youth

June 15, 2015

Is sports really a good tool to get girls talking about sexual and reproductive health?

Engaging in sports intrinsically makes you more mindful about your body. You may start speculating how to be healthier – a good entry point for inquiring about your general well-being. For adolescent girls in marginalised communities, these questions can lead to discussions about more sensitive topics, particularly sexual and reproductive health.
May 17, 2015

Talking about girls rights over lunch with the Queen

17-year-old Tania Akhter was preparing for her final year college exams when life had a pleasant surprise to offer. A member of BRAC’s adolescent club, she was quickly acknowledged for her leadership skills. Tania joined the club when she was in class 6, and since then coordinators have kept an eye on her development. Tania also received training on livelihood skills as part of the club’s activities.
May 12, 2015

Let pregnant school girls back into the classroom in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone should reconsider its law barring pregnant girls from completing their education, but while the law is in place, alternatives are available
May 11, 2015

This is what happens when you give a kid a surfboard

Golap Shah is a 14-year-old student of class 8 at Kolatoli High School in Cox’s Bazar. She is somewhat hesitant when talking about her life – impeded in no small part by her having to abandon her dialect in order to communicate. But once the conversation turns towards the one passion of her life, her face lights up with an infectious smile, her apparent unease replaced by a sense of self-belief and an eagerness to let the world know what her life is really all about. Every day, between school, studies, and her daily chores, between 4pm and sunset, she takes to the waves of the Bay of Bengal, her and her surfing board ready for everything the sea has to offer.
May 6, 2015

Listening for the voices of change: Here’s some advice for Bangladesh’s youth

In Bangladesh, far too many students do not get the chance to go to college. In a country where 30 per cent of the population are young (10-24 years), it remains evident that much of the potential remain untapped, and too many young voices go unheard.  Medhabikash, a scholarship programme that funds meritorious and underprivileged students, offers a second chance at learning- the kind that transcends social and economic boundaries.
April 29, 2015

Give the youth some credit – 3 takeaways from BRAC’s experience with youth microfinance

Violet is 21 years old, married and a mother of two. She is also the owner of a steelworks business where her husband is one of her employees. When she speaks of expanding her business, her voice is full of confidence and hope, undeterred when others make jokes about how she manages her husband.
April 23, 2015

A place to promote young talent

Imagine you have just received the result of your secondary school certificate exam (equivalent to GCSE O’Levels). Congratulations! You have been awarded the highest grades: GPA 5, securing more than 80 per cent in all the subjects. You and your whole family celebrate while you start planning to go to a top college. Future is all set! But what if you are an indigenous girl in a poor family of five like Laome? Or what if your father is unemployed and your mother takes care of you and your three siblings on her own like Habib’s family? The future does not look that bright now – it looks quite bleak.
April 5, 2015

GIRL POWER: How women and girls are driving change in Bangladeshi villages

Polli shomaj, or community-based organisations, are designed to empower poor, rural women, by enabling them to raise their voice, and claim their rights and entitlements. These groups are powerful and successful mediums of sustainable development. They actively engage more than one million rural women in 55 districts of Bangladesh.
March 8, 2015

In school, but not learning

According to UNESCO, South Asia is home to 335 million adolescents between the ages of 10-19 years, but only 51 per cent attend secondary school. Schooling is important for realising the full potential of learning in adolescence. However, simply increasing the number of students enrolled at school may not be enough in countries where teachers are poorly trained or not even present to teach in the classroom. Inadequate school quality combined with household poverty may limit the potential gains from schooling.
February 25, 2015

It’s time to listen: Psychosocial counselling in secondary schools

In some Bangladeshi schools, talking about problems is getting easier, and it’s about time. Especially when more than half of the students drop out of school once they complete their primary education. Various social pressures faced by adolescents contribute to the high level of dropouts.
February 23, 2015

Study clubs: A learning sanctuary for young girls in Tanzania

Maria Joseph got pregnant when she was in class 7, and had to drop out of school. She stopped stepping out of home and spent her time helping with household chores. Not too long ago, she heard about BRAC’s study clubs from a friend. She soon became a member of a club in Kitunda district. “I had lost all hope. When I got pregnant, everybody told me I had ruined my life. I was shunned by my family and friends. Thanks to the study club, I now have hope for my future and my baby’s future. People will respect me now.”
January 8, 2015

Yes, hygiene and school enrolment are directly proportional

“A study undertaken in Bangladesh revealed an 11 per cent increase in girls’ enrolment mainly due to the provision of sanitary toilets.” -Technical paper series/IRC, In Bangladesh the standard number of toilets in schools has been set as a minimum of one toilet for every 60 students. However, this is far from being achieved. The infographic below shows that on average, schools in Bangladesh have half the number of toilets required. However, although 94 per cent of schools have latrines within the compound, a large number remain unusable because they are dirty or broken.