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Dec 9, 2019

Educate A Girl and You Educate An Entire Nation

JAAGO recognises that the future of our nation lies in the hands of the girls in our country, therefore JAAGO strives to ensure that we give our students the best chance. JAAGO works to give our girls something that can never be taken away from them - an education. As Michelle Obama once said “When girls are educated, their countries become stronger and more prosperous”. While formal education in traditional subjects (such as maths, english etc.) are important, to assure the success of our students JAAGO takes a more holistic approach. Placing an emphasis on life skills such as financial literacy and sanitation. Thus, allowing our female students at JAAGO to be more than just academically successful.   

 

Teaching Girls to have Financial Control over their Lives 

The World Bank has stressed the importance of financial inclusion in being a key enabler in reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity. JAAGO has recently collaborated with the Mutual Trust Bank (MTB) in Bangladesh to introduce a new program called ‘MTB ANKUR’ (translating to MTB Seedlings), which will allow JAAGO students in our Rayer Bazar and Banani schools to open their own savings account without service or maintenance costs. 

Studies show that when a woman controls her own finances, she invests in health, nutrition and the education of her family - investments that has the ability to create intergenerational change with a ripple effect in her community. For women, particularly those with low incomes, saving accounts are a complete game changer. 

JAAGO’s collaboration with MTB will teach our students the importance of savings and how it can be used to facilitate not only day-to-day living but also allows for them to plan for long-term goals (such as University) and unexpected emergencies, therefore improving the overall quality of their lives. 

 

Changing the World: One Bar of Soap at a Time  

Lifebuoy's renowned ‘School of Five’ has been implemented into our Banani school. Through the introduction of 5 superhero characters, Unilever’s Lifebuoy ‘School of Five’ are encouraging students in schools to wash their hands 5 times a day, to help prevent infectious diseases, such as diarrhoea and pneumonia, the two leading causes of death for children under the age of 5. Since the launch of their program in 2006, Unilever has seen a global 36% reduction in childhood deaths from diarrhoea from 2008-2016, which is equivalent to over 265,000 lives saved. 

The introduction of the ‘School of Five’ will teach our girls as well as their families the most effective way to wash their hands and the importance of proper sanitation. Women often bear the brunt of inadequate water and sanitation services, due to social and cultural stigma that persists within their communities, such as drinking and eating less so they won’t need to use the latrine during the day where they can be seen or assaulted. The ‘School of Five’ will allow them to build confidence and ensure they don’t compromise healthy habits regarding sanitation to bend to social norms. 

 

Why JAAGO needs your help! 

At the launch of the MTB ANKUR at our Banani Junior School we sat down with one of our students Fatima* and her mother Sakina*. When asked how such an amazing opportunity could change her life Fatima* said, “I am very happy and excited, with the small amount of money I am saving I can help my family in the hospital and I can sponsor a JAAGO student after I graduate from JAAGO school”. Sakina* was overjoyed explaining that growing up in a slum she never imagined she would be able to see her daughter grow up and be able to have access to places such as a bank. In Bangladesh, it is often the men in the family that have a voice when it comes to how and what money is spent on, leaving the women at a disadvantage. This initiative has the ability to change that for the girls at JAAGO, and we need help to expand these opportunities to include more girls living in the slums of Bangladesh. 

*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 wish to express our sincerest gratitude to the donors of this project as they are not only gifting female children with the opportunity to receive quality education but also pave the way for them to bring about sustainable change within their communities, in turn supporting the nation in the future.

MTB ANKUR Introduction at JAAGO's Banani School
MTB ANKUR Introduction at JAAGO's Banani School
Lifebuoy's School of Five Launch
Lifebuoy's School of Five Launch
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
 
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