Supporting homeless and vulnerable girls with ActionAid Bangladesh

The Fine & Country Foundation continues to give its ongoing support for Happy Home in Bangladesh, coordinated by ActionAid Bangladesh. This home houses 150 girls under one roof, from as young as six to 18 years old. Previously, they had five homes, but in November 2016 they moved to a new home to all be under one roof.

We give a monthly donation to Happy Home to cover general running costs and development. We like to keep you updated with the latest stories and goings on so you know how much help you are helping these girls.

We met with Farah Kabir, Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh, to find out the latest updates and stories from the home. The project follows for key steps to ensure full accountability, transparency and progress:

1. Safe Shelter

2. Improving health and wellbeing

3. Education and recreation opportunities

4. Develop skills that help them generate income and self-sufficiency

For full details on these objectives please take a look at our previous article on Happy Home here.

Outreach
Outreach workers find vulnerable girls on the streets and offer them a place at Happy Home to receive a safe, educated and happy upbringing. Many of the girls were living in poverty with their families and made to work to support them. It is common that one or more of their parents have died, abandoned them, or they are unable to financially support their children. In this instance, it is likely that the girls are forced to leave their families. Nevertheless, many of the residents at Happy Home are in contact with their families and these relationships are encouraged. As a result, some girls stay at Happy Home while their families work hard to get out of poverty. After a few years, these girls return to their families who can support them.



All round support
Sadly, some girls have experienced abuse before coming to Happy Home, from employers, family members, or strangers while living on the streets. Happy Home invests in counselling for the girls to overcome past trauma. The results are evident; their enthusiasm and excitement about activities and their future shows the amazing work that is achieved at Happy Home. Farah explained that the girls are genuinely happy. They are always smiling and the older girls act like big sisters to the younger ones by looking after them and helping with their education.

They have dance and music teachers who visit the home and ActionAid Bangladesh are looking to introduce self-defence classes. Some of the girls are interested in going to university so the next step for Happy Home is to set up a scholarship for higher education. This will cover regular universities as well as specialised schooling for vocations such as nursing.

One girl in Year 9 is looking forward to becoming a journalist and frequently writes short stories and poems. Many of the girls love to make jewellery and would like more vocational training. 


Aklima’s story
Aklima spent three years at Happy Home. With no father, she worked at the market to feed her mother and young sisters. After joining the Happy Home community, she found a love for embroidery and now lives with her family and works in a shop. Aklima dreams of having her own shop one day and has made life-long friends from Happy Home. 

It is success stories like Aklima’s that make The Fine & Country Foundation proud to be a part of the Happy Home project. The girls have received a safe and supported upbringing, with education and qualifications, career prospects and an abundance of wonderful memories. The Fine & Country Foundation will continue its work with ActionAid Bangladesh throughout 2018. 

ActionAid have made a wonderful video to show you what the girls get up to and how happy they are. Click here to watch the video.


For more information about our international projects in Bangladesh and Nepal, please contact us at foundation@fineandcountry.com or call +44(0)20 3368 8221.

15th Nov 2017

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