Education and Child Rights Protection Initiatives:
Over the years, Bangladesh has been doing well in increasing net enrollment in primary education. Yet, there are several challenges that cause dropouts from school. Children of families with poor economic background fail to complete the primary education cycle. On the other hand, children of poor economic background also suffer from malnutrition. Muslim Aid Bangladesh has been implementing several projects to support children of poverty-stricken families. Muslim Aid’s interventions help children in multiple ways, such as enabling students to finish primary education cycle; improving nutritional status; creating hopes in them for a better future. As a strategy to ensure relevance and effectiveness of its interventions, Muslim Aid partners with different development organizations, community leaders, school management committees (SMCs), etc. It also holds motivational activities to make both teachers and students enthusiastic about better future and better lives through quality education. Muslim Aid provides food and cash support as well to students of economically marginalized families.
Child Sponsorship Rainbow Family Program:
Orphans from poor and distressed families are sometimes deprived of their rights and are forced to survive in destitute conditions. They do not get opportunities to get education according to their talent. In order to address this challenge, Muslim Aid initiated the Rainbow Family Program for educating children and providing them with good healthcare. Rainbow Family Child Sponsorship Program helps children to realize their aspirations by providing them with individually tailored support. The program was formally initiated in 2007 with 18 children and the numbers of sponsored children became 469 in 2013. During this period, significant positive changes took place in the life of the sponsored children. Many of them have been able to achieve good academic results, improve their behavioral pattern. According to the academic progression and talent, student were transferred to good schools from previous schools. Students are encouraged to take part in different social and cultural activities to promote leadership and collaborative skills. Some of the students have been able to join tertiary level education such as engineering and university. Orphans and the most vulnerable children are living mainly with their extended families. This is done to give them a feeling of family and help them not to feel isolated. Students are encouraged to ensure the best use of the sponsorship program. It is seen that most students are improving well.
On 20 January 2016, Muslim Aid distributed financial assistance to 108 sponsored children under this scheme in Jessore region. MAIT-Jessore organized the distribution event where Mr. Md. Kamrul Arif, UNO-Jessore Sadar Upazila and Mr. Kazi Azgor Hossain, Chairman, Uposohor, Jessore were present along with other participants of local administration, civil society and the press.
Again, 109 students received stipend at Jessore MAIT on 29th September. Mr. Md. Johirul Islam Chaklader, Mayor of Jessore Municipality was the Chief Guest, and Md. Tohidur Rahman, Secretary of Jessore Press Club and Md. Humayan Kabir, District Education Officer were present as the Special Guests along with all staff members of Muslim Aid Institute of Technology (MAIT).
Every year Muslim Aid distributes stipend among poor meritorious students who study in the schools, colleges, universities including medical and engineering. With support from ECHO-USA and other individual donors from home and abroad, this program is being implemented. In giving stipend, priority is given to physically and mentally challenge students. This year around 305 students received stipend under this program. During the stipend distribution program, government officials and local government representatives were present.
Stipend distribution program held at Dhaka MAIT auditorium on 1st June. MABFO distributed stipend to 265 poor, destitute and disable meritorious students of S.S.C, H.S.C, medical, engineering and agricultural universities. Mr. Md. Akhtar Hossain, Deputy Project Director of STEP of Education Ministry graced the event as Chief Guest. Dr. Khalid Azim, Vice Chairman of ECHO-USA was special guest. The stipend was given as an aid to the students to purchase their textbooks and equipment, give tuition fees and inspire them to acquire skills to become self-reliant. Again, Muslim Aid distributed BDT 200,000 stipend to 40 poor meritorious students (19 female and 21 male), of Kuripaika High School, Lohalia, Patuakhali. Both stipend programs were sponsored by ECHO-USA.
Stipend for the poor & meritorious:
MAIT, Chittagong organized a stipend distribution programme on 27th April in its campus. International Labor Organization (ILO) provided the stipend. MAIT students of industrial sewing machine operation stream received cash support. This was an incentive to students to motivate them to explore opportunities to become self-reliant. Along with others Mr. Md. Nurul Goni, Joint Secretary of Bangladesh Government and Mr. Md. Ferdous, Vice President of BGMEA were present in the occasion to encourage the students for building their future through hard work, study, sincerity and honesty.