5 Insights on Combatting Poverty From Our Bangladesh Partner
Bangladesh is such a beautiful country. It has lush, green farmland and a rich culture filled with so many types of dance, art, folklore, and delicious food. But children in Bangladesh often suffer because it’s also one of the poorest countries in the world. It’s heartbreaking to learn that the poverty rate in Bangladesh is so high that more than 30% of the population lives below the poverty line. There are many challenges for the kids here.
But Child Champions here are determined to change the story for children in Bangladesh. We’re inspired by what Rev. Asa Kain, our partner in Bangladesh, told us about the ways Child Champions helped kids thrive in 2022, including:
- Helping children in poverty grow physically, socially, and mentally when their parents were overwhelmed by poverty.
- Helping kids with their studies and visiting their families to encourage them.
- Helping students to gain confidence at their Hope Centers so that many could go on to pursue a higher education.
- Celebrating kids’ successes to let them know they are special.
- Planning to grow their outreach to help more kids living in poverty.
Whether you sponsor a child or know someone who does, we hope you’ll be encouraged by this as well.
Here are Rev. Asa’s top five observations about their fight against poverty in Bangladesh in 2022:
What were some of the most significant challenges your children, families, and communities faced in 2022?
The children we serve are some of the most vulnerable in the country, whether they are in rural or urban areas. Child marriage, child labor, drug addiction, and school dropout rates continue to be concerns in our communities, but sometimes it is difficult for parents to intervene when they spend so much time trying to earn even a meager income.
Last year, parents struggled even more to provide for their children due to the worldwide economic downturn. As day laborers, it was almost impossible for them to help their children grow physically, socially, and mentally without the help of OneChild.
How did you see Child Champions helping families in light of these difficulties?
Our Child Champions were always walking alongside the registered children. Tutors and mentors helped them with school and gave them confidence to overcome different situations. They visited families on a routine basis, which encouraged them a lot. During the pandemic and other disasters, Child Champions were the first to respond to the needs of the suffering families.
How did you see the program affect children in the Hope Centers compared to children from the community who were not enrolled?
Foremost, we observed behavioral changes among registered children. After enrolling in the Hope Center, they learned about their rights as children and developed the confidence to think of a reality past their difficult situations. Activities like singing, dancing, speaking English, learning about computers, and — above all — developing strong moral and spiritual senses gave them a different worldview and helped them see what is possible.
Many of our students go on to higher education and are successfully completing degrees while working to support their families. This is not something we see too often with other children from the community.
We love celebrating the successes of our children, families, and communities. What and how did you celebrate last year?
Celebrating children’s successes is especially important! Last year, we celebrated students who completed the Hope Center program. We arranged a special ceremony where they received awards in the presence of their families and community. It really encouraged them to continue with higher studies.
During Child Champion training, we gave them special gifts and certificates. By celebrating and encouraging Child Champions, we see lives being impacted.
What do you hope to see in the year to come?
We want to bring holistic development to more underprivileged children in the hardest areas.
We would love to see more children enrolled and hope to engage two communities to launch new Hope Centers. We also want to start some income-generating programs for the community to help their youth continue their studies at a higher level as well as start vocational/skill-based trainings for youth who have graduated and do not wish to pursue higher education.
Most important, we want to bring hope and light to the children and families, which we believe we can do through partnership with Child Champions.
Learn more about Bangladesh and how you can pray for our dedicated Child Champions and the beautiful families and kids there.
We are accountable to the children we serve AND to our donors.
Our accountability to our donors is one of our highest priorities. Our goal is to use the funds entrusted to us as wise stewards. To do this requires continued monitoring of our fund distribution. OneChild is also a member in good standing with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA)