School uniforms for the students of the Primary- and Highschool
Thanks to a generous donation, we were able to issue 150 school uniforms to students.
One school uniform, made by a local Faridpur tailor in very good quality, costs about €10.
Whoever owns a good school uniform is going to school with pride every day, and whoever was present when we handed out the new uniforms will not forget the joy they witnessed in the children.
To us here, a school uniform may not seem as important as other school equipment, such as books and writing materials.
But for the children, for most of whom their school uniform is the first piece of new, not handed-down clothing - except for underwear - that they have ever owned, it is very important - it shows that they belong to their school.
Not yet all children at both schools have gotten uniforms, but we have resolved to finance more uniforms in the upcoming year.
Parent-teacher conference at the Highschool
This year, "Schools In Ambikapur" invited all Highschool parents and teachers who are linked to and/or employed by our project to a parent-teacher conference.
The Highschool principal was also present.
Despite a heavy thunderstorm, almost all mothers were able to make it to the conference.
Our goal for that evening was to convince all mothers of the necessity of sending their children to school on a regular basis.
By now, the amount of children dropping out of school before reaching a highschool degree has already been minimized, but still, many children do not come to school regularly enough.
At this conference, everyone agreed to make a yearly overall attendance quota of more than 70% their goal.
It was also decided that teachers were to contact parents, should a child not show up at school for two days or longer without excuse or explanation.
A report from the teachers, made three months after the parent-teacher conference, shows that a more regular attendance rate at the Highschool seems to stabilize.
Equipment for the Primary school
As usual, "Schools In Ambikapur" helped the Ambikapur primary school to buy equipment, most of all copybooks, colour pencils, ballpoint pens, pencils and erasers, as well as a lockable storage cupboard for all these materials.
Money was furthermore reserved to cover for upcoming material shortages during the next year.
Utilisation of additional donations
Some sponsors have given us an extra donation for their sponsored child, to take with us on our trip to Bangladesh.
We were to spend the money on something more personal than school materials for the children.
Generally, the children asked for new shoes or clothing.
Upon meeting one particular child, the suspicion of a thyroid gland problem arose. The girl was taken to a hospital, and medical examination confirmed this suspicion.
Her further examinations and medical bills can and will be covered by "Schools In Ambikapur". In another case, we were able to provide for the medical examination and treatment of urinary tract complications in a child.
In future, "Schools In Ambikapur" will continually be able to help out with minor medical issues - but sadly, our budget for this is limited.
Regarding further and maybe even more serious cases of health problems or sickness, we will therefore try to find a sensible partner organization that can take care of such matters better than we do.
Brishti did it!
She passed her final highschool exams and got her degree.
Now she has to decide what she wants to do next:
If she decides to continue her education, we will continue to stand by and support her.
If she wants to get married and maybe start a family first - she is now 20 years old - we wish her a good husband and a healthy baby.
Brishti - you have come far and we are sure you will continue to forge ahead!
All the best from us.
Bangladesh Day at Wagendorf Lohmuehle in Berlin
In Summer 2014, a big Bangladesh Day was held at Wagendorf Lohmuehle.
Owing to financial support from the district exchange Treptow-Koepenick, a very interesting program could be arranged.
Some musicians from Bangladesh performed traditional Baul-music live on the open air stage.
An exhibition and a picture presentation about Bangladesh, as well as Bengal food, brought Bangladesh closer to Berlin for a day.
Speakers from Berlin, who are all active in diverse functions in Bangladesh, engaged in a panel discussion, and a documentary film about the movement of the landless in Bangladesh was shown, both events highlighting a critical viewpoint on societal issues in Bangladesh.