This project aims to provide one year's safe accommodation, educational assistance and protection from abuse for the girl children of sex workers in the Safe Home for Girls, in the Daulatdia area, Rajbari , Bangaldesh.
Footprints supported this project in 2008 (see details) and is continuing the funding through 2009.
Project Costs include:
Schooling for the children,
food, lodging, recreational activities, lifeskills training for boys
and girls, education support, accommodation costs and staff and
management of the program for one year (from Sept 2008 - Sept 2009).
- To assist children to complete primary and secondary education
- Encourage participation in training to build self-esteem & life skills
- Ensure that secondary school graduate girls receive college and/or livelihood education
- Initiate arts, music and sports activities as well as gardening, cow-rearing and fish farming, building skills and expertise
Background to the Project:
on the northern coast of the Bay of Bengal, is surrounded by India,
with a small common border with Myanmar in the southeast. The country
is low-lying riverine land traversed by the many branches and
tributaries of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers. Tropical monsoons and
frequent floods and cyclones inflict heavy damage in the delta region.
and education levels have recently improved as poverty levels have
decreased. Nevertheless, Bangladesh remains among the poorest nations
in the world. Most Bangladeshis are rural, living on subsistence
farming. Nearly half of the population lives on less than 1 USD per
Health problems abound, ranging from surface water
contamination, to arsenic in the groundwater, and diseases including
malaria, leptospirosis and dengue.
The literacy rate in
Bangladesh is approximately 41%. There is gender disparity, though, as
literacy rates are 50% among men and 31% among women, according to a
2004 UNICEF estimate.
Poverty and illiteracy have fuelled the
growth of the sex trade in Bangladesh. Gender discrimination and
ignorance, lack of formal education and other factors has led to
vulnerable women and children being lured into the sex trade.
Safe Home for Girls was established in 1999 to provide a safer living
environment for young girls who were living in the Goalundo brothel.
Currently there are 150 girls living at the Safe Home, in response to
the vulnerable situation they find themselves in. They are not in a
position to defend any of their most basic human rights – they have no
protection and care from the potential exploitation of the sex market,
and cannot access government services such as healthcare, and primary
schooling. Until Save the Children Australia started work, they were
overlooked and isolated by mainstream society.
Project Partners/Community Involvement:
Project Implementation Committee (PIC) includes parents of the Safe
Home residents, local government officials and community members. This
Committee has been involved throughout the project, both in designing
it and overseeing its implementation.
How this fits the larger strategy of Save the Children:
the Children Australia requires that projects have direct benefits for
children in their communities. Currently, Save the Children is focusing
on working for the benefit of children in 3 sectors: Health, Education
and Child Protection. The Safe Home project is part of Save the
Children Australia’s Child Protection program, which aims to develop
ways to ensure children are not subject to exploitation or abuse. The
project also relates to the Education sector, by enabling Safe Home
residents to attend school.
The Safe Home project is linked to
another project, which aims to provide alternative options for women
working in the Daulatdia Brothel and to change community attitudes and
behaviours towards commercial sex workers.