In Bangladesh, children live on rubbish tips. They’re scavenging for bottles that they can sell to local shops for pennies. Others survive by picking wastepaper from the streets. Some are beggars or prostitutes from a very early age. The ‘lucky’ ones get to work in sweatshop factories as one of the country’s seven million ‘economically active’ five-to-17 year olds.
They’re called street children. Many are orphans, many are abandoned by their parents, and all are victims of the appalling poverty that’s rife in Bangladesh. Of the three million engaged in child labour, 1.3 million are doing hazardous work. This might include working with dangerous equipment, in glass factories or car plants. It might also include prostitution, pornography or forced labour.
The widespread poverty is the result of political unrest and frequent natural disasters. Around 30% of children do not have an education, and illiteracy runs at around two-thirds. Disease and malnutrition are everywhere.
So, what can be done about these street children? We could feed them. But we want to do more. After all, you’ll have heard the expression "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish and you feed him for life".
We want to play our part by educating Bangladesh’s children so they can make something of their lives. We've set up an orphanage and a school. But there’s much more we could do with the right funding. If you can help, contact us today, or find out more about us.