Learning to read and write gives people a newfound confidence, a sense of worth and optimism for the future. Becoming literate is often the first important step in a journey of transformation.
How your gift helps
“We feel good to be here, learning things. We feel proud. When we were children we didn’t get the chance, but now we do.”
There’s a lot of joy in the room when the women from the Ekota Mahilla Unnayan Self-Help Group get together! The group is part of a project by TEAR’s partner Baptist Aid-Bangladesh Baptist Church Fellowship (BA-BBCF) in North Bengal, Bangladesh. Learning to read and write has given them a newfound confidence, sense of worth and optimism for the future. They are excited and inspired about what they’ve learnt and what they’ve achieved.
The women began meeting in September 2014 for literacy classes, and were dedicated to their learning. They attended two-hour classes six days a week, over four months, around their other family and work commitments. As part of the lessons there were discussions about important issues like health, women’s rights, fair wages, how to manage accounts and generate income, and how to work well together as a family and as a community.
Once the classes ended, the women continued to meet as a Self-Help Group, save small amounts of money and use it for loans to start small business initiatives (like a vegetable business, grocery shop or to invest in livestock).
Many positive changes have come about from the women’s involvement with the group, including a feeling of empowerment and freedom. As the women begin to earn and contribute economically to the family unit, their ideas and opinions are more respected and there has been an increase in joint decision making.
The group has also been a safe space for the women to express their opinions, explore ideas and develop leadership skills. Most of the women initially lacked the confidence to speak up in front of others, but are now able to share health messages within their community effectively, such as encouraging families to build toilets and vaccinate their children, and ensuring that all children attend school. Becoming literate was the first step in this journey. In the future the group want to work with their community to improve their village road, start a joint business where they will purchase a machine to process rice, and help ensure that children without parents get an education.
About our partner
Baptist Aid-Bangladesh Baptist Church Fellowship (BA-BBCF) is the aid and development arm of the Bangladesh Baptist Church Fellowship. Their vision is for “a Bangladeshi society based on moral and ethical values, free from poverty, injustice and oppression with equal opportunity and sustainable livelihoods for all people – giving life in all its fullness.”
What you receive
- Choose from a printed card, e-card or download-and-print pdf card (or no card, just a tax-deductible receipt).
- Links to e-cards and download-and-print cards are emailed after checkout.
- The amount you have donated will not be on the card.
- Printed cards:
- A blank envelope for your card.
- Free standard postage within Australia (5-7 working days) or $6 for Express Post (2-3 working days). Express Post cards will normally be sent the same day if the order is made before 1:30pm AEST. Please note: Express Post only operates in these areas within Australia.
- Note: We cannot ship printed cards outside Australia (but you can still order the digital cards).
- Note: We do NOT write on your cards—they are delivered to you to personalise.
- A tax-deductible receipt.
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Learning to read and write gives people a newfound confidence, a sense of worth and optimism for the future. Becoming literate is often the first important step in a journey of transformation. | More information.