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Ayesha- Fighting Poverty

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Ayesha gets born in Care Bazar village under Dimla Union of Dimla Upazila. Her father was a day laborer and she grows up from a needy family consisting 08 members. She completed her study up to class- II and discontinued her studies as her father was unable to afford the educational expenses. As a result, at the age of 14 years her father arranged marriage with Md. Gomiruddin in the neighboring village Nitchpara. Her husband was also a day laborer, the income from this profession was not sufficient to ensure three times food for the family members naturally starvation was a common phenomenon. In 2004 Ayesha’s husband become sick from sort of heart diseases, due to poverty Ayesha could not have been managed treatment of her husband and he finally died after few months of sufferings leaving behind 04 children and as assets of 33 decimals of homestead lands, a house with two rooms of CI sheet roofs, that attached fences and five mother ducks with 12 baby-chicks. Widow Ayesha for the sake of survival searched any work that can be supportive to earn a minimum but failed to manage even as a housemaid. Ayesha planned and starts cultivation of traditional vegetable varieties those are feasible to be grown on the small piece of land and on the house roofs with minimum and/or no cost, alongside seeking help from her close relatives and sometime from the neighbors. However, father-in-law of Ayesha was very much supportive for her family and continued support till his death sometime in the year of 2012 which is another tragedy in the life of Ayesha. Somehow she recovers the shock and searching on any other means of earning source.

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In 2011 SHOUHARDO II Program started its activities in the localities where Ayesha lives in. Ayesha enrolled as the beneficiary in poor category as has 33 decimals of homestead lands. Being enrolled as a beneficiary Ayesha regularly participated in the court yard meetings and foster the agenda if there is any that can be a factor to improve the present miserable livelihoods.

Few days after Ayesha get the opportunity to have basic training on “Poultry and Goat rearing” conducted by JSKS-SHOUHARDO II Program and a goat had provided to her from the program. Ayesha started caring the goat with profound enthusiasm and cherishing the will to implement the learning on poultry rearing in the near future. Rearing about a year her goat gives birth of two kids. She got Tk. 5,000 by selling-out the goat with two kids. Ayesha had the practical experiences on poultry rearing in particular the duck and her knowledge is enriched once again by having the training. Accordingly in consultation with the Field Facilitator she firmly decided to rearing duck on commercial basis because the locality she lives in is the low lying area and there has a big water body nearby which is another contributing factor in rearing ducks. She took the risk together with visioning that duck rearing might have been the turning point of a better livelihood. She purchased 150 ducks of 30 days old by Tk.4, 000 from selling of goat and purchased feeds by rest of an amount of Tk. 1,000, plus Tk. 1,000 borrowing from her relatives. From the 3rd months of rearing some of the ducks starts produce eggs and day by day the production was being increase. Ayesha began selling out the eggs at the rate of Tk. 30.00 per 04 eggs. A minimum portion of the earning from egg selling expensed for meeting up the household nutrition need while the major portion are reinvested for the expansion of ducks farm. In the 2nd half of 2012 she sale 500 young ducks @ Tk. 160 per piece and earned Tk. 80,000. At present a total nos. of 150 layer ducks and 300 baby ducks are in the farm of Ayesha. Every day Ayesha is getting 80 eggs on an average and the sale is around Tk.800 while the expense is Tk. 300 per day for feeds and marketing purposes. Aiming to risk free farming JSKS staff facilitate to introduce Ayesha with the DLS for necessary services.

From duck farming Ayesha renovates/repair her old houses by Tk. 40,000 leased in 20 decimals of land by Tk. 45,000 and expensed Tk. 12,000 for elder daughter’s marriage ceremony. Another two daughters are school going and Ayesha visioning to educate them up to Bachelor Degree. Her only son is helping Ayesha in the field of cultivation and duck farming. Seeing the success of Ayesha about 90 families of Nitchpara village involved in duck farming out of them around 50 are from PEP families of SHOUHARDO II Program.

Ayesha cordially recognized and says “There were no alternatives other than begging if I would not have been enrolled as a beneficiary in SHOUHARDO II Program” JSKS.

A Story of a Primary School at Chirirbandar Upazila, Dinajpur

Tarakshaharhat RNGPS a Rural School of Satnala Union of Chirirbandar Upazila. It is situated beside the Isamoti River near Tarakshaharhat. The people of this area are very poor and most of them are day labourer and farmer. The rate of literacy if this village is very poor.

Students performing daily assembly

Students performing daily assembly

Some interested people of this remote area feel the necessity of learning and established this school on 1972.  As the literacy is very low and people were not aware enough. The involvement of the mass people of the community was not visible. The parents sent their children to school as the elite person requested to dao so but not interested to take care of the learning of their children. The SMC was not also proper functioning and no PTA was there. As the parents were int interested in children’s learning and care the attendance rate was low. The average attendance was below 90% hence children of this area are not enrolled in school 100%. The school was established but there are many limitations like inadequate teaching learning materials, safe water facility as the attendance rate was low. A part of this few students attends Primary Somapony exam (PSC). The result of PSC was not also satisfactory. In 2009 PSC result was 54%, in 2010 PSC result was 90.91%, in 2011, 90.19% and in 2012 PSC result was 100%. Present head teachers of this school was very potential. He tried to get better results, better enrollment and good physical infrastructure of the school. He always seek support from GO and NGO for betterment the school as a whole.

Visitors talk with students

Visitors talk with students

In response to the present Head Teacher’s request JSKS support to the community and school for ensuring quality education under its School Improvement Project. This project is supported by Plan Bangladesh. JKSK has started her support in the school from 2006 till now is continuing its support. Through this project JSKS supporting Shishu Bikash Kendro,  Pre-school , reflective and joyful learning, Reading-guarantee initiative, Effective instructional materials, teacher education (training), inclusive education, student assessment reform,  effective and participatory school management, Student council, Children managed school library, school health & sanitation, Learn Without Fear (LWF), and various co-curricular activities.

JSKS believes that all children have the potentiality and if they get the opportunity they will do better and the children of this school have proved this.

Now the school has the potential SMC, PTA and SLIP committee and they are known their responsibilities and they work for betterment of the school. They organized and conduct meeting, visit school, linkage with GO,NGO regularly.

The active student’s council of the school published regular wall magazine, arranged various cultural activities, maintain personal and environmental hygiene and maintain school library as well.

The school improved the teaching learning process, have adequate teaching learning materials which is used by the teacher in class room as regular basis. Attendance rate goes up 98% and the Primary Somapony result is 100%.

The present head teacher-Mr. Brozendro Nath Singho says” from 1989 I was the assistant teacher of this school, became Head teacher in 2010 and also a member of the Community Based Organization (CBO) member from 2001 till now. I came to know that JSKS supports to the community and school for ensuring quality education with the assistance of Plan Bangladesh, I seek support from JSKS  from for Shishu Bikash Kendro, Pre-school and School Improvement Planning (SIP) support and JSKS accept my request Now parents are more aware about children’s care. because every month the school organized parents meeting/mother gathering, the school have the active student’s council, have safe water facilities, adequate teaching learning materials and now the rate of passing Primary Somapony is 100%. I thanked JSKS as well as Plan Bangladesh for providing the support.”

The School Management Committee (SMC) Chairman –Mr.Md. Mynuddin Shah says” I am proud of our school Tarakshaharhat RNGPS. Though earlier the school has many problems such as the SMC members were not about their roles and responsibilities, parents were not visit the school, were not available play materials etc. From 2010 we the SMC members, parents, students, CBO members, UP members, local elites prepared the School Improvement Planning. Based on the planning we have done the work where JSKS always support us for giving suggestion and various training. As a result the school is better than earlier.”

The Cashier of Community Based Organization (CBO) –Mr.Manik Chandro Roy Says” now many people visit our school, earlier 3-4 years children were not involve any learning session but now the children involve in Shishu Bikash Kendro (SBK).  In SBK, children are reciting rhyme, they can indentify colors. Now we arranged various day observations. The students are attending the school regularly. We the SMC member meets in monthly basis. In this year the school got 100% pass.”

The Student Council Member and student of class Five -Shyamol- says” Our school is very beautiful. We the student council member published wall magazine in bi-monthly which was written by students and managed by student council. We like to do the work. Every year JSKS give us various play materials, story books. We can play and read nice story books and in our leisure time.”

PS teacher conducting class

PS teacher conducting class

The student name Adoya, student of class Four says” We all are free from fear. Our teachers never bit us. We can say our opinion through our opinion box. When we feel any problems/bad we write that put it in the box then the committee minimizes the problems. Our teacher teaches us through various colorful and attractive materials. When we are unable to understand teacher teaches us smoothly. We can drink safe water. Our school is very nice.”