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

Links:

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!
Aug 8, 2019

Welcoming Diversified Feedback for a Better Future

Welcoming Feedback for a Better Future
Welcoming Feedback for a Better Future

JAAGO Foundation has been successfully implementing a project titled “Incorporating Feedback Culture in the Organization and Beyond” which is approved by GlobalGiving under Feedback Fund Grant of USD 20,000. This project will evaluate the present feedback situation in JAAGO Foundation including its relief and recovery program 'Safe Haven for Rohingya Refugee Children' by integrating feedback from 500 Rohingya Children and 1000 parents in Unchiprang camp, Cox’s Bazar.

The following activities have been effectively carried out by JAAGO Foundation under this project. One online survey tool was selected by the project implementation team. The team also designed survey questionnaire for Rohingya Children and their parents including one survey questionnaire for the workshop on the importance of feedback.  To understand the importance of feedback on organization’s work, these survey questionnaires had been tested within a sample population first (i.e. JAAGO employees, Rohingya Children, and their parents) and improved based on the findings. As part of the project activity, JAAGO Foundation successfully organized the workshop which was named "JAAGO Feedback Summit" on July 4, 2019. To organize the workshop, JAAGO’s team designed a workshop curriculum with the guidance of FeedbackLabs team on the importance of feedback for organization’s growth. This workshop allowed employees to provide feedback on the organization's present scenario on its feedback culture. During the Feedback Summit, JAAGO wanted to know employees perception regarding the importance of feedback. Employees gave their feedback in hand notes and online survey tool through previously developed survey questionnaire.

When the employees were asked if they had ever received feedback at work, 89% of participants shared that they receive feedback while the rest of the 11% shared that they do not receive feedback. Another survey showed that 53% of the participants often receive feedback while 47% felt that they rarely receive feedback.  When the employees were asked from whom they receive feedback, 58% of employees responded that their supervisors give them feedback. Moreover, 34% of the workshop participants mentioned that they receive feedback from their colleagues, 4% participants mentioned that they receive feedback from HR, 3% participants shared they receive feedback from the Community people they are serving and 1% of them mentioned that they receive feedback from the beneficiaries.

In response to another question ‘Have you ever given feedback to someone at work?  ’, 93% workshop participants responded that they had given feedback to someone at work though 7% shared that they never gave feedback to someone.  JAAGO received multiple answers in response to the question ‘Who did you give feedback to?’, 76% of participants said that they usually give feedback to their colleagues whereas rest of the 24% of the participants responded with other answers that include Supervisors, Juniors, HR, Senior Management, Community people they are serving and Beneficiaries/Donors/Sponsors.

Another response revealed that, about 28% of people felt that feedback affects them mentally in a positive way whereas 12% participants shared that it affects them negatively. 60% participants responded it affects them in both ways. In response to the survey question whether JAAGO should take more feedback from the community and beneficiaries to design sustainable solutions to social problems, 96% shared that they think that JAAGO should take more feedback from the community & beneficiaries When the employees were asked to share whether they have been able to receive feedback and managed to learn from that feedback, 92% employee felt that they have learnt from the feedback and 8% responded that they haven’t learnt from feedback.

From the numbers of response received during the Feedback Summit, it is evident that employees felt connected and engaged since the whole process was interactive and this approach encouraged employees to constructively give their responses.

Thus far, JAAGO has also prepared the script for the awareness video on feedback and the video shoot had been successfully completed. In the coming months, the awareness video will be edited and will be used widely in the ‘Awareness activity for young volunteers’. This awareness activity will be undertaken with the engagements of JAAGO’s youth volunteers.  Through this activity, young volunteers will learn how they can improve their way of working by incorporating feedback from their fellow volunteers, youth and community people. Leaflets and stickers will be designed to spread awareness as well.

To develop and sustain JAAGO’s Rohingya response project ‘Safe Haven’, a total 1,500 beneficiaries of the project will be surveyed and interviewed through survey on the beneficiaries of the Rohingya Response Project soon. This study will enable to enquire the impact of on-going project activities and how new approaches can be undertaken.

JAAGO Foundation is thankful to the GlobalGiving for granting Feedback Fund Grant for the project "Incorporating feedback culture in the organisation and beyond." JAAGO strongly believe that GlobalGiving’s assistance will help create a good organizational culture in terms of providing feedback.

 

Ensuring Proper Nutrition Boost 

A major influx was witnessed by the world around August of 2017, where Rohingya refugees fled to Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh from the Rakhine State in Myanmar, due to an upsurge of violence and violation of human rights, in the name of ethnic cleansing. The rate at which the Rohingyas sought refuge resulted in Cox’s Bazar hosting the largest refugee camp in the world and the Rohingya refugee crisis becoming the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis. According to IOM reports from October 2018, an estimated 923,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived since August 2017. The Food Security Information Network (FSNI) in its annual Global Report on Food Security details that Bangladesh’s refugee settlements are facing notable food insecurity.

The massive influx into one of Bangladesh’s most vulnerable and poorest districts worsened the existing fragile condition of the area and it was further distinguished by the limited access to basic services, food insecurity and high rates of under-nutrition. The monsoon season complicated an existing critical situation and increased the risks of flooding and landslides for around one million households. One of the most troubling observations made by the JAAGO experts was that the children were suffering from acute malnutrition contributed by the food insecurity as well as their mental state.  

After realizing this crisis, JAAGO deployed a team to provide food assistance. In order to ensure a holistic approach for their recovery, JAAGO has been distributing nutrition meals and food to the 500 children in the Safe Haven camp. The nutritious meals consist of fruits, carbohydrates and proteins. Ramadan is a sacred month for Muslims all over the world and advocates empathy towards those who are not as fortunate. During the month of Ramadan, JAAGO provided the children with healthy snacks as a part of their Iftar, in order to provide them with wholesome meals and ensure that the children do not sleep on empty stomachs.

A major transformation has been observed recently in the health of these children as well as their performance. The experts have recognized a boost in their morale alongside increased levels of energy and concentration when engaging in psychological therapies.  

 

Activity Induces Productivity   

According to epidemiological studies, physical activity retains therapeutic benefits for children when conducted in adjunction with other treatments in mental disorders. Generally, a huge number of epidemiological studies have shown a remarkable cross-sectional correlation between physical activity and mental health. 

JAAGO had organized different sports activities for the children at the Safe Haven camp to stimulate physical activity in the most exciting way which has shown to be similar to cognitive therapies and more effective than stress-reducing therapies. A sports competition for the children at the Safe Haven camp had been organized, where they participated in different sports such as Volleyball. At the end of the competition, the children were awarded educational gifts based on their performance. At the same time, JAAGO has been implementing physical exercises routinely at the Safe Haven camp as a part of the curriculum.

In response to these physical activities, the children at the camp have become more interactive and playful when responding to teachers and peers. They look forward to opportunities where they can indulge in sports or any physical exercise with their friends at the camp. 

 

Religion in the Roots of Identity

JAAGO believes that children are the future and it is in their hands to sustain their existing traditions and religious beliefs. In remembrance of their roots, JAAGO had organized different religious events for the children at the Safe Haven camp. The scholars at JAAGO emphasize the importance of religious practices for the refugee children and resort to spiritual psychotherapy for the children who still remain disturbed by the events that had unfolded in their lives previously.  The re-establishment of their faith in their journey in a new land has been found to be beneficial in their recovery. 

Due to the food scarcity, poor living and economic conditions, crime has increased significantly in the Unchiprang community. A majority of the time, the Rohingya children have been influenced by their parents to engage in petty crimes in order to manage food or money. The religious gatherings contribute to the children’s ethical practices as it allows them to determine the difference between good and evil, teaches them about life and death  and also helps them find solace in their current situation away from family and friends. 

The children at JAAGO’s Safe Haven have also been provided with sacrificial animals and new clothes during Eid-ul-Adha, so that they are able to celebrate and observe Eid as they used to back at home. Prayers and religious practices have also enabled them to appreciate the help that has been provided to them and they pray for their donors whenever they receive help.

 

Burmese Book Distribution

It is essential for the children to recognize their roots as it allows them to branch out while still remaining grounded. As the government does not allow the children to receive proper education at the refugee camps, JAAGO through the help of their donors distributed Burmese books to the Rohingya children, which will help them develop their cognitive and language skills.  

 

Thank You Note

At JAAGO, we believe that no language is bigger than that of kindness and speaks volumes about those who make such a great impact on the lives of others. All of us here at Safe Haven Project in JAAGO Foundation, are truly grateful to the donors for showing love and support towards the Rohingya refugee children. Our hope is to be able to raise enough funds over the next year to be able to further transform the lives of these children after the trauma that had taken over their lives.  

Ensuring Proper Nutrition Boost
Ensuring Proper Nutrition Boost
Activity Induces Productivity
Activity Induces Productivity
Religion in the Roots of Identity
Religion in the Roots of Identity
Burmese Book Distribution
Burmese Book Distribution
Feedback Result 1
Feedback Result 1
Feedback Result 2
Feedback Result 2
Feedback Result 3
Feedback Result 3
Thank You for Supporting Safe Haven
Thank You for Supporting Safe Haven

Links:

 
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