COVID-19 is having a major impact on the lives of Dalit girls in Bangladesh. Schools are closed, families are poorer and girls are isolated from protection services. They are missing out on their education, don't have access to hygiene products and, hidden behind closed doors, are victims of violence and child marriage. We teach girls to produce their own face masks and sanitary pads and empower them to go back to school. Together we make girls visible and safe again.
Lockdowns during COVID-19 have already resulted in 743 million girls missing out on education. Did you know that those girls face even a higher risk of violence? It is even worse for the girls of the Dalit (untouchables) communities in Bangladesh. They live in poor conditions, don't have access to clean water and have no money for face masks or sanitary pads. Because their families struggle to provide for them, they are also at greater risk of child marriage.
We train girls in 10 Dalit villages to make their own reusable menstrual products and other items to help protect themselves in the crisis (e.g. face masks). The new skills that the girls learn give them an income, recognition and visibility in their community. We keep in touch with them, offer them support to prevent abuse and child marriage. Together with the girls, we are ensuring that they all return to school after COVID-19.
With your support 500 teenage girls and their communities will receive reusable menstrual products and face masks. This will increase their safety and raise awareness about the effects of COVID-19. Because the girls will have increased their skills they will have a greater chance to have an income both during and after the pandemic. Your support will also keep them at school when lockdowns are lifted. They will have a better chance to avoid child marriage and fulfill their potential.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).