Bangla

Bangla

Bangla, also known as Bengali, is the primary language spoken in Bangladesh. Southeastern Bangladesh, bordering the Bay of Bengal, India and Myanmar, is inhabited primarily by people of the Bawm tribe, who migrated into the region from India centuries ago. The Bawms live mostly in the hills, where they migrated from India more than 300 years ago.

Bangladesh

Southeastern Region

  • Communities in the southeastern hills are remote and rarely have such basic amenities as electricity or running water. Communities in the southeastern hills are remote and rarely have such basic amenities as electricity or running water.
  • This Compassion center provides children clean water for drinking and practicing good hygiene, such as washing their hands before meals. This Compassion center provides children clean water for drinking and practicing good hygiene, such as washing their hands before meals.
  • Education is vital for a child to escape poverty. Sponsored children receive educational support and hope for a better future. Education is vital for a child to escape poverty. Sponsored children receive educational support and hope for a better future.
  • During the annual monsoons, flooding is common in the southeast. During the annual monsoons, flooding is common in the southeast.
  • Children in the Compassion program have the opportunity to grow in every way: mind, body, heart and spirit. Children in the Compassion program have the opportunity to grow in every way: mind, body, heart and spirit.
  • Homes in this region are typically small, fragile constructions of wood, bamboo and straw. Homes in this region are typically small, fragile constructions of wood, bamboo and straw.
  • These children, dressed in the traditional clothing of their tribal group, enjoy participating in activities that celebrate their colorful, proud culture. These children, dressed in the traditional clothing of their tribal group, enjoy participating in activities that celebrate their colorful, proud culture.
 
BANGLADESH OVERVIEW

Population

166,280,712

Religion

Islam

Weather

 
A Glimpse of Poverty in Southeastern Bangladesh Bangladesh Overview
  • In southeastern Bangladesh, Compassion ministers primarily to children from indigenous people groups such as the Bawm, Marma, Chakma, Pankhua and Tripura, who live in rural villages in the region’s hills.
  • In this area, poverty levels are high, and people work mostly as agricultural laborers on fruit farms, earning meager wages.
  • Educational and medical care facilities are scarce.
  • Children here commonly suffer from malnutrition and preventable diseases such as malaria.
  • The illiteracy rate is high, as is the number of people who believe in superstitions.
  • Because indigenous people are marginalized by the majority of Bangladeshis, political and social tension are common in the hill areas.
  • Many children in this region have never had the opportunity to attend school; they typically end up following in their parents’ footsteps as poorly paid day laborers.
  • Throughout the country, 31.5 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, with 43 percent of the people subsisting on less than $1.25 per day.
LIFE
In Southeastern Bangladesh

Geography & Climate

  • Located in South Asia, Bangladesh is in the low-lying Ganges-Brahmaputra River Delta.
  • Bangladesh has a tropical monsoon climate characterized by heavy seasonal rainfall, high temperatures and high humidity.
  • The southeastern region of Bangladesh is a hilly area near the coast.
  • During the annual monsoon season, flooding is common in the southeast.
  • Bangladesh is widely recognized as one of the countries most susceptible to the adverse effects of climate change.

Economy

The southeast region is made up of many small villages, most with populations of less than 500.

The primary crop is tobacco, but the fields are badly eroded due to years of poor cultivation methods.

Nearly half of the country’s population is employed in agriculture. Given the frequency of natural disasters and volatile weather patterns, those who rely on farming for their livelihood are highly vulnerable.

The per capita annual income is an estimated U.S.$1,500.

Forty percent of the population is underemployed. Many people counted as employed work only a few hours a week and at low wages.

Some families supplement their earnings through cottage industries such as weaving.

Children at Home

Children in southeastern Bangladesh typically grow up in small, crowded homes with five or more people.

Children at home

Their houses are made of bamboo, wood and straw, and measure an average of 15 feet by 20 feet.

Since houses are often built on hillsides, children struggle to walk up steep, muddy paths in the rainy season.

Few houses have running water or electricity, and there is little access to sanitary bathrooms.

Water is often collected from a community well several miles away.

COMMUNITY
Bangladesh Community
Issues and Concerns

For subsistence, the Bawm people depend completely on the crops they grow. The vegetation is left to grow on its own and then harvested. This leaves crops at the mercy of the weather, and periods of drought or flooding can be devastating.

During cultivation season, most adults find work on larger farms, but off-season jobs are scarce.

Most families in this region struggle to survive on less than U.S.$1.50 a day.

Few families in the area have clean running water at home. Most must travel for miles over steep hills to collect water, and then haul it back home in heavy metal drums.

These sheer paths also make for harrowing drives. Four-wheel-drive vehicles like Jeeps are the only kinds of transport that can negotiate the mountainous roads.

Often 10 or more people pile into one vehicle to travel to another town. These trips are long, arduous and dangerous.

Local Needs and Challenges

Poverty

Extreme poverty is the biggest challenge for families in southeastern Bangladesh, and children rarely have basic needs met.

Health care

Children here commonly suffer from malnutrition, skin disease, and respiratory and intestinal illness. However, parents can’t afford medical assistance when their children need it.

Flooding

Children are vulnerable to the monsoon storms and flooding, which claim many young lives each year.

Education

An extreme shortage of schools exists in this region.

EDUCATION
Bangladesh education
Schools and Education
  • Lack of education hinders economic development among the Bawm people. Only 15 percent of adults in this region can read or write.
  • In Rowangchari, the largest city in southeastern Bangladesh, only one primary school and one high school exist. In the primary school, nine teachers serve 350 students, and in the high school, six teachers serve 280 students.
  • The majority of Bawm students who aren’t registered with Compassion will drop out before completing primary school.
  • Most of these children attend school for only one year and then drop out at age 6, largely because their parents can’t afford school fees or books.
At the Compassion Child Development Center

In partnership with local worship centers, Compassion is bringing help and hope to impoverished children in southeastern Bangladesh.

To combat malnutrition, children receive nutritious meals at their Compassion centers.

They receive the tuition, uniforms and supplies required to attend school as well as the extra tutoring they need to excel academically.

Centers also ensure children’s physical health by providing regular checkups, vaccinations and medical assistance when needed.

Thousands of mosquito bed nets have been distributed to children in this region to protect against malaria.

Center workers also encourage assisted children to be proud of their cultural heritage. On Aug. 9 of each year, International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, children participate in a fair and special activities that highlight individual cultures.

For parents, centers conduct regular workshops to teach good parenting practices and emphasize the importance of education to their children’s future.

What Compassion Sponsorship Provides

In partnership with local worship centers, Compassion is bringing help and hope to children in need in southeastern Bangladesh, providing them with:

  • regular nutritious meals and snacks
  • health checkups and medical care as needed
  • the support needed to attend school
  • educational assistance
  • access to special services like surgeries and disaster relief
  • mentoring to help children discover their incredible value as God’s children