“My father brought us to Dhaka for a better livelihood when I was not even four. Since then we have been living in Chalantika Slum. He had a hard time finding a good job and feeding our family. He started working as a day laborer but his earning was not good enough to send two of my sisters to school. Because it was tough to provide the family members with a proper meal”, said Yesmin, an eleven-year-old girl of Chalantika slum area in Dhaka.
This is the story of thousands of children living in the slums. Poor rural families migrate to cities seeking greater opportunities. But while living in the slum, an urban advantage of better access remains a myth. Slum families have to sacrifice the education of their children, particularly girls, for meeting the bare minimum costs of food, rent, and transport.
Yesmin's father's name is Nasir and her mother’s name is Nurjahan Begum. Seven years back Yesmin's family came to Dhaka from Vola district which is located in the southern part of Bangladesh. Her father married twice and have two different families to take care of. When they were living in Vola her father wanted to do some business and he took some loan from the village Shroff (Money Lender). However, he failed to run that business and completely lost all of his money. That time he had a huge debt to repay. He had no way to pay back so he decided to move to Dhaka and find a better job so that he can pay the debt.
“When my father just started to contribute to the family, unfortunately, he faced an accident and he lost his ability to work. Later my mother joined a garments factory in order to financially contribute to our family. I always wanted to study even when we were living in the village but my father had not that ability to send me to school. One day my parents heard about CMCDP from one of our neighbors and in the year 2012, they brought me to the ADRA Bangladesh CMCDP project. That day I was so happy that I can’t even explain that you in words”, Yesmin was explaining about her school admission spontaneously.
In Bangladesh, Slum families have to sacrifice the education of their children, particularly girls, for meeting the bare minimum costs of food, rent, and transport. Teenage girls in slums very often fall victim to sexual harassment, which leads to their dropping out of school or work and compel their helpless parents to marry them off at a tender age. Yesmin is an exception among many of the underprivileged girls. She has started to get good grades in her school exams from the very beginning and never failed to attend her classes. In the year of 2017, Yesmin participated in PSC examination which is National Education Board Examination in Bangladesh and she got GPA 5.00 in all her subjects.
All her life she has been fighting against poverty to obtain the basic needs of a human being. She knows the hardship of the poor people better than anybody else and has a great sympathy in her heart for them. As CMCDP has supported her in her struggles, she also wants to support the struggling people especially the girls living in slums. For this reason, she wants to become a social worker and be a part of such NGO's working in this field.
Right now, she is studying in grade six in her school and getting all sort of supports from the CMCDP project, such as educational materials, health education, etc. Not only Yesmin received an education but also her father got an opportunity to get electric training under the VET program. After completing the training, Nasir is now able to earn some extra money to support his family.
Now, Yesmin and her family are very grateful to ADRA Bangladesh CMCDP Project for making their life a better one and obtaining an opportunity to make a better future.