteryouth. “I wanted to do something for my people back at Bangladesh. The main reason our country is falling behind is because of poverty and the root cause of poverty is illiteracy. If we can do something to elevate illiteracy, people’s access to development will increase drastically.” He said, “The idea of Alteryouth started from there, a platform that will connect primary school children to people who will save them from dropping out.”

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Inspired by Asif’s vision, his childhood friends Maheer Mannan (COO), Meraj Anam (CCO) and Khandker Dayef Us Salam (CMO) joined the team and since then all 4 of them have been persistently working full time for this venture.

Although 97% children of Bangladesh enroll in class 1 and primary education is free of cost, we are still far from a 97% literacy rate because 20% children (1 in 5) drop out of school before completing class 5. These children will never be able to read, write, do basic mathematics or even use Google to learn new things.

Alteryouth reaches out to landless and single parent families, orphans and disabled parents. Through their Facebook page and website you can find the children enlisted from these families who are in threat of dropping out.

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The mother is provided with a handset, SIM card and bank account to operate the transactions of scholarships. The head teachers of the government primary schools are the contact points of these scholarships who make sure the scholarships are maintained and trickles down to the right children. In order for the scholarships to be transferred every month through BKash accounts, a student needs to ensure 65% attendance and marks. If a child fails to maintain this percentage, the scholarship will be paused until the percentage is attained again.

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A “Revolutionary” is the person who gives scholarships to the children and creates the change the society needs. The scholarships cycle through till a student graduates primary school and receives the primary school certificate. And this way a Revolutionary can ensure at least one citizen of Bangladesh becomes literate and equipped enough to pursue their dreams and are able to read, write an do basic mathematics.

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This initiative is just the beginning and Alteryouth envisions to achieve 100% literacy in Bangladesh. They have already started operating in 20 government primary schools of Daudpur Union of Narayanganj where they are trying to prevent potential 212 students from dropping out and ultimately declare the union a “Dropout Free” union. If it’s possible in Union it is possible in every Union.

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Alteryouth was a startup that had a vision but lacked the structure to turn this vision into a reality. After joining the GP Accelerator program, they received the guidance and mentorship to scale up their venture. Even in the recent Startup Expo held at the GP Office,their idea had received tremendous appreciation from everyone since their journey began and everyone believes they might be able to make their dream come true as long as they keep moving and stays on the right track.

 

Nayeema Akbar

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