Bhandaria's Community News

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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 donors, we’re making great progress toward the well-being of children and their families. These are a few of the areas we focused on in the past year: 

The Bhandaria (pronounced Ban-da-riya) community is located just over 300 km south of Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. The community sits in a low-lying coastal area on the banks of the Kocha River. It is surrounded by many tributaries and canals.

Most people support their families through agriculture, but the area is vulnerable to high tidal surges, water salinity, and cyclones. This causes frequent food shortages, to the extent that, during the rainy season, most families survive on one meal a day. Flooding occurs annually, contaminating water supplies, destroying crops, infrastructure, and personal property, and costing people their lives.
  • 40  community members took part in an advocacy group, monitoring boys and girls in their local community and taking action to improve their well-being.
  • 1  child safety reporting and response process is in place at school and health clinics, so children and adults can report child protection issues.
Child Protection
  • 1040  children took actions to help end violence against girls and boys, raising awareness in the community about protecting children from harm and abuse.
  • 1  child protection meeting and advocacy initiative was led by community members, helping to inform the government on ways to keep children safe.
  • 4  advocacy initiatives about child safety and protection were led by women and children, empowering them to change their community for the better.
  • 4 child protection groups were organised by community development committees, enabling the community to monitor children's safety, growth and well-being.
  • 180 parents of children ages 6-11 years old completed a parenting course
  • 1 Citizen Voice in Action group was established in school to improve education
  • 320  parents and caregivers attended training in early childhood education and development, guiding them on how to support their young child's growth.
  • 12  literacy group coordinators scored 80% or above in their training, improving how they educate boys and girls on reading and writing.
  • 320  parents of Grades 1 to 3 students were trained on the value of learning to read and quality education, showing them why children should go to school.
  • 10  reading clubs meet minimum standards, helping children to read and develop good reading habits.
  • 30  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.
  • 30  men and women attended workshops to empower their faith communities, learning ways to tackle the root causes that make children vulnerable.
  • 26 households received non-farm assets
  • 50  community members were clients of a microfinance institution, giving them access to low-interest loans and help support their families.
  • 26  adults and youth attended vocational or technical training to learn new skills, increasing their employment potential and business understanding.
  • 50  women and men are active members of a local savings group, helping them to become more financially stable.
  • 125  farmers received seeds, livestock, tools or agricultural equipment, helping increase their production, income and support for their children.
  • 125  farmers learned improved techniques to manage land, crops and livestock, sustainably increasing their farm production and income to help their children.
*Results achieved from October 2018 to September 2019

Explore Bhandaria

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 Bhandaria

Even though 85% of children aged 10 and younger are enrolled in school, education is not a top priority in Bhandaria. 40% of students eventually drop out of primary school. Teachers do not have adequate training and the schools lack basic resources, such as benches and books.
Poverty directly impacts enrolment. 25% of children are engaged in child labour to contribute towards their family's income. Half of all children do not continue beyond primary school because their family cannot afford the costs.

Health Care
Childhood illness and mortality are high in Bhandaria, both of which are often the result of malnutrition. Some children face health struggles before they are even born. Pregnant women lack access to pre- and postnatal services, and deliveries are commonly performed in unhygienic conditions.

Malnutrition affects large numbers of children and women. Food is scarce during the rainy season, with only 5% of families having sufficient food year round. Most families diets are inadequate, lacking fruit, vegetables, and protein.

Water and Sanitation
For many families, water is a source of disease and illness. Most get their drinking water from rivers, ponds, and other contaminated surface sources. 60% of families lack access to sanitary latrines, which complicates hygiene practices. Wells also pose a health risk to families, as more than one third are contaminated by arsenic.

Economic Development
Agriculture is the primary source of income in the community, but due to outdated farming practices and natural disasters, many families experience low production. Farm yields are impacted by the soil's high salt levels and lack of nutrients, waterlogging, and environmental degradation. Low crop yields and high food prices due to shortages continue to deepen the cycle of poverty for many families.
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Life cycle of a sponsorship community

Bhandaria,  is in Phase 2

PHASE 2: Evaluate and grow

We monitor progress and make adjustments to meet goals. More community members become involved, lead projects and gain ownership of their success.