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Former sponsored child turned digital entrepreneur

A former sponsored child smiles.

Shamol, a former sponsored child, is always looking for ways to help others.

As a young boy growing up in rural Bangladesh, Shamol knew he wanted to do something big. He wanted to inspire others and help those in need, just like Plan supported him for years as a sponsored child.

Today, at 20 years-old, Shamol is being called Gazipur’s first digital entrepreneur. His computer skills are sought after and people travel for miles to learn from the best. But it wasn’t long ago that Shamol was a student himself.

Hard work pays off

As a sponsored child, Shamol got involved in several Plan-supported programs and children’s groups where he learned to use a computer. He was taught the basics and shortly after began navigating websites.

The computer opened up a new world for him – one that didn’t confine him to his small village. Shamol began publishing articles for the local newspaper. He used his computer skills to take part in Plan-led campaigns and began filling out online application forms for people in his community.

Creating his own domain

After graduating secondary school, Shamol landed a job in the digital department of the Union Council. When he began his job, he noticed there were unused computers in the digital centre. Seizing the opportunity, he designed a computer training program for youth and quickly enrolled a few students.

“I feel good when I can help them out,” explains Shamol. And it worked. People continued signing up for Shamol’s training program, and his students were graduating with new, marketable IT skills they never imagined they’d learn.

“I have become a provisional entrepreneur with the support of Shamol and his cordial efforts,” said Sabbir, one of Shamol’s recent students. Sabbir now makes a steady annual income.

Digital skills that help save lives

Computer training was just the beginning for Shamol. From his time spent with Plan, he understood the importance of having a birth certificate. As a result, he’s helped more than 1,500 people accurately fill out their birth registration forms online. With their form submitted, a birth certificate can be issued without any problems.

Man's hand stamping passport document.

Shamol is helping people in his community register online so they can receive official documents.

But it doesn’t stop there for this digital entrepreneur. Always expanding his horizons, Shamol is perfecting his skills in software development and data entry in other ways, like processing and printing visas for people in his community.

It was no surprise when the Deputy Commissioner of Gazipur named Shamol the first digital entrepreneur of Gazipur. But for Shamol, as humble as ever, the future is what excites him the most.

“I want to do so many things,” he explained. “I’m grateful to Plan because Plan helped me to understand child rights, how to raise our voices, and how to be a good team player.”

Shamol is more than a team player. He’s a change maker. You can help make change, too!