The team at Bangladesh Children’s Sponsorship Services (BCSS) have never been shy of doing new and innovative things. Their enthusiasm is only surpassed by their dedication and compassion for children and the vulnerable.
BCSS has been improving the lives of children since 1972. Their work has provided countless children with access to an education, food and shelter, and in April this year they were thrilled to add Asian Aid’s Child Focused Development (CFD) project to their program.
“CFD is special because all project activities are child-focused,” says Rony Sicar, Program Manager at BCSS. “That means children will participate, lead and be involved in decision making.”
BCSS has begun three pilot projects in village schools across Bangladesh, with the aim to empower children, their families and their communities to build systems and provide services that protect children from harmful practices. Their hope for these communities is that one day:
- Children will have access to a quality education;
- Parents/caregivers and adolescents will be prepared for, and have access to, economic opportunities; and
- Children will understand the benefits of healthy lifestyle choices.
“Through CFD we will focus on education, health, child rights awareness, parents’ economic development through livelihood training, and self-help groups,” explains Rony. “Additionally, we will conduct teacher trainings, create child clubs, advocate against early marriage and child labour, and build relationships with local government.”
Children in these communities have recently participated in ‘Stop Child Abuse Day’ activities – making banners, colourful festoons and meaningful pictures. They were eager to share their ideas with the community and learn more about their rights.
“Right up until now we did not know the meaning of the word abuse,” says Nilroy, a student involved ‘Stop Child Abuse Day’.
A committee was formed with the parents, children, church elders and teachers to plan rallies aimed at educating the community about child abuse. On the day, there were meaningful discussions and many thoughts on how to prevent abuse shared.
“I did not know what child abuse was, but now I realise how we abuse our children in society. We will stop child abuse and save our children from ill-treatment.” – Parent
Even community leaders got involved in the activities and are looking forward to future events.
“Thank you to the CFD mission for this wonderful program. This is the first time we have had this type of program in our village, and more such events will help us get rid of various social evils.” – Robin, Community Leader.