The Swadhinata Trust is a London based secular Bangla community group that works to promote Bangla history and heritage among young people. The Swadhinata Trust has been operating since November 2000, offering seminars, workshops, exhibitions and educational literature to young Bangladeshis in schools, colleges, youth clubs and community centers in the United Kingdom.
The Swadhinata Trust promotes Bangladesh history and culture to ensure its representation as an essential part of the history of Britain and by extension, the contemporary world.
The need for such a Trust has arisen from a sense that, an absence of documentation and social data representing Bangladeshi’s heritage, historical presence and achievements internationally, can contribute towards a sense of marginalization, low self-esteem and alienation of young people in particular, as part of a minority ethnic community within wider society. This in turn, can limit their participation and contributions to mainstream culture.
As part of its goal to promote Bangla culture for a wider audience, the Swadhinata Trust seeks to establish a center whose main activity will be in the field of culture, research and education. Swadhinata also proposes to develop a series of projects which will enable it to generate income through which to further support its activities. It aims to operate as a community and ‘not-for-profit’ business, selling educational material, teaching and consultancy services to statutory, voluntary and community sector agencies initially in Tower Hamlets and ultimately, nationwide. The establishment of an archival facility with a focus on the history of Bangalees in Britain is also envisaged as a complement to its educational activities. Within a wider definition of educational activities, the Trust also proposed to explore local history tours exploring the presence of Bangladeshis in Tower Hamlets.
International Center for Community Development
London Metropolitan University, Old Castle Street, London, E1 7NT, UK