Voices from the field

Momota: Matriarch

Momota: Matriarch

Momota has been married for over 10 years, and lives with her husband and two sons on a riverine island (char) called Khockhali in Gaibandha district. Even though it has been quite some time, Momota has yet to receive her mehr (dower), a mandatory payment from the...

Josna Rani: A Queen in Her Own Right

Josna Rani: A Queen in Her Own Right

Rani, meaning queen in Bangla, lives up to her namesake. She was the oldest among her siblings in the remote village of Radhabalabh, 28 km from the nearest district town. At the age of 15, Josna Rani’s family married her off to a day labourer; being forced to do so...

Chandra Banu: Never Too Late

Chandra Banu: Never Too Late

When Chandra was a girl, she lived in a char (riverine island) so remote that she did not have any access to education. In her village there were no schools, or even opportunities to learn in an informal setting. She lived most of her life without even knowing how to...

Akhi: Wise Beyond Her Years

Akhi: Wise Beyond Her Years

Twelve-year-old Akhi is a student at one of Friendship’s secondary schools. She is one of five children in a family living in the chars of Bangladesh.  Since her mother stays at home to take care of the house and children, the burden of earning household income...

Fighting for a Fair Chance

Fighting for a Fair Chance

Friendship paralegal in Gaibandha fights for a 12-year-old girl to give her exam and stay in school by Naushad Ali Husein It’s exam day for the grade fivers. The exam centre buzzes with activity as students arrive and prepare to take the test. As exam time draws near,...

Always Prepared

Always Prepared

Young volunteer rescuers spring into action during climate disasters by Naushad Ali Husein Shahjadi Begum woke up at 1 a.m. to find the river roaring through her veranda. Before going to sleep, she had organized her things so that she could easily move out if she had...

Shamim’s Woes

Shamim’s Woes

Shamim Mia is a student of class 8 at a Friendship Secondary School. These secondary schools use a proprietary ICT-aided system that combines lessons that are pre-recorded by teachers from reputed schools in Dhaka, computers and monitors, and solar technology to power...