Of the 168.9 million people in Bangladesh, 31.5% live below poverty line. This is one of the world’s poorest, least developed nations.
Extreme weather conditions affect the low-lying, delta region with regular flooding and storm-force winds threatening people, livestock, crops and livelihoods.
We work in the community of Horintana. Bisected by the Kazibacha River, the area is prone to flooding and both transport and communication are difficult. The nearest city is the river port of Khulna.
The majority of the population eke out a grinding existence as day labourers, fishermen, landless farmers, tricycle pullers, boatmen and small traders.
Children often start work as young as ten – they must start earning their keep. Families are often large to help earn an income and parents struggle to provide basic necessities for them.
Dan’s father lost his home and land due to river erosion just before Dan was born. The family constantly struggled for food. Then, over just a few years, his mother and father died, leaving Dan with his grandparents, and an uncle in distant village.
When he was six, Dan’s grandmother was diagnosed with cancer, and approached our Bangladeshi partners, Love Your Neighbour, to request a place at the Home of Love. When the team visited they found little food in the house, and a very dirty, thin little boy. They welcomed him in, and Global Care found him a sponsor.
Now aged eight, during a recent visit to the village, neighbours were amazed at Dan’s transformation. Sponsorship has given him a bright future. Read Dan’s full story…
What are the challenges?
Malnutrition, poor health, poor sanitation and a lack of safe, clean drinking water – few accessible healthcare facilities.
Low literacy rate (as low as 58.5% for women) and limited availability of schools. School fees are not a priority for vulnerable families – a low appreciation of the importance of education in this part of Bangladesh means many children are hired out as day labour alongside their parents.
How is Global Care tackling poverty in Bangladesh?
We have centres in Horintana, Kalatala and Dacope Union. All three are cyclone-proof buildings which double as pre-schools and community centres, in disadvantaged rural communities. Our partners, supported by Global Care, operate a total of six pre-schools across the area, offering basic education and giving children the skills and motivation to go on to formal government schools. While an estimated 21% of children drop out of school before completing primary education in Bangladesh, the drop out rate for children who have attended one of our partners’ pre-schools is just 2%.
In Horintana we also care for up to 30 orphaned and abandoned boys at the Home of Love.
We encourage self-sufficiency at the project and empower local families to develop sustainable incomes. Initiatives include: paddy fields, a chicken egg farm, fish lake, a goat scheme, micro-finance project for local enterprises, growing water melon and other fresh produce.
How can I help fight poverty in Bangladesh?
Could you partner with us to help children in disadvantaged rural areas break out of poverty through education? Your regular monthly gifts will help our partners plan effectively, develop the pre-schools and other initiatives from a stable financial base, and help the Home of Love effectively care for children who have been orphaned or abandoned, or whose parents are unable to care for them adequately.
Could you sponsor a boy in the Home of Love? We have seen over many years how sponsorship transforms young lives, helping a vulnerable child grow into a strong adult, through consistently meeting health, welfare and education needs. Be part of a child’s journey today!