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Oct 3, 2019

From Slums To The Land Of Opportunities

From Slums To The Land Of Opportunities
From Slums To The Land Of Opportunities

JAAGO started its journey 12 years back with one school and the only vision to provide quality education to underprivileged children. After completing more than a decade’s journey, JAAGO has reached a position where we are witnessing the outcome of our efforts. 

To many it might seem like a story, but this story has now become a real life example of the phrase “Hard work pays off”. Siam is an ordinary slum boy, came to our first JAAGO school when he was six years old. Recently, based on his results and co-curricular activities, he has received a 100% scholarship to study in the prestigious United World College (UWC) in USA. UWC has 18 colleges around the world including USA, Singapore and India. After a very competitive process, this year UWC has selected 30 applicants from Bangladesh and Siam is fortunate enough to be one of them.

Siam belongs to an average family who lives and works in the Rayer Bazar community. His parents are astounded by his achievement and very grateful to JAAGO! Siam believes that his achievement is not only because of JAAGO’s quality education but also for the love and care he received from the team. Although it was very competitive but Siam’s merit, skills and vision helped him accomplish the first step towards his dreams of becoming a doctor. JAAGO aspires to set many more examples like Siam and inspire children from disadvantaged backgrounds.  

 

Prospects Of Creative Learning

It is always exciting for children to find themselves in a competitive environment! Being from a disadvantaged background has many diverse effects on our children and we are always searching for opportunities to educate them as well as entertain them. Hence, we organize extra-curricular activities for them. In this quarter our Teknaf School arranged for a reading competition in both Bengali and English for the students of class 1, 2 and 3. The children read out from their favorite books to their class and our teachers selected the winners of the competition. As it was a competition, it surely circulated a tension and excitement at the same time among the students! Everyone cheered for their friends who won prizes! 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes were given to 8 winners in total from 2 categories (Bengali and English). The winners received books as their reward.

Our Chittagong school organized for a spelling competition for the students of Class 2, 3 and 4. This was also divided into two categories: Bengali and English spelling. A judge panel was set for evaluating the students. Children in the Chittagong school learnt and enjoyed a lot throughout the whole process. In the end, the education coordinator announced the winners and distributed the prizes. 

 

Enlightening Young Minds With The Knowledge Of Virtues

Education is the most significant skill in a child’s life. Education makes them confident, competent and guides them throughout life. Yet there are a variety of social issues and behavioral practices that JAAGO believes children need to be taught while they are young. Children have much greater capability of learning faster than adults. They easily tend to learn what they see and when they experience aggression, violence and cruelty around them, it is more likely that they would be influenced by these actions. JAAGO, in partnership with NGO and INGOs, conducts several workshops and teaching sessions for the students. In the month of September, a theme based workshop titled “Non-Violence & Tolerance” has been held in JAAGO’s Banani School. The session became very interesting for them as it comprised of visual interactive sessions along with presentation. The students also expressed their thoughts and feedbacks in the workshop. 

The rise of crime is a major problem in Bangladesh. Ranging from children to elders, no one feels safe at their own place. Although the authorities are always using their expertise to solve this issue, but JAAGO believes that it is us who can make a major difference if we are cautious and vigilant. Recently, JAAGO has conducted an awareness session in the Rajshahi school. All the parents of the students were invited to attend the session. The topic of this awareness session was “Kidnapping and Safety of children”. Parents were guided to be more careful about their children and their movements. The trainers also answered various questions by the parents. 

 

Nourishing The Mind And The Body

A lot of our students come from families where affordability for health check-ups is a vital problem. Sometimes they have impoverished health conditions and also suffer from minor health issues. JAAGO Foundation’s youth development program Volunteer in Bangladesh (VBD) campaigns for many social issues and try to raise awareness in the community. Our VBD team of Chattogram district organized a Free Eye Camp and Blood Grouping Event in September. This initiative was taken very positively among the local community. More than 200 students received free eye check-up, blood grouping and medicines for any problems identified. 

We always tend to think about physical fitness above all. But do we give enough effort on mental health of children? The answer to this might be negative, but we can always take necessary steps to improve further! In this quarter JAAGO Foundation’s psychologist conducted a mindfulness session in the Banani School. In this session the children participated and learnt about meditation. In an informal setting they were taught about the purpose of meditation and asked to perform it by themselves. When they tried, there was fun and laughter everywhere! Still they concentrated with their best efforts. The session ended with the students thinking and explaining about their dreams. It was a very interesting learning for them! 

 

A Search For New Prospects

University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) signed a memorandum of understanding with JAAGO Foundation at the university chancellery in Dhaka. As a part of the MOU, the university would host the students of Class VIII to Class X of Jaago Foundation schools twice a year. The university would invite students and give them an advanced experience of the university. The students will visit the university campus and receive basic training on various topics. This will give them the opportunity to experience a university environment beforehand and also help them think and decide for their future. On 25 July, the students of class 8 & 10 went to ULAB’s main and permanent campus. They visited the Library, IT Lab, Classrooms, Auditorium, Permanent Campus, played Cricket Match in the ULAB Ground and also Indoor Games. The students enjoyed the trip very much and look forward to more visits like this!

 

Gratitude Note

Our largest project, “Free of Cost School for Underprivileged Children” is making progress only because of our individual donors, corporate partners, INGOs and NGO partners who support us selflessly! These children from disadvantaged economic backgrounds would not have had the chance to build their lives if there was no support from all of you. Your generosity motivates us to work relentlessly for the future of these children. On behalf of all the students, teachers, parents and employees of JAAGO, we would love to convey gratefulness with all our heart. Please continue to show us your love by supporting our project “Free of Cost School for Underprivileged Children”.

Prospects Of Creative Learning
Prospects Of Creative Learning
Prospects Of Creative Learning
Prospects Of Creative Learning
Enlightening Young Minds With Knowledge Of Virtues
Enlightening Young Minds With Knowledge Of Virtues
Nourishing The Mind And The Body
Nourishing The Mind And The Body
Nourishing The Mind And The Body
Nourishing The Mind And The Body
A Search For New Prospects
A Search For New Prospects
Sep 16, 2019

Empowering Girls through Knowledge- No Holds Barre

Empowering Girls through Knowledge-No Holds Barred
Empowering Girls through Knowledge-No Holds Barred

In the words of Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, “When you invest in a girl’s education, she feeds herself, her children, her community and her nation.” 

It is undeniable that the future of an entire population lies in the hands of women; at JAAGO, we want to equip these hands with the most powerful weapon for any individual, a pen. JAAGO takes on a holistic approach when it comes to providing knowledge to the children at our school in order for them to be aware of the latest developments in the world.

For the girl students at JAAGO, our mission is to not only make them academically successful, but also to develop their minds so that they can think beyond what they are taught at home. These children are often raised in conventional communities with a rigid sense of perspective. In order for these children to become strong individuals with an understanding of their rights and be attuned with the upcoming topics of global discussion, JAAGO organizes different seminars and workshops for them.    

 

Putting a Price on Menstrual Hygiene  

Previously JAAGO schools had conducted different workshops on women’s reproductive health and early childhood marriages. Recently in Bangladesh, there were some speculations that the Bangladeshi National Board of Revenue had increased the value added tax on the import of sanitary napkins to a whopping 45%. In many areas in Bangladesh, sanitary napkins are still considered a luxury item. 

According to a latest survey, it had been found that 73% of Bangladeshi women do not go to work and 41% of Bangladeshi school girls do not attend their classes during their menstrual cycle. The reasons for their absences ranged from discomfort and self-consciousness to reproductive and urinary tract infection due to unhygienic menstrual management. The lack of knowledge on menstrual management was closely linked to poor performance and attendance at work and school.

In order to raise awareness on menstrual management, JAAGO held a workshop on “Menstrual Hygiene” for the girls at our schools and their mothers. A doctor from a renowned medical institution in Bangladesh was invited as a special guest, where she provided the children with some insight on the country’s scenario towards menstruation. She explained that management of menstrual hygiene impacts reproductive health of women, their education and career performance. This in turn, governs the gender equity within the nation.  

 The doctor discussed what problems may arise due to women using items such as cotton or old scraps of clothes. At the same time, it was recommended that girls use products such as absorbents for a limited amount of time as prolonging in changing them may lead to infections. The mothers of the children expressed their concerns about the affordability of sanitary napkins and the possibility of cheaper alternatives to the sanitary napkins. The mothers were guided to purchase local sanitary napkins which do not have all the resources as imported napkins but is is safer and more economic.    

    

Pushing Limits through Extracurricular Activities 

In order to bring out the best out of our children, JAAGO believes in involving them in different extracurricular activities. Our belief is that by encouraging them to partake in physical activity, it will not only benefit their mental well-being, but it will also increase their stamina and morale, and in turn, improve their school performance. 

When it comes to physical activities, women in Bangladesh are often considered the weaker gender and are outcasted from competitions. However, the girl children at JAAGO often engage in different indoor and outdoor sports or activities. Recently, the female students at JAAGO participated in a friendly inter-school football competition, where they had the opportunity to compete against teams from well-renowned schools. Out of 6 matches, the JAAGO female football team won 3, which they celebrated with the founder of the school.

Last month, JAAGO also held a school chess competition, where the children competed against their classmates or seniors.  By practicing indoor games such as Chess, JAAGO wants to strengthen the children’s creative sides and increase their ability to think critically, enhance their concentration and memory and as a result, stimulate their academic endurance. The female students performed outstandingly against their competitors. Kaiser*, a female student of the 3rd grade and Labonee*, a female student from the 4th grade, attained the positions as the winner and runners-up respectively within the competition.  

*All the individuals whose names and identity have been used in the report have given us their consent to publish their names and story prior to the writing of this report.   

 

Why JAAGO needs your Help!

A parental figure is crucial for a child’s development, especially during the early years of a child. In most cases, a mother’s love and compassion contributes to a child’s growth in terms of both physical and mental development. For little Payel* from JAAGO’s Habiganj school, the love of a doting mother is a distant memory. Having been born as the third child in the family, Payel* was not as fortunate as her siblings as she lost her mother to a fatal disease at the age of 2. Soon after her mother’s passing, her father resorted to drowning her mother’s  memories with alcohol and decided to abandon his children by sending them to their grandparent’s house.       

Little Payel* was quiet and hesitant the first time her grandfather had come to enroll her to JAAGO’s reception class. The class teacher at reception of the Habiganj school often worried about her performance as Payel* would not respond during her first couple of months. Miss Mariam*, her class teacher, had decided that she would make Payel* stay back after class to help her further with her homework.

As her performance began to improve, Miss Mariam* slowly became her mentor and from the tender age of five, Payel began dreaming to become a teacher just like her mentor. She would often tell her friends how she felt more at home, when she came to school, than her grandparent’s house. It is impossible for her grandparents  to fulfill he0r dreams with the low income sources that they possess. Payel* is yet to be sponsored but is hopeful that someone will come forward to help her become a successful individual.

Many children like Payel* look to be sponsored so that they can not only receive the basic right to education, but also dream beyond their limits and break free from the shackles of poverty. Through your sponsorship or donation, female children receive opportunities which they are not born to. Help change lives by donating as little as $27 and support the education of a girl child like Payel*.  

*All the individuals whose names and identity have been used in the narrative have given us their consent to publish their names and story prior to the writing of this report.   

 

Thank You Note 

We want to express our gratitude to the donors of this project as they are not only gifting female children with the opportunity to receive education but also pave a way for them to bring a sustainable change in their community, and in turn the country in the future.  

Putting a Price on Menstrual Hygiene
Putting a Price on Menstrual Hygiene
Pushing Limits through Extracurricular Activities
Pushing Limits through Extracurricular Activities
Extracurricular Activities
Extracurricular Activities

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Sep 16, 2019

Preparing for a Better Future through Optimum Nutrition

A Better Future through Optimum Nutrition
A Better Future through Optimum Nutrition

In Bangladesh, malnutrition rates are significantly high, where a majority of the victims are children studying in preschool. About 54% of the children amongst 9.5 million children have stunted growth, 56% suffer from underweight and above 17% are wasted due to lacking in nutrition. According to a latest study, more than half of the children within the nation’s population are unable to  reach their full potential due to acute malnutrition.

The children at JAAGO come from destitute backgrounds and often have to rely on a single meal a day at home for nutrition and energy. At JAAGO, it had been observed that the children are often exhausted, sleepy or are unable to concentrate in their classes the entire day. This not only hinders their ability to display their full potential but also affects their academic prospective. 

 Keeping in mind the condition from which these children come from, JAAGO had introduced the concept of nutrition boost, where the children are provided with healthy snacks that are high in vitamins and minerals. 

 

Nutrition Boosts for All 

In orderto ensure a well-balanced diet, the children are now being provided with a tiffin box containing bananas, a glass of milk and  a pastry filled with savoury vegetables. Previously, the children were given lesser items as a part of their nutrition boost. After bringing in a dietician, who had  assessed the condition of the children, it was deduced that the children required a wholesome meal in order for them to sustain through the entire four to five hours of school time.  

On the other hand, we have introduced a nutrition dense food supplement once a week called MoniMix for the 3500 children in our 12 schools. This food supplement has slowly become a favourite for the children as it tastes like candy to them, but is infused with various types of minerals and vitamins. The supplement contains micronutrient blend of iron, vitamin C, vitamin A,  Zinc and Folic Acid. Some of the benefits which is noted for MoniMix are that it enhances physical growth and brain development, improves concentration in various activities and increases concentration levels, develops memory functions and learning ability, develops a resistance towards diseases, creates appetite and reduces infections.

With the recent additions to the nutrition boost project, the budget has increased to feed these children. We are relying on the contributions of the donors and well-wishers in order to maintain this healthy and wholesome nutrition meals for the children.     

 

Thank You Note

JAAGO Foundation would like to express our gratitude to the donors who are allowing our children to dream with a full stomach now. We seek your help in continuing to feed these children. In the words of Mother Teresa, “If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”

Nutrition Boosts for All
Nutrition Boosts for All
Thank You from JAAGO!
Thank You from JAAGO!
 
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