Sunamganj's Community News

Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact on World Vision operations

In support of public health recommendations outlined by the World Health Organization, some sponsorship program activities have been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. Activities may include sponsor queries and correspondence, sponsor visits, gift notifications and gift deliveries. These temporary suspensions may affect the information you receive from us in the coming weeks and months. Learn more about our response to COVID-19.

Thanks to the generous support of Canadians, we’ve started work to improve the well-being of children and families in this community. These are a few of the areas we will focus on this next year

The urban community of Sunamganj is home to more than 65,000 people, many of whom are children. Most families here depend on farming and fishing for income, but natural disasters like flash floods, drought, and heavy rains interrupt work and limit income. The gap between the rich and poor continues to grow, since many parents only find work seasonally. Many adults limited in their development by their environment and education.

Children between the ages of eight and 18 often drop out of school to support their families, sometimes as the primary breadwinner. Not only does child labour deprive children of an education, it puts them at risk of exploitation and abuse. Girls in deep poverty are especially vulnerable, as theyre forced to leave school in favour of early marriage. Women and ethnic minority groups are often marginalized within the community.
Health Care
With the partnership of Canadian sponsors and the community, World Vision will work to:
  • Ensure pregnant and nursing mothers, as well as children, practice essential health and nutrition behaviours.
  • Improve availability of healthy food, especially for vulnerable families.
  • Strengthen government clinics with updated training for staff and improved services.

Child Protection
To ensure children and youth enjoy a safe and protected environment, World Vision will work to:
  • Educate children on their rights and equip them with skills to protect themselves and their peers.
  • Promote children's rights among community leaders, teachers, and parents to ensure children are safe.
  • Engage boys and girls in children's groups to share information and provide safe spaces to socialize.
  • Support youth with advocacy education and empower them to speak up for their own rights.

Water and Sanitation
In partnership with families and sponsors, World Vision will work with the community to:
  • Increase families access to clean, safe drinking water and promote proper hygiene and sanitation habits.

Economic Development
To ensure parents in Sunamganj can provide for their families, World Vision will partner with the community to:
  • Improve production by training farmers in updated techniques and supporting them with improved resources.
  • Open up local markets by identifying opportunities and linking them to community members.
  • Increase the number of savings groups and improve their access to financial services.
  • Increase the number of women participating in profitable employment and ensure that they are fairly compensated.
  • 3  child safety reporting and response processes are in place at schools and health clinics, so children and adults can report child protection issues.
Child Protection
  • 480  advocacy initiatives about child safety and protection were led by women and children, empowering them to change their community for the better.
  • 1  advocacy initiative about child safety and protection was led by women and children, empowering them to change their community for the better.
  • 268  adults learned how to access services and information to keep children safe, helping them understand how to build a safer community for children.
  • 21  child protection meetings and advocacy initiatives were led by community members, helping to inform the government on ways to keep children safe.
  • 639  children took actions to help end violence against girls and boys, raising awareness in the community about protecting children from harm and abuse.
  • 21  joint plans were drafted between community partners, which will help sustainably build a safer, more supportive community for children.
  • 21  child protection groups were organised by community development committees, enabling the community to monitor children's safety, growth and well-being.
  • 25  faith leaders learned how to respond to issues like HIV and AIDS, gender equality, health or child safety, engaging them to improve children's lives.
Health and Nutrition
  • 346 children aged 6-59 months consumed vegetables 
  • 562 pregnant or lactating mothers consumed vegetables 
  • 292 pregnant or lactating mothers consume vegetables 
  • 562 pregnant women received micronutrient supplements such as folic acid, helping them and their babies stay healthy.
  • 420 children received micro-nutrient supplements
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
  • 4159  people participated in hygiene training, campaigns or committees, learning habits to stay healthy and clean, such as washing their hands.
  • 197   more people now have a new water source within 30 minutes of their home, providing families with year-round access to clean drinking water.
  • 655  more people now have a latrine or toilet at home, enabling households to have better sanitation.
  • 21  water and sanitation committees received training, learning how to maintain the village water source and provide cleaner water for children.
*Results achieved from October 2018 to September 2019

Explore Sunamganj

current conditions

To protect the privacy of children, this map shows only the general area of the community, not the exact location.

The needs in Sunamganj

Health Care
Children and their families don't enjoy good health in Sunamganj. Young mothers are often malnourished, even while pregnant. As a result, their children are usually underweight and struggle to thrive. Gaps in information and a lack of access to health services mean that many mothers aren't trained in proper feeding practices or creating balanced diets. Low income also makes securing meals a challenge.

Child Protection
Low income means many families cannot afford school fees, forcing children to leave school. Some must go work to support a large family, including parents who are unemployed due to sickness or disability. These children often remain illiterate after leaving school. They also lack opportunities to rest or play, as there are few safe spaces available to them.

Early marriage is a common issue for girls. Large families in poverty will often accept suitors, primarily to guarantee food, shelter, and a better future for their daughters. However, this practice removes girls from school and can lead to teenage pregnancy and poor health. Children are often voiceless and unaware of their rights, leaving them vulnerable both at home and out in the community.

Water and Sanitation
Families in Sunamganj do not practice safe hygiene and sanitation. Many homes lack clean, safe drinking water or the money and space for a proper latrine. As a result, families must use the outdoors, making them vulnerable to waterborne disease. There is little awareness and information available to families on good personal hygiene.

Economic Development
Lack of gainful employment in Sunamganj is a serious issue for children and their families. Many parents try to earn an income from farming, but they lack the necessary information and tools to improve their harvests. Many don't have water sources to irrigate their crops or enough money to invest in proper machinery and equipment. Natural disasters like flash floods or drought become unmanageable without the right resources, and as a result income plummets.

Parents often had to drop out of school at a young age, sacrificing their education to work. As adults, few have had opportunities to receive vocational job training and cannot add to or refine their skills to seek new careers. Women are especially limited in their attempts to secure work and are often underpaid.
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Life cycle of a sponsorship community

Sunamganj,  is in Phase 1

PHASE 1: Building the foundation

With local leaders, we assess the community's needs and resources, plan projects to provide long term solutions. Sponsorship and development opportunities begin.