With a population of 142.3 million people Bangladesh is one of the world’s most densely populated countries, where 41.2% of the population live below the poverty line. The population is constantly rising with more than 3 million births per year, however a huge proportion of these children are orphaned without at least 1 parent, the current estimation being that a third of children live in Orphan families.
For these children the future is bleak; their low standard of living, unstable environment and economic situation means they are particularly susceptible to the false promises of human trafficking, engaging in child labour or being sexually exploited. Rather than attending school these children often have to work to provide money for their families, which means the cycle of poverty continues. Many of these orphan families are ostracised and treated badly by other members of the community. They have no skills, property and security and are left to fend for themselves in a country where over 80% of the population are already living under $2 a day.
Through this project IRB seeks to pilot an alternative approach to the current one-to-one sponsorship programme to ensure children and their guardians are able to look after themselves within 4 years, through an integrated approach whilst ensuring access to education and protection. IRB will provide each family with an interest free loan, training and equipment in order to allow families to make a living. IRB intends to ensure the sustainable development of the orphan and their families over a 4 year period by:
- Providing livelihoods support: working with families to create a business plan, providing necessary start-up costs in the form of an interest free loan as well as relevant training.
- Encouraging education: by ensuring that 100% of orphaned child beneficiaries complete their education, or are enrolled in education.
- Ensuring food security: with 100% of targeted households enjoying 3 meals per day.
- Promoting community cohesion: establishing community based self help groups with orphan parents, in the hope that participation will improve their confidence in the community and mobilise them to demand their rights. Holding sports days and other recreation activities for all orphan families.
£250 can provide an orphan family with the means to provide for themselves for one year.
£32 can provide essential skill training for an entire orphan family.