Only two weeks left till I fly to Bangladesh and start my project! Excited would be an understatement. I have spent the last month in Chicago finalising my details for the project. I am happy to say I got in touch with a NGO in Bangladesh called Shorno Kishoree, (http://www.shornokishoree.org/) who focus on helping adolescent girls and young mothers through reproductive and sexual health education. They also focus some of their work on child marriages in Bangladesh! So it is great to have their support on this project and I am very excited to be working with them as well as other NGOs such as BRAC.
The most important aspect for this project is to raise awareness of the harmful effects these forced marriages can have on young girls, and try to inform the parents other ways they can secure a brighter and healthier future for them. One of the ways I wanted to help the girls and also raise awareness was by providing them with school supplies. Many of these girls come from poor backgrounds and cannot afford school bags and just carry their things to school. So I would like to provide them with this. I have created a logo for my project that I will be printing on all items to spread the message further. Below I have a picture of the logo and a prototype of the school bags I am having produced for the girls, I have ordered 750 of them for the 3 schools. I have also ordered stationary and journals for the girls and I am in the process of producing informative leaflets on child marriages and reproductive and sexual health to be given out at my talks. I have also contacted many of the organisations I will be working with and have set up meeting with them in my first week in Bangladesh to get their input on the project as well as get any useful resources they have to help me.
This project means a lot to me and it is heart-breaking to see that it still has such a huge impact on over 50% of the girls aged under 18 in Bangladesh. So even if my project can even make the slightest of impact to these girls it will mean the world to me. I have attached a news article that was very recently shown in BBC UK on the situation of young girls in Bangladesh, Dhaka (the capital city) for those interested in knowing a little more about this issue:
I will be updating this blog while I am in Bangladesh. Wish me luck guys!