Dec 16, 2019

Youth in Rapid Response- Flood in Bangladesh 2019

Youth in Rapid Response
Youth in Rapid Response

Bangladesh is among one of the most densely populated countries in the world as well as one of the most susceptible countries to flood disasters. Bangladesh has one of the world’s most powerful rivers running through it, Branhmaputra. In addition, approximately half of the land area in Bangladesh is at an elevation of less than 8 meters above sea level. This in conjunction with Bangladesh’s heavy monsoon rains and snowmelt from the Himalayas that enter the river at its source, creates terrible flood affecting approximately 7 million people.  

In July, Bangladesh faced massive floods in many districts such as Rangpur, Gaibandha, Mankiganj, Tangil, Bogura, Sylhet and several other districts. The flooding has resulted in many other issues such as inundated crop fields, breached dams, snapped road and rail links, river erosion as well as the evacuation and closure of education institutions. This includes our JAGGO school in Lokkhipur that has recently closed down due to the consequences of river erosion in that area. In addition, thousands of people have been displaced across Bangladesh due to the downpower and flooding.

JAAGO and Volunteer for Bangladesh (VBD), a platform for the youth of Bangladesh, have come together to provide emergency relief support in the form of food, medicine, clean water, clothes etc. in order to help families get back on their feet so they are able to be self-sufficient faster.

The people of Tahirpur Upazila and Gongachora live in the inaccessible part of rural Sunamganj and Rangpur, respectively. With the majority of its residents living under the poverty line they were unable to afford the daily necessities, especially when affected by the flood. With the generous support from our GlobalGiving donors and the support provided by Habib Bank, our volunteers were able to provide 800 total families with relief kits in both Sunamganj and Rangpur. Clean water was an essential part of our relief kits as it allowed for us to help an outbreak of several waterborne diseases, such as cholera, as floodwaters plays a role in overflowing sanitation systems and can contaminate water sources. 

We would like to sincerely thank you all for the donations to this project, it was through your generous donations that we were able to make an impact and provide relief to to so many individuals during such a crucial time. Our volunteers have come together to work towards a safer and stronger Bangladesh and we would like to express our deepest appreciation to all our donors for supporting this special cause. 

Relief Distribution Point
Relief Distribution Point
Flood Victim Receiving Relief
Flood Victim Receiving Relief
Volunteers Distributing Relief among Flood Victims
Volunteers Distributing Relief among Flood Victims
Dec 11, 2019

Catalyzing Children's Growth for a Better Life

Catalyzing Children's Growth for a Better Life
Catalyzing Children's Growth for a Better Life

Nutritional challenges in countries like Bangladesh can begin from the moment of conception to birth. The cycle can continue for a longer period of time. Low birth weight, limited or no access to quality food and poor dietary practices has long-lasting consequences, such as diminished mental ability and learning capacity that may lead to poor school performance.

In Bangladesh, more than 9.5 million children are stunted, a symptom of malnutrition. Children suffering from stunting may never reach their full possible height nor their full cognitive potential. Rates of malnutrition in the country are among the worst in the world. This is a bigger issue for women in Bangladesh, more than 50% of women suffer from chronic energy deficiencies that hamper their ability to reach their full potential. Improving nutrition will have a critical impact on not only survival but physical and cognitive development and productivity. Good nutrition is comprised of satisfactory quality and the quantity of intake, which is a basic human right as well as essential input for economic development and progress. 

Helping Kids Thrive 

One of the greatest factors for malnutrition among children in Bangladesh is household food insecurity, this is why JAAGO implements the ‘Healthy Living’ program as it ensures that our students have access to at least one nutritious meal a day. JAAGO is delighted to partner with Thrive, an organisation that aims to provide healthy and nutritious meals to hungry children in the poorest parts of the world, to help feed the students at our schools. Thrive and JAAGO has worked together to determine the needs of our students are. Studies show that children in Bangladesh suffer from high rates of micronutrient deficiencies, specifically zinc, vitamin A and iron deficiencies. Therefore, Thrive has complied foods that will address these concerns such as Banana that contain potassium, manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, potassium, iron and biotin which has benefits for the heart, digestion, energy, bone strength, brain power and vision. Thrive provides food to 5 of our schools. Very recently, they have started operating in our Dinajpur and Gaibandha schools as well. Charity Rights also provides food to our kids once a week and we welcome more partners and donors who will help us feed our children! 

A Fun Day with Nutritious Food!

At JAAGO we believe in giving our children the most nutrient rich foods available in order to combat the rise in micronutrient deficiencies. Therefore, in the winter season when there is a surplus of vegetable crops we host a ‘Vegetable Festival’ teaching them how to cook with the vegetables and making khichuri, a Bangladeshi dish. The kids enjoy a fun day with dancing, singing and finish with enjoying the khichuri they made. This allows our kids to learn important life skills regarding food such as how to make healthy meals and clean and prepare vegetables. 

Thank You Note 

Being a nonprofit organisation we always look for support from our donors and other organisations to ensure that we are giving our children the opportunities they deserve. We would like to express our gratitude to all the donors supporting this project, allowing us to give our children the best chance at a better life. Food will fuel our students and allow them to achieve their dreams.  

Helping Kids Thrive
Helping Kids Thrive
Helping Kids Thrive
Helping Kids Thrive
A Fun Day with Nutritious Food!
A Fun Day with Nutritious Food!
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
 
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