The room was very little; around 50 children from grad one to eight gathered in it. Majority of them were girls and only 10/12 were boys. When we were pairing them up into two, a girl with a boy they were so shy and looking at each other’s. Their faces were clearly telling that they are not use to with this situation. A boy is very unusual to be a girl’s friend or pair. Our plan was different so we kind of forced them to pair up themselves with different gender and introduced each other to us. It was our first day of class so they listened to us and did whatever we said though the responses did not satisfy us. The village is in Chittagong far from the town likewise other villages in Bangladesh. Most of the houses were made by mud. Green fields covered most of the area in that village. People are simple in that village but globalization gives them opportunity to have electricity, satellite. One of my friend’s uncles builds an NGO there to improve their lifestyle. He has one project called children development, where I get involved.

I talked to the lady who teaches the children. She told me that boys do not come because there are lots of girls. She teaches singing, dancing, drama, and drawing because these will teach them about their culture and they need money to learn those. I asked about her life. She could not pass her secondary school certificate exam and her father is not giving her money to give the exam again. She joined this NGO but her father dislikes doing job outside. The founder said that the children go to school but the education system is like memorizing everything, they do not know about critical thinking, their lessons do not bright up their mind. He wants to teach them to be confident and be a positive person. However, when we analyze the condition we found that gender discrimination is one of the main parts what they need to be aware at first. We started our mission, so that was the first work we did. My friend explained the situation more clearly to me, she took me to her previous high school she shared her experiences with me.

In that village usually girls get married at the age of 19 or 20. Their education is not that much necessary more than prepared them to be a perfect house wife. A girl should walk with the head down, avoid boys to talk. As girls are not aware about their right they do not recognize that they are discriminated. Their dreams are limited. We three young ladies start our plan, we have got a dream their loving faces and eagerness of learning grabs us to be there when we get time. We want to share our knowledge with them especially the girls because we believe our country will flourish if we can get a educated mother in each family.

Take action! This post was submitted in response to 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence 2009.

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Comments

Women's empowerment begins with girl's education. I think the work you are doing is absolutely fundamental in changing women's lives in the long term scope. Thank you for sharing your story with PulseWire, please continue to do so. You are making a difference in so many young people' lives in Bangladesh, and you are opening our eyes here on PulseWire. Keep sharing, keep teaching, keep the motion of growth going. You are powerful and you are teaching young people how to be powerful too.

-Jody

Dear Jody

I also believe the same " women's empowerment begins with girl's education" but I do not know how I am aheading to that goal. I am just trying and I share this story not only for the encouragement but also for your ideas. I want to learn more about positive change , please if you have any cool ideas how to change their mind with a friendly and social way. Thanks a lot for your supporting , I do appreciate your comment.

Take care

Nipo

Nipo

Dear Nipo,

It's really nice to read your post after a long time. I wonder where is that NGO? I would love to meet the women and your uncle if you don't mind..... I would also love to talk with the children and want to know their situation.

Thank you so much for sharing with us. I know you can be a role model of your community.

With Love and Regards Sunita Basnet

O Suni

I would love to take you there. The NGO is in Ankhi's village and the uncle I am talking about is Mr. Milon. I think you know him very well. If you want to meet them I can present you as an very good example of empower woman.

Thank you very much dear.

Be Happy Nipo

Nipo

Hello Nipo,

Thank you so much. Yeah, I know Mr. Milan. waooo, I didn't know previously about it. I would love to go there and see.

thank you

With Love and Regards Sunita Basnet

"He wants to teach them to be confident and be a positive person. However, when we analyze the condition we found that gender discrimination is one of the main parts what they need to be aware at first."

This statement is key and it is inspiring that they recognize that education alone will not help advance women in Bangladesh. The fact that they reached out to young girls is critical as they traditionally are less likely to have the opportunity to become literate than boys. I am inspired by their methods of instruction too, injecting creative and effective ideas into the classroom. Young children need intelligent, supportive stimulation and clearly, this program offers both. And with the trust that the teacher is building with the children, I imagine female enrollment will only increase.

Thank you for sharing their story with us and I hope you will report back at a later date on their progress. Best wishes, Janice

I think I hope to share more with you all. Thank you a lot for the comment, I also think that children need the intelligent beacause they are the future of our country.

Thank you

Nipo

Nipo