The youth community makes up half of the world’s population. With a view to create worldwide awareness about this youth community and to ensure youth participation in development programs, the UN General Assembly on 3 rd November 1978, according to its resolution no. 33/7, declared the years 1981-90 as Youth Decade and 1985 as International Youth Year . Being inspired by sprit of International Youth Year some socially conscious youths of Sitakund Upazilla under Chittagong District of Bangladesh began to motivate and organize the youth community to establish a development organization. In this way on 20 th May 1985 by active initiation of the socially conscious youth, a social development organization called YPSA (Young P ower in Social A ction) began its course of participation in the development process.
YPSA envisions a society without poverty where everyone’s basic needs and rights are ensured.
YPSA exists to participate with the poor and vulnerable population with all commitment to bring about their own and society’s sustainable development.
YPSA is a voluntary, nonprofit, social development organization registered with the different departments of the people’s republic of Bangladesh including NGO Affairs Bureau, Department of Social welfare, Department of Youth Development, Health and Family Welfare, Copyright office , Register of Joint Stock Companies and Firms and Micro Credit Regulatory Authority .
|Certificate of NGO Affairs Bureau|
|Certificate of Department of Social welfare Bangladesh|
|Certificate of Ministry of Health And Family Welfare|
|Certificate of Department of Youth Development. Ministry of Youth & Sports Bangladesh|
|Certificate of Micro Credit Regulatory Authority|
|Certificate of Copyright office, Ministry of Cultural Affairs Bangladesh|
|Certificate of Registrar of Joint Stock Companies & Firms|
YPSA will live and its members of staff, volunteer and governance will be abided by the following common sets of beliefs and standards:
Patriotism and commitment to national interest, sovereignty and national pride: Patriotism and our national interests will be on top of all our concerns. In every sphere, national sovereignty and pride will be given priority over the interests on groups and individuals. We will also be respectful to and promote all the good elements of our culture.
Justice, transparency and accountability : We believe, the rich, poor, indigenous people, small occupational class, people with disability and human beings of all ages cannot be discriminated against on any ground, and all are entitled to equal justice and rights. We will remain transparent and accountable to our primary stakeholders and others concerned for the effectiveness of our work, and will maintain openness in our judgments and communications.
Mutual respect and gender friendliness : We recognize that each person is uniquely creative and we believe in human equality. We have mutual respect both for the people and for their environment. We believe that mutual respect leads to true participation, empowerment, motivation and commitment. YPSA’s organizational environment will be one of respect and gender equality where everyone will be considered as human beings not just men and women. Where necessary, we will discriminate in favor of women and girls to promote their rights.
Quality and excellence : We will strive for highest possible standards in our conduct and performance. This will require continual renewal and regeneration of the organization and our work. We believe that we should seek continual innovation and not be afraid of failures. To achieve quality and excellence we must be transparent and accountable, timely, cost-effective, and work in appropriate and manageable ways.
Humility and confidence : We will always be aware of our humility to the primary stakeholders of our work and other development players. We will be respectful and tolerant to the society, various views and creativity. To us every human being is special with some unique quality that deserves respect. Simultaneously, based on our experience, quality and commitment we will remain confident about taking sides with the poor and marginalized people.
Respect for diversity : We believe diversity is one of the common major characteristics in every society that paves the way for creativity. We will be respectful to the diversities with an effort to create and promote unity.
Support for environment and ecology : We believe for safe and healthy living good environment and ecology are indispensable. YPSA will actively take sides with all initiatives for the protection and betterment, and against any step towards degradation of the environment and ecology.
YPSA will maintain and promote some aspects of the organizational culture and try to include more elements to organizational culture to play a strong role in line with vision, mission and values. All members of staff, volunteer and governance of YPSA will be the key actors to achieve these. Some major aspects of our organizational culture include the following.
Family friendliness : We will remain a family friendly organization for our members of staff, volunteers, governance, and program participants. Efforts will continue to extend help of one to the other to overcome any problem in one’s family and, at the same time, we will share the happy times of everyone in relevant cases.
Being responsible and accountable : In all spheres – both inside and outside the organization – we will act responsibly and will remain accountable downwards (e.g. to the primary stakeholders), laterally (e.g. to our partners) and upwards (e.g. to our donors / funding agencies and the Government). We will help each other in the organization to be responsible and accountable.
Cost-effectiveness and cost-efficiency : We will maintain our attention to cost-effectiveness in all expenditures particularly the ones for the organization so that we can spend the maximum amount of resources directly for the programs. In program implementation we always try to be cost-efficient to give maximum services to our primary stakeholders with minimum resources. These will also help us gradually reduce dependency on donors and create sustainable impact in the lives of the poor and marginalized.
Constructive criticism and promotion of organizational profile : For all strategies, views and position of the organization and its members, YPSA will always encourage constructive criticism to get the best approach for its fight against poverty and marginalization. While being critical in the organization, all members will do their best to raise the profile of the organization in every activity and representation.
Peaceful co-existence of different race, religion and class : Over time, we have been able to create an environment in the organization that ensures peaceful co-existence of different race, religion and class (including occupational class). Everyone’s view is respected and an objective judgment is given to all. YPSA has been able to promote this cultural aspect among many of its primary stakeholder groups as well. These elements of our culture will be maintained and promoted.
Healthy recreation : Since inception YPSA has been trying to promote healthy recreation at different levels of the society. We will intensify our initiatives further to promote peaceful co-existence between different groups of people in the society, within the organization, and to focus on the various socio-economic issues affecting the lives of the people. This will also help us save the youth and adolescents stay away from the negative and destructive elements of life and society.
Three bodies govern the activities of YPSA i.e. the General Council (GC), the Executive Committee (EC), and the Advisory Council (AC). The General Council consists of 57 members while the Executive Committee is of 7 members. According to the constitution of YPSA the General Council is the supreme authority of the organization. The Executive Committee represents the second line of command for formulates the strategic directions and principles of the organization.
The General Council elects the Executive Committee for a period of 2 years. Generally the Executive Committee members sit with the General Committee members once a year during the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The AGM is held regularly. The EC meeting is held regularly around six times in a year. The EC members meet with the senior staff through Central Coordination Meeting (CCM) on a half yearly basis.
The General Secretary prepares the documents on different need based Organizational policy, strategic issues, plans, budget and reports etc. in consultation with the staff for submission to the Executive Committee and General Council . The EC members finalize and approve the policies, plans, budget ands reports . EC examine the operations and implementation policies of the organization while monitoring the program activities.
As mentioned above, the organization has a 7-member EC, a 57-member General Council, Advisory Council, full-time and part-time staff and Local – International Volunteers. The General Council, Executive Committee and Advisory Council members are from different professional background such as Academician, business, development practitioners, journalism, researcher etc. The General Secretary of the EC is the Chief Executive (CE) of the organization and conducts the overall management and representation of the organisation.
All staff members are guided by a Human Resource Policy / Service rule with salary structure and benefits and some other organisational policies and guidelines. To promote voluntarism and community participation, the organisation introduced a system of voluntary work like Development Internship for the students, Program / Issue / Area based volunteer / Change Maker development with specific objectives and for a certain period.
With in the Organizational Organogram , Under the Chief Executive there are four Directors – one for Field Operation / Social Development Division, one for Finance Division , One for Human Resource Management and Development Division and One for Micro Finance and Enterprise / Economic Development Division. Program Managers , Program Officers and Unit Chiefs are responsible for various programs or Projects implementation and report to the concerned Directors. Separate Internal Audit Team is responsible to ensure budgetary control and transparency through regular filed interventions and report to the Chief Executive.
YPSA’s aspired identity and roles are functions of its vision, mission and values as influenced by its understanding of poverty, vulnerability and marginalization and its root causes.
YPSA identifies itself as an inter-dependent but truly a Bangladeshi social development organization that focuses mainly on the South and South Eastern parts of the country (with special importance on the Chittagong Division , Chittagong Hill Tracts -CHT and coastal areas). YPSA, with a total commitment to the eradication of poverty in Bangladesh, will be rooted in the appropriate values and culture of the people in the country. Based on its own strengths and those of the networks and relations, YPSA will position itself as an active part of the global process of eradicating poverty and marginalization.
In line with its values, YPSA would like to be identified as a party-politically neutral organization . In other words, YPSA will not take sides of any political party or engage in promotion of any political party or their viewpoints. Neutrality in this context does not mean not engaging with ‘politics’, but it means engagement with relevant political processes over the issues identified by YPSA’s program participants as essential for eradication of poverty and establishment of people’s rights. It may be noted that, to YPSA, ‘politics’ refers to the processes and systems for distribution and control of resources.
YPSA will strive to be a bold organization in its position and expression necessary for poverty eradication and establishment of rights. Linked to this is its desire to have its influence , active network and relationships all over Bangladesh and abroad .
First and foremost, YPSA considers its role as a facilitator in the process of poverty eradication and establishment of rights. This role of facilitator recognizes that the primary actors and stakeholders in the process of poverty eradication are poor , marginalized and vulnerable men, women, boys, girls and their communities. The facilitation role involves both proactive and reactive process of intermediation to expand choices at the disposal of poorest , marginalized and vulnerable men, women, boys and girls. This also implies not taking over the process but ensuring that the process moves forward in the desired direction by the people for whom we work.
A facilitator’s role does not mean that YPSA will not involve in direct implementation of development interventions. Where necessary, YPSA will play an active implementing role based on the actual needs but facilitation at different levels will remain a key to the process . Also, every direct implementation role will be aimed at enhancing the facilitator’s role in the future.
YPSA will also play the role of an advocate to influence public policy, attitude and practices in favor of poor, marginalized and vulnerable men, women, boys and girls. Based on the legitimacy provided by our mandate and commitment for eradication of poverty and marginalization together with our continual contact, relationship and experience with poor , marginalized and vulnerable men, women, girls and boys, YPSA will be able to represent their interest and carry out advocacy in favor of them. This will be the role of amplifying the voices of poor , marginalized and vulnerable people, and the organization’s role and type / process of engagement will vary depending on different contexts and situation as well as needs.
At present YPSA is working directly and thorough partnership in Greater Chittagong Division including Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) area. In future, YPSA’s development programs may be extended in the entire coastal and vulnerable areas of Bangladesh . Though YPSA is implementing its projects only in Chittagong Division some of its programs or interventions cover beyond the working area through Policy Advocacy and Networking initiatives.
There are four distinct parts in the logo of YPSA. The centre with one woman, one man and one child is the symbol of different parts of population, and of gender, equality and co-existence of generations. They are holding hands of each other symbolizing organized strength, mutual cooperation, relationships between different parts of community, unity, and networking. It also symbolizes a planned family.
The sun and its rays indicate unified and integrated work, and interim results towards achieving YPSA’s goals. YPSA emerged as a social force through united and integrated efforts to eliminate injustice and oppression in the society. Social problems reduced through planned and collaborative efforts is symbolized by the white portion after the ray of the sun . This part also stands for optimism.
Current social injustice and oppression are indicated by the dark parts of the logo. One part stands for the problems created at the local level while the other for the problems created by the policies and activities at national and international levels affecting people’s life, livelihoods and society.
YPSA’s position is in the white part of the logo where its blue colour symbolizes depth and sublimity. In every sphere, the organization positions itself on the basis of in-depth observation, participation and sustainability.