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 three areas 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.
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. During the recent Cyclone Amphan, these shelters protected the lives of 507 people.
Our partners, supported by Global Care, operate a total of three pre-schools across the area, offering basic education and giving children the skills and motivation to go on to formal government schools. They connect with 150 students across the three schools. Students are generally with them for 3-4 years before joining 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%.
How can I help fight poverty in Bangladesh?
Could you support our efforts to help children in disadvantaged rural areas break out of poverty through education? Your gifts will help our partners develop the pre-schools and begin other initiatives from a stable financial base.