The Bangladesh Project

A future through education

Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organization that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Bik Bok has supported Plan's work for girls since 2011. Bik Bok's own initiative, #GIRLSrighttoeducation, was launched in 2014 in Vietnam. Together with customers, we raised more than three million (NOK) through a three year school project. More than 1200 children received education through the project.

In July 2018, Bik Bok entered into a new three year project collaboration with Plan. This time in Singimari, in northern part of Bangladesh. As many as 78 % of the population here lives below the poverty line. The prevalence of child marriage is therefore particularly high. When a girl in Bangladesh is married, she rarely returns to school, but serves her husband and his family at home, usually under unworthy conditions. As many as 42 % of girls attending school in Bangladesh, leave school during the second grade.

Bik Bok wanted to do something to empower the girls in Bangladesh.  Supporting education for girls in Bangladesh through Plan International was a natural and important choice.


Meet four of the girls who receive education through Bik Bok and Plan's collaboration

Arzina is contributing to the family income. As a student within the TVET program, her confidence has increased and she is now an active and optimistic student.
Photo: Plan International


Hope and optimism

Arzina is one of the girls in the project who receives support to finalize job related education called Technical and Vocational Education and Training. This education is important for developing specific, practical skills needed for employment.

By being an active student, Arzina feels more confident and competent to face challenges in the future, she tells us.  She also receives a lot of support from the teachers who see her as an important role model in inspiring the other students to be more active in school and optimistic about their future.

The project focus on helping youth developing the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to succeed in the world of work. This enables them to have a sustainable earning potential after finishing their education.

Sabina and her mother.
Photo: Plan International.


Sabinas dream  

This is Sabina. Her dream for the future is to become a police officer. Because her parents couldn’t afford secondary school, they sent her away to work.  Stipend provided through Girls Right To Education, makes it possible for Sabina to go back to school. Sabina is now back, in eighth grade.
By empowering the students with crucial skills needed to deal with their life challenges, Sabina and the students have come to realize the importance of education.

Sabina is actively participating in school’s improvement activities. She is a proud member of the School Cabinet, as the first girl student ever to be selected by the teachers. Sabina and the other students have decided to give their school a "green profile". They’ve planted trees and fenced the garden. Sabina speaks proudly from the heart when she tells us, “It is my school”. The students truly care about their school.

Sabina has passed the national exam called Junior Secondary Certificate with great results.

Ratna with her geometry box and pen set.
Photo: PLAN International


Ratnas light of hope

̶  The stipend is not an amount, it’s the light of hope to me to achieve my goals, Ratna says.

Her mother could not afford the school fee and education material. The stipend provided through Girls Right To Education has a huge impact on both Ratna’s life and future, but also for the family as a whole.

With good school results, she is now ready for 9th grade, the first year of secondary school.
The financial support is not only helping Ratna to continue her studies, it also helps her to establish a good study routine, she tells us.

At home, Urmilas mother is helping her with homework. Urmila is grateful for being able to attend school due to the support program.
Photo: Plan International


̶  It’s amazing

Urmila is in the eighth grade. The project provides Urmila’s family a financial support called conditional cash transfer (CCT). Urmila’s family receives the CCT as long as they continue sending Urmila to school and guarantee that she will not get married until the age of 18.

The support provides Urmila’s family with education material, a school dress, shoes, a bag, tuition fee and school meals.
 ̶  It’s amazing for me to receive this support. It’s a pathway to making my dream come true, Urmila says.

The project goals

The goal of #GIRLSrighttoeducation Bangladesh project is to empower adolescent children, particularly girls, through education with relevant life and livelihood skills to prevent child marriage.  In this project we aim for:

-          Girl friendly schools with safe, inclusive environment and supportive school governance

-          Supportive parents, caregivers and community for girls empowerment

-          Students continuing education

Project overview

The project will directly contribute to the empowerment of children by continuing their education with relevant life and work skills and prevent child marriage. 3500 children will benefit from different activities, 84 teachers will be trained and about 2000 parents are involved.

Through the collaboration with Plan, Bik Bok supports three schools and a Madrasa in Singimati, in northern Bangladesh. We also support TVET(Technical and Vocational Education and Training) departments at two of the schools. TVET is vocal education and training which provides knowledge and skills for employment.


Why girls in Bangladesh?

Bangladesh has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world. In Bik Bok we support girls and believe that gender equality is crucial for achieving positive long-term change in the world. There is still a whole world of girl potential out there waiting to be released. We like the idea that girls in Scandinavia can help peers in developing countries through #GIRLSrighttoeducation.

Bangladesh is important to Bik Bok since many of our suppliers are located here. The challenges faced by the textile and garment industry are numerous and complex. We want to meet these challenges with focus on honesty and commitment to develop and improve. Through our Bangladesh office we have developed rigorous procedures for constant evaluations of the factories. If improvement plans are initiated, they are followed up by regular on-site visits from our CSR staff. Our attitude is that all companies can contribute to increase human dignity, and that our commitment will make a difference.


These students in Singimari in Bangladesh receive education through Bik Bok's initiative, #GirlsRightToEducation. The purpose of the support is to strengthen the students and equip them and their families with necessary knowledge to prevent child marriage.
Photo: Plan International.
These photos are shown for illustration purpose only.

 Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls.