Welcome to Bangladesh Youth Movement – BYM
Over the past three decades Bangladesh Youth Movement has been acting as a beacon to the youth & community of Tower Hamlets in guilding them to engage with the mainstream society. Starting with the antiracist struggles of the late seventies it has evolved into a new and different body that is poised to develop its own definition and meaning of the Big Society in the second decade of the 21st Century. Whatever changes that had to be made to adjust to the new realities of social and political life BYM has remained loyal to its original and abiding principles of serving the local community and meeting their diverse range of needs. What started as a vehicle representing Bangladeshi young men has moved on to deliver services for women, the elderly and children. Starting with issues around racial attacks and harassment.
BYM has gravitated towards delivery of projects in housing, training and employment, sports, heritage and regeneration. At different points in their historical trajectory they responded to immediate needs whether it referred to planning issues or one of community cohesion. Whatever the issue the organisational thrust was clearly defined by their intimate links with the local communities at a neighbourhood level.
It is quite significant that of all the neighbourhood based youth organizations that emerged in the 70’s and early 80’ in Tower Hamlets it is only BYM that has survived the changing political and economic scenario and has been.
successful in handing their baton to a new generation of community activists. They have been able to move from a purely grant based body to the commissioning and contracting of projects and have responded to the differential needs of various client groups that have emerged over the past three decades. They managed to successfully embrace different funding structures, engage with an ever changing policy agenda at, both, the local and national level, reoriented their organizational ethos to develop a more professional approach and positively dealt with competition in the third sector arena.
What has always made BYM distinctive is their ability to innovate without losing sight of their roots within the local community. They might have travelled far and wide in their attempts to improve the lives of their clients but have never lost their anchor in the locality. No wonder that over the last three decades their presence has been enshrined where they began in Henriques Street. That more than anything makes them unique and a permanent fixture in Tower Hamlets.
BYM:Tackling Exclusion, Promoting Integration