Validating Folk Songs for Adolescent Well-being

SERAC-Bangladesh has effectively conducted ‘Local Level Validation Meetings’ across five districts (Mymensingh, Barishal, Rajshahi, Sylhet, and Chattogram) during January 29th until February 15th in-person in respective geographies. These meetings focused on validating audio-visual content related to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) information under the Knowledge SUCCESS project. This initiative was carried out in collaboration with the Directorate General of Family Planning, funded by USAID, and received technical assistance from Johns Hopkins University.

All these events began with a warm welcome and introduction by Md. Salim Miah, Deputy Director (Program) of SERAC-Bangladesh. Providing insights into the project background and illustrating the program’s implementation process, Nusrat Sharmin Resma, Senior Program Officer of SERAC-Bangladesh, took the stage. SM Shaikat, Executive Director of SERAC-Bangladesh, skillfully moderated the session. This same approach was seamlessly replicated in the other validation meetings.


At the January 29 event, the DDFP of Netrakona Md. Kamal Hossain commended the SBCC content (palagaan) for enhancing family planning materials, while JKKNIU faculty Dr. M. Kamal Uddin emphasized its visual appeal. Civil society leader Reazul Hasnat discussed expanding adolescent reach through social media and proposed graphical improvements. Journalist Md. Moyeen Uddin Raihan praised the informative content for its local linguistic representation. Volunteer Peer Leader Salma Akter shared positive experiences, anticipating a warm reception for the locally produced content. DDFP of Mymensingh Kazi Mahfuzul Karim, praised SERAC, USAID, and Knowledge Success for the regional language based adolescent health initiative. He recommended incorporating the DGFP hotline, visuals of health centers, and interactive elements. He also expressed hope that the content would be integrated into DGFP’s Audio Visual Van for broader outreach.
SERAC-Bangladesh Program Officer Songita Sarkar, Program Associate Riyad Hossain, Md. Kamran Mia, and various stakeholders were in attendance, highlighting the joint endeavors to foster awareness of reproductive health among the youth in Mymensingh.


Following that, the Barishal content validation meeting took place on February 1, 2024, at a local venue in Barishal. This event was presided over by Md. Mizanur Rahman, the Deputy Director of Family Planning, Barishal. Distinguished guests included Assistant Directors of Family Planning in the Barishal District, Md. Nakibul Hasan and Md. Saidur Rahman; Associate Professor of Barishal University, Suprabhat Halder; and Assistant Commissioner of Barishal Deputy Commissioner Debjani Kar. The chief guest for the occasion was Divisional Director of Family Planning Barishal, Md. Niazur Rahman.

Md. Niazur Rahman highlighted government initiatives in promoting family planning and reproductive health awareness among adolescents through public-private collaboration. He expressed optimism about SERAC-Bangladesh’s regional language initiative and recommended graphical enhancements for ‘Jaarigan’. Other distinguished guests also provided comments on the lighting and graphical improvement of the content. The Assistant Directors discussed how this content could positively impact the ongoing activities of the DGFP AV Van.

The event was attended by Barishal Focal of SERAC-Bangladesh, Md. Naeem Hossain Khan, along with other notable youth leaders such as Riazul Islam Raj, Rafsan Azmi, Saifuzzaman Rana, Takia, Sanjida Zaman, Taimur Zaman, journalist Mazarul Islam Rubel, and students from various colleges and universities in Barishal.


The subsequent meeting was arranged in Rajshahi on February 5, 2024, at a local venue in the city, moderated by SERAC’s Executive Director, SM Shaikat. Kasturi Amina Queen, Deputy Director of Family Planning in Rajshahi, chaired the meeting, with Md. Enamul Haque, Divisional Director of Family Planning in Rajshahi, serving as the chief guest. Other notable attendees included Khandaker Arifuzzaman, Assistant Director of Rajshahi Family Planning Office; Dr. Md. Amiruzzaman, Associate Professor of the Dramatics Department at Rajshahi University; Waliur Rahman Babu, Chairman of CCD Bangladesh; Gambhira artist Md. Abdur Razzak; Sheesh Mohammad; Subrina Shurmin Haque, SERAC-Bangladesh Focal in Rajshahi; Md. Mahmudul Hasan Shishir, a notable youth representative including Md. Bani Amin, a Rajshahi College student; and Noreen Alif.

Emphasizing the significance of awareness, Md. Enamul Haque underscored that family planning and health contribute to a prosperous and healthy life. He highlighted the importance of SERAC-Bangladesh’s health awareness tool (Gambhira), foreseeing its positive impact on creating awareness among people.

Dr. Kasturi Amina Queen suggested showcasing audio-visual materials in schools through AV VAN to reach more adolescents and promote family planning information.

Dr. Md. Amiruzzaman praised SERAC-Bangladesh’s innovative use of art to disseminate health information, acknowledging its potential to spread more information in a shorter period. He advised on making it more visually appealing with graphical advancements.

Waliur Rahman Babu, Chairman of CCD Bangladesh, echoed support for the initiative, emphasizing the significance of health awareness for societal prosperity.
Students and youth present, expressed their impression of the audio-visual content’s role in the health development of Rajshahi and the entire country. They highlighted the importance of conveying health awareness in regional languages to improve the quality of family planning services and engage the youth more effectively.


Following that, the Sylhet content (Dhamail) validation meeting took place on February 8, at a local venue in the city, chaired by Tapan Kanti Ghosh, Deputy Director of Family Planning in Sylhet District. The chief guest for the occasion was Mazharul Haque Chowdhury, Divisional Director of Family Planning in Sylhet. Participants included Abul Mansoor Asjad, Assistant Director of Family Planning in Sylhet; journalist Fakhrul Islam; FIVDB Project Supervisor Abu Bakar Shikder; along with representatives from various educational institutions.

During the meeting, the distinguished guests and participants collaboratively discussed ways to enhance the effectiveness of the content, focusing on highlighting the hotline number, framing, and incorporating relevant screen-adjusting materials. They commended SERAC’s initiative. Tapan Kanti Ghosh, the meeting chair, expressed his commitment to cooperating with further support to the endeavor. The chief guest, Mazharul Haque Chowdhury, pledged to support the promotion of this content at the grassroots level of the division once it is finalized, reaching more adolescents.


The culmination of the local-level validation event series took place in the picturesque city of Chattogram during the ‘Chattogram Content Validation Meeting’ held at a local venue on 15th February.
Chaired by Md. Abul Kalam, Deputy Director of Chattogram Family Planning Office, the meeting welcomed distinguished guests including Md. Yunus, Administrative Officer of Chattagram DC Office; Journalist Ranjeet Kumar Sheel; Shah Alam, Program Coordinator of UTSA; Sanjoy Chowdury, Station in-Charge of YPSA; and Simanto Barua, Script Writer. Additionally, SERAC’s Chattogram focal Abu Tayeb and students from various colleges and Chittagong University attended the event. SERAC-Bangladesh’s Executive Director, SM Shaikat, moderated the meeting, while Nusrat Sharmin Resma, Senior Program Officer delivered an overview of the content (Geetinatya).

Expressing their gratitude, the students who presented at the meeting appreciated the content being in their own accent. They believe that this approach will increase awareness and accessibility to reproductive health messages for adolescents and patients alike.

Md. Abul Kalam, the chair of the meeting, emphasized the effectiveness of Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) content. He cited examples like the ‘Meena Cartoon’ and other behavioral-changing materials, highlighting their impact on society through good practices. He also congratulated SERAC for this innovative effort and expressed a commitment to future cooperation.

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