Education is an important tool for fighting poverty.
Dino Halder is teaching 25-30 young women the fine art of sewing and embroidery each year, with the help of JW Support.
A further 180 young people from the slums are going to school and receive a proper meal every day.
Background for women
Female emancipation is still a foreign concept in Bangladesh.
Most women are expected to cook, bear children and just shut up.
This has been the prevalent attitude for generations, and still no great urgency is apparent in bringing about changes.
Women are seen as the family caretakers and apart from that are only incidentally allowed to earn some surplus income elsewhere.
Polygamy (and divorce) are strictly in the male domain.
Some men have more than one wife with children, but lack the financial means to provide even for just one family.
Parents are inclined to marry their daughters off to the first suitor, since this means there is one less mouth to feed. This practice means however that single women with children are an all too common occurrence.
Because the erstwhile husband soon proved to be disappointed with his bride, these single mothers are expected to provide for themselves and their children.
The sewing & embroidery project
Dino Halder has taken an interest in the fate of these women and now teaches them sewing and embroidery.
As you can see on the photo gallery pages, the most beautiful handcrafted items are being manufactured in Bangladesh. From bedclothes and tablecloths to gift items, there is a lot of choice !
These handicrafts take a lot of time and practice to learn. The girls need careful guidance on a daily basis, and it often takes months before the quality of their work is up to the standards that are set for selling their products.
JW Support is constantly looking for sponsors to keep this ongoing project alive for the foreseeable future.
Basisonderwijs voor de jonge meisjes
The women often bring their children or younger sisters to be taught by Dino, and by 2017 he employs 9 teachers for their elementary education.
The most important subjects during the first couple of years are arithmetic, language, hygiene and social skills. After that they concentrate more on the subjects required by the government and the associated examinations in class 5.
The elementary school started in January 2008, and since then the numbers of pupils has risen to more than to 180 during 2017.
Many girls from the neighbourhood had no difficulties finding their way to this special school.
The lessons are of such a high quality, that these children will be able to their state exams after 5 years. And the lessons ar much more fun and creative, which helps to keep their attention.
Their parents are often illiterate, which means that school education is not self-evident but nonetheless very important for the chances of a better future.
What started originally as a special school for girls from extremely poor families, often with just one parent, has developed into a proper elementary school.
In the near future the curriculum will be updated to include the first 3 years of high school, which gives access to various professional training programmes, offering these girls better opportunities on the labour market.
The children are also provided with a proper meal. More often than not, their families cannot be relied upon to take care of this.
You can support these projects by making a financial donation to :
Name: JW Support - Zoetermeer - The Netherlands