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Nov 4, 2019

Protecting their Lives, Minds and the Future

Protecting their Lives, Minds and the Future
Protecting their Lives, Minds and the Future

The Rohingya people have faced decades of systematic discrimination, statelessness and targeted violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar. Such oppression and mistreatment has forced Rohingya women, girls, boys and men into Bangladesh for many years, with significant spikes following violent attacks in 1978, 1991-1992, and again in 2016. The greatest influx of Rohingya people into Bangladesh happened in 2017 when 745,000 Rohingya, including 400,000 children have fled into Cox’s Bazar.

During the displacement of the Rohingya people, it was the children who caught attention of many people. Almost 60% of the refugees were children who had experienced major violence and brutality at a tender age. In their own country they had no legal identity and after displacement to Bangladesh, Rohingya children are not being registered at birth, having no identity or citizenship. It is not known to anyone for how long they will be displaced. Meanwhile, the children are unable to receive formal education which keeps them deprived of the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in future.

With the support of the government and humanitarian partners, refugees have gained access to some basic services. Yet, major dependency remains on short-term aid because of them living in unstable conditions in the congested camps which are hugely difficult and sometimes dangerous during monsoon and cyclone seasons.

JAAGO introduced the Safe Haven project for the psychological and spiritual betterment of the Rohingya children in 2018. The traumatized Rohingya children needed a safe space where they can be engaged in regular childhood social experiences. The concept was to provide learning opportunities for them and heal them emotionally as much as possible. After receiving the GlobalGiving Feedback Fund Grant, JAAGO has been successfully initiating and integrating feedback from 500 Rohingya Children and 1,000 parents.

A Doze of Nutrition Everyday

Since past two years, malnutrition among Rohingya children has been one of the most critical considerations. Long journey across the border and poor living conditions in the camp are thought to be the key cause of malnutrition among Rohingya children. According to UNICEF’s nutrition specialist Joseph Senesie “If the child is not fed well, the child’s brain will not develop well and that will affect their educational consequences and that will affect their productive capacities as they grow up in the future.”

In Cox’s Bazar, there are 85 nutrition centers across the camps. The children receive therapeutic food and they are examined in the cases of severe malnutrition. Although there are fruit and vegetable stands in the camps, but many families can’t afford them because they have no income and depend solely on the aid. Understanding the importance of proper nutrition, JAAGO provides nutritious food every day to the 500 children under the Safe Haven project. The food menu contains proteins, carbohydrates and fruits. During the time of Ramadan, the children also received nutritious snacks during iftar.

Nurturing Creativity and Strengthening their Imagination

Albert Einstein said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." Imagination is the endless door of possibilities. It is where thinking outside the box begins for child development. Imaginative and creative play is how children learn about the world. They tend to see things from a very different perspective and form pictures in their minds and that is what makes them different. At times, parents and adults nurture children's imaginations and take joy in their creative thoughts and acts. But unfortunately, the Rohingya children have been deprived of many creative joys.

As JAAGO works to provide psychological support to these disadvantaged children, regularly games and art classes are arranged for them. The children often team up together to play both outdoor and indoor games. Games such as “Ludo” are very popular among the kids and the teachers at times accompany them which create a very welcoming impact. These children also get a chance to spread colors on their imaginations very frequently. They are provided with notebooks, colors and other stationaries required and asked to draw and bring their imaginations to the papers. These relaxing activities have a very affirmative impact on the minds of these children.

Going an Extra Mile

Although JAAGO does not provide proper educational support to these Rohingya children under the Safe Haven project but we do give them books and a positive environment to thrive in. It is important to create an environment where they feel they need to develop their knowledge and skills for a better future. Hence, there is no other way to encourage them other than offering them books to read. In the light of this thought, recently some bookshelves were setup in the safe space camps where books for their age were kept. They would feel free to come to the safe space camps an read the books according to their interests.

The infrastructure in the Rohingya camps is temporary and highly congested. There is no proper water and sanitation facilities, they are vulnerable to natural disasters and also do not have adequate supply of electricity. To keep the lights and fans in the safe space camps functioning, new solar panels were setup. These solar panels will be very functional and convenient for the children coming to the camps.

Expressing Gratitude

The quality of being generous and kind is not something that everyone has. With the utmost sincerity we at JAAGO would like to convey our gratefulness to our national and international sponsors, corporate partners and donors. Without their contribution our journey to support these Rohingya refugee children would not have progressed. Thank you for contributing for this humanitarian cause and enlighten these children’s lives!

A Doze of Nutrition Everyday
A Doze of Nutrition Everyday
Nurturing Creativity and Strengthening Imagination
Nurturing Creativity and Strengthening Imagination
Nurturing Creativity and Strengthening Imagination
Nurturing Creativity and Strengthening Imagination
Going an Extra Mile
Going an Extra Mile
Going an Extra Mile
Going an Extra Mile
Expressing Gratitude
Expressing Gratitude
Oct 14, 2019

Youth for Humanity: Emergency Response on A National Crisis

Youth Respond on A National Crisis
Youth Respond on A National Crisis

Bangladesh is a South Asian country with the Bay of Bengal on its south and borders with India on three of the west, north and east. Bangladesh is the 8th most populous country in the world. With three of the world's mightiest river systems and being situated in the world's largest delta, river bank erosion is taking away precious land from the small nation with a growing population every year. Bangladesh has a tropical climate and is well known for being one of the most vulnerable climate prone countries as natural calamities like floods, cyclones, tides occur almost every year. The country falls victims to floods too often and excessive rainfall; rising of river water level; global warming; lack of sufficient canals and obstacles of roads and forest are some of the many reasons for this.

On July 2019 the country faced massive floods in many parts of the country including Kurigram, Rangpur, Sylhet, Gaibandha, Bogura, Sirajganj, Tangail, Manikganj, Faridpur and many other districts. Flooding has triggered river erosion, breached dams, snapped road and rail links, inundated crop fields and forced educational institutions shut. One of our JAAGO Schools in Gaibandha has also faced difficulty and is still in concern regarding its operation. Huge amount of people across Bangladesh have been displaced due to the downpours and the rush of water. This has also put the population into the risk of water-borne diseases.

JAAGO Foundation started its Youth Development Program “Volunteer for Bangladesh (VBD)” in 2011 and since then it has been the pioneer in giving a platform to raise the voice to the youth of Bangladesh. Volunteer for Bangladesh is a platform that would allow youth from different social background to come and work together to reduce the social and economic inequalities to build a better Bangladesh. Our Volunteers engage themselves in campaigns visioning to World Children’s Day, Awareness on Road Safety Issues, Ensuring Water Quality, Encouraging Hygiene Practices, Waste Management, Achieving Universal Access to Education, Promoting Gender Equality and Environmental Sustainability.

Relief operation has become a really essential action for the flood-affected people. Government and voluntary organisations usually come forward to help the flood victims.This year, to tackle the deadliest flood, our volunteers from all across Bangladesh worked for providing emergency relief to people in Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Sunamganj, Lalmonirhaat and Bogura districts of Bangladesh. We believe our volunteers are very generous and helpful. We have over 35,000 volunteers all over Bangladesh and many of them took time to participate in helping the flood victims. The volunteers participated in the emergency situation with a strategic plan and a fairly organised manner. Necessary relief items were bought and our volunteers distributed them in the mentioned districts. We also raised funds through a Facebook campaign for buying the necessary aids. They went to the districts first and then identified a place where they could organise the distribution process. The volunteers then provided all the people with tokens the night before the distribution. This ensured that there will not be any difficulty and people will maintain a queue during the relief distribution. They provided dry food, water purification tablet, salt, saline, candles, soap and disinfectants to around 1000 families aiding more than 4000 people.

Your smallest help has the ability to contribute greatly towards one person’s well-being which might change their lives. We are very grateful to our supporters on Global Giving as well as the donors, INGOs, corporates and NGO partners who consider and choose to help them. Your kindness and liberality gives us the spirit to work for these underprivileged people. We would like to express our gratitude to all the people who have supported us during such a crucial time. We hope to receive your care and support at all times.

People Gathering for Relief Distribution Program
People Gathering for Relief Distribution Program
Volunteers Distributing Aid to Flood Victims
Volunteers Distributing Aid to Flood Victims
Volunteers Distributing Aid to Flood Victims
Volunteers Distributing Aid to Flood Victims
A Child After Receiving Relief Items
A Child After Receiving Relief Items
The Hard Working Volunteer Team
The Hard Working Volunteer Team
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
 
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