A future through education
In Bangladesh, almost 25 % live in poverty, 30 % are illiterate and 59 % of girls get married before they turn 18 years old. Up to 22 % get married before they are 15 years old.
Bik Bok want to help more girls receive education and be protected from child marriage. Through education, human dignity is restored, while girls' potential to influence the world is released.
We know that one of the most important work that can be done to break the cycle of poverty, is the fight for girls' access to education. Economic, cultural and social conditions in Bangladesh, make external support absolutely necessary to get this message through.
About the cooperation
Plan International is one of the largest organizations working on grass root level for children's rights. Bik Bok has supported Plan's work since 2011. Bik Bok's own initiative, #GIRLS righttoeducation, was launched in 2014 in Vietnam. Together with customers, we raised more than three million (NOK) through a three year school project. 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.
The project goals
The goal of #GIRLSrighttoeducation Bangladesh project is to reduce the barriers that prevent girls from completing school, and strengthen them and their environment with the life skills and livelihood skills they need to avoid child marriage.
Harmful traditions and social norms, gender discrimination and unreasonable treatment of children have existed in Bangladesh for generations. A supportive learning environment for the girls is therefore important. This makes educating parents and the local community, equally important project goals as strengthening and educating the girls themselves.
Why girls in Bangladesh?
Bangladesh has 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 Norway can help peers in developing countries through #GIRLSrighttoeducation.
Bangladesh is also where some of Bik Bok products are produced. 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.
What exactly is the money for?
Through the collaboration with Plan, Bik Bok supports three schools and a Madrasa in Singimati, in northern Bangladesh. Here as many as 78 % of the population live below the poverty line. The figures for child marriage are therefore particularly high. We also support TVET departments at two of the schools. These are aimed at students who receive vocational and practical instruction.
The three year project primarily contributes to more children getting education and enough knowledge of life to avoid child marriage. In order to equip the girls enough to become independent, it is imperative to involve the schools, local organizations and authorities, as well as the girls themselves and their families. The #GIRLSrighttoeducation program therefore also involves the education of 84 teachers and 2,000 parents.
Every contribution counts
In week 40 and 41, customers have the opportunity to round up the purchase amount in Bik Bok's stores. Every contribution will get us a step further towards a good learning environment, vital education and sufficient school and teaching materials for the students.
*The contribution equals:
5 kr. = school food for one child .
15 kr. = tuition fees for one child for one month.
50 kr. = school uniform or school bag for one child
9 kr. = transport to and from school.
26 kr. = school supplies for one month.
*All sums are symbolic and are made to visualize the value of money given during this period
Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls.