This initiative is a two-year partnership with WE Trust, which builds on a previous three-year initiative with WE Trust to combat child exploitation and hazardous labor in the slum regions of Dhaka.
Bangladesh has a population of 165 million – 4 million of whom reside in urban slums in Dhaka – and a growing number of rural migrants who seek livelihoods in cities nearer to their villages. In addition to pre-existing factors such as generational poverty and gender inequity, the pandemic and subsequent loss of employment for many, as well as the disruption in education and loss of safe spaces for young people, have placed children and youth at high risk of early marriage, exploitation, and trafficking.
GFC recognizes the far-reaching impacts of the pandemic and has renewed its commitment to supporting community-based organizations in Bangladesh that are working to prevent the trafficking and exploitation of children and youth with a focus on the Dhaka, Jessore, Jamalpur, Gazipur, and Satkhira districts. The seven partner organizations in this cohort are ensuring access to free, quality education for children and youth vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation; empowering youth to lead peer-to-peer learning; creating income-generating opportunities; and ensuring access to legal aid programs for survivors of trafficking.
GFC provides its partners with flexible funding and capacity development services, helping them to strengthen their internal systems and processes, deepen their networks, and become stronger agents for change while empowering the next generation of leaders in their communities.
Alor Pothe Nobojatray Foundation (APON) works with children, their families, and their communities to promote basic rights such as education, health, and hygiene for working children.
Local Education and Economic Development Organization (LEEDO) eliminates barriers to success for street children in Dhaka by creating access to education, housing, and economic livelihood opportunities.
Shobujer Ovijan Foundation (SOF) promotes the rights and wellbeing of women working in garment factories and their children through specialized crèches, healthcare, livelihood skills training, and community development services.
Based on Bangladesh’s western border with India, Shusamaj Foundation works to prevent cross-border trafficking by engaging youth groups in peer-to-peer education on reproductive health, personal safety, and reporting trafficking incidents. The organization also runs a microcredit program that helps families establish healthy and sustainable livelihoods.
SOHAY works with disadvantaged communities in six urban slums in Dhaka to provide education, vocational and skills training, and health programs to enhance the capacity of the community and to help eradicate poverty.
Taranga Mohila Kalyan Shangstha (TMKS) works to prevent trafficking through a youth-led program that uses peer-to-peer education to encourage young people to stay in school and connects their parents to healthy and sustainable livelihood opportunities. TMKS also provides services for survivors of trafficking through a legal aid program and referrals to safe spaces and shelters.
Founded by a former garment factory worker, Utsho Bangladesh provides free, quality education and residential care to children whose parents are in exploitative situations, in conflict with the law, or have left the children with relatives to find work abroad. The organization also provides safe jobs for the community by operating a café run by survivors of trafficking and a grocery store that gets its supplies from a youth-led agriculture club.
Header photo: Children learning in a classroom at APON Foundation in Dhaka, Bangladesh. © Global Fund for Children
Global Fund for Children (GFC) UK Trust, created in 2006, is a UK registered charity (UK charity number 1119544). We work to generate vital income, create new fundraising opportunities, and raise awareness of the invaluable work of GFC’s grassroots grantees. Our aim is to extend the reach of GFC in the United Kingdom, Europe, and beyond.
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