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Laying the foundation for real and lasting change

Happy girls running towards the camera

With your ongoing support, we’ve been hard at work with the people of Hatibandha over the past three months, continuing to lay the foundation for long term, sustainable development. Through consultations and the creation of local groups and committees, initial development plans are now in place, and one of the first areas of focus is girls’ education.

In a community where 90% of girls are married before they turn 18, and only 7% of secondary students are girls, this is an urgent priority. It requires investments in all aspects of education, but to succeed, it first requires a shift in thinking.

Through outreach and engagement, that’s already happening.

“Before Plan came,” says Mrs Ferdowsi, a mother of five, “my husband never agreed to allow our children to continue in school. But now he is positive about girls’ education.”

For the first time ever, everyone in Hatibandha is getting the chance to participate in the life of their community.

“Our opinions are being shared and appreciated in meetings,” says Jerobala, one of the young women who helped present the findings of a locally-led child rights assessment to over 500 members of her community. “This is something new and very inspiring for us.”

But gender discrimination is not the only barrier for local children when it comes to going to school. Because of the annual monsoons and the difficulty it creates for accessing the local high school on the mainland, plans are now under development for additional boat services and the construction of a new school dormitory.

On October 11, the children of Hatibandha celebrated the Day of the Girl by participating in a variety of activities in their community. The activity that caused the most excitement was the planting of tree saplings beside their homes.

Laboni, a grade nine student, expressed her gratitude for the mahogany saplings, saying, “I am very happy to get this sapling. When it becomes a big tree, I will also be a grown up. It will be an asset for our family.”

With great joy and excitement for this monumental day, the children of Haitbandha raised their hands to show support for girls’ education, played local games and planted the seeds of hope for a brighter future.

None of this would be possible without donors like you. Take a moment to view our latest photos and catch up with Peari and Lipi, two young girls whose lives are changing thanks to your support.’


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