Dhaka Programme Unit
Area: 1,530 sq. km
Sponsored children: Around 6,000
Plan started work in Dhaka in 1995 with a sponsorship programme to support poor children and mothers in slum areas. Our work has expanded to address issues affecting poor and disadvantaged children, mothers throughout the urban area, and children in need of special protection.
Plan runs 2 vocational training schools to stop children who drop out of school entering into hazardous work. Every year, more than 350 adolescents are enrolled, with girls given priority. Many graduates are getting jobs and others are now self-employed.
We also run a flexible microfinance project to support the most vulnerable urban poor.
Quality primary education
Plan trains teachers in how to engage students, create child-friendly classroom environments and use creative materials to make learning more fun,. This stimulates the students to learn and read well, makes their parents interested in their children’s education and stops them dropping out of school.
Marjina, a mother, said: "We are uneducated but our children are flourishing, making us very happy. Plan is helping us where we were helpless."
Early childhood care and development
Plan is working to help parents understand the importance of early stimulation. Now, children are being provided with early engaging activities provided by trained adolescents and women. This project has already drawn the attention of the communities who see the changes happening in their children.
Improved health services
Plan supports child immunisation, antenatal and postnatal check-ups, diarrhoea management and HIV and AIDS care through static and satellite clinics.
We also promote breast feeding and raise awareness of respiratory infections. As a result, child and maternal mortality rates are reducing significantly and communities are suffering less from diseases. This health service supports more than 12,000 families.
Creating a child-friendly environment
Plan supports children’s organisations which encourage child participation, develop skills and provide counselling and legal aid. Children perform songs, dances and plays to send a message to their communities about important issues that affect them - including child rights, early marriage, nutrition, education and security.
We also support 3,300 street children through 11 drop-in centres and 12 night centres.
Hena, a member of one children’s organisation, said: "Women and girls’ emancipation is the greatest achievement for us, as our society is very conservative in terms of women and children’s rights. More importantly, children’s views now get acceptance by adults."
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