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Through the years: Lipi learns to lead

You first met Lipi with the launch of Community Sponsorship in Hatibandha and checked-in with her again in 2013.

3 panel of Lipi.

Lipi at 9, 10 and 11 (left to right).

Then, Lipi was 9 years old and her family expressed concern about the common practice of child marriage.

But thanks to you, Lipi noticed a positive shift in local attitudes within the first few months of Plan working within her community – a shift that would directly impact Lipi and her sister’s lives.

“There is notable change with increased awareness on children’s education among the community as well as parents. I feel comforted that my father has agreed to continue my higher education,” she shared with both relief and excitement.

“Plan teaches us not only to take care of our children, especially girl children, but also the consequences of child marriage,” explained Lipi’s father.

Years later, he reflects on how community sponsors like you have helped Lipi, and all his daughters, flourish ever since.

“Earlier our community was male dominated,” he says. “Plan was our catalyst to change our family as well as our community positively.”

Lipi and her older sister.

Leaning on her older sister as a role model helped Lipi stand confident and independent.

Now, Lipi is 11 years old and thriving. Thanks to your support, her family has additional income and grows fruits like guava, papaya and bananas to both eat and sell at the market.

“We are passing our life with joy and happiness,” says Lipi’s father, adding that local children like Lipi are “growing up in an enabling environment.”

Most recently, Lipi was busy helping plan and celebrate her eldest sister’s wedding – and with both bride and groom being over the legal age of marriage, it was the joyous occasion it should be!

“We had lots of fun!” she fondly recalls.

Today at home, Lipi is the big sister, and is a friend and role model to her younger sister, Rina.

Lipi shares books with Rina.

Lipi loves the literature of Bangladesh and shares the joy of reading with her younger sister, Rina.

Lipi used to dream of becoming a teacher, so that she could “educate the poor and underprivileged children” of her community.

Thanks to your support, she’s seen education become accessible to disadvantaged children across Hatibandha and has since developed new ambitions: “I want to be a doctor when I grow up,” she says, hoping to one day help more vulnerable children.

Double panel: Lipi at age 9 heading to school, and today walking with Rina.

“I go to school with my sister and return with her,” says Rina. She now follows her big sister’s footsteps so that they can walk hand-in-hand on the path to success.

“School is my favourite place and I go regularly,” says Lipi, knowing education is the key to success. “I have passed my annual examination successfully and my parents and teachers appreciated my good result. My attention towards my education is increasing day by day.”

Lipi smiles, holding books.

Lipi’s deep dedication to her studies extends to the community and country she is so proud to be a part of. When she was given the chance to help organize local events that you supported (such as a drama show on stopping child marriage), she jumped at the opportunity!

“I feel happy when I participate in Plan activities,” she says. “I’ve learned how to organize events and involve participants. I would like to thank sponsors for giving us the opportunity to be a part of it.”

Looking back, looking forward

Speaking with Lipi today, it’s evident she has grown into a true leader within her family, school, and community – but nobody looks up to her more than her little sister, Rina.

“I participate in the events with my sister at school,” Rina shares. “I always follow my sister’s activities.”

“Every night, my sister and I chat about everything that has happened during the day,” she adds. It’s a special, sisterly ritual, where hopes are shared, before embarking on separate dreams – hopes and dreams that you’re helping make a reality.

Lipi smiles, gazing down at Rina.

Lipi looks out for the next generation of her family and community…

Rina smiles, looking up at Lipi.

…and they, in turn, look up to her.

Thank you for enabling children like Lipi, and their families, to grow into the incredible leaders they were born to be: thank you for supporting Hatibandha Community Sponsorship.

Now, check out the photos from your exclusive girls’ dormitory construction update, and see how you’re inspiring even more young leaders!


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