LEFT TO RAISE
Nearly 13% of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty on less than $2 per day, and over 43% of the population of Bangladesh is reported to live in extreme poverty on less than $1.25 per day. Child labor, human trafficking, and early marriage are all prevalent threats to children, especially girls, in the impoverished rural areas of Bangladesh where Hope Loans operates. Sixty-five percent of girls are married before 18, and 29% before 15.
Schooling in Bangladesh is only free through middle school, so less than half of children attend secondary school. Government schools are sparse and under functioning in rural areas. Families struggle to provide for their children, who thus have little protection against all forms of exploitation. Hope Loans presents two stages of breaking the cycle of illiteracy, vulnerability, and exploitation in such communities. First, Hope Loans has already helped to established 28 free primer schools for these pre-school age children to develop basic literacy in order to gain access to the available primary schools.
Secondly, in a village on Vogoban Char, a secluded island where no fully functioning primary school even exists, Hope Loans plans to build a free primary school for the kindergarten through fourth grades. This school will hold 300 students, with two classes of 30 students each per grade level. Teachers will be qualified to utilize best practices in education in order to prepare students for a successful future.
Hope Loans offers an integrated approach to poverty relief and protection from exploitation.
We believe that no single solution encompasses enough factors to solve the complex issues of poverty. That’s why the students who are in our school come from families who have already received microloans from one of our Hope Lending Branches. By providing the parents with the means to generate a viable source of income, we first ensure that parents are able to support themselves and their children.
This, in turn, releases children from obligation to work or marry at a young age, freeing them up to attend school and build a brighter future for themselves and their community. Each aspect of poverty relief – in this case, hope loans and education – acts as a catalyst for the others, thereby creating holistic community transformation.
Hope Loans offers an integrated approach to poverty relief and protection from exploitation. We believe that no single solution encompasses enough factors to solve the complex issues of poverty.
– Abraham Sarker