The Luxury of Education

The Luxury of Education

By: David Adhikary in Bangladesh and Leura Jones, Contributing Writer   |   Posted: August 17, 2009

A Day in the Life of a Bangladeshi Girl
Pomi (above) is grateful to Compassion and her sponsor for giving her the opportunity to go to school and learn about God.

Nine-year-old Pomi opens her eyes and looks at the early-morning light shining through her window. Her family doesn't have a clock; they tell time by the brightness of sunlight. Pomi gets down from her bed and meets her mother, Anjali, who is sweeping the front yard of their hut. Later Pomi brushes her teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste she received at the Compassion-assisted child development center. She is the only person in her family who uses a toothbrush.

To spend 14 cents for a toothbrush and 22 cents for a tube of toothpaste would be a luxury for her family. Pomi's father earns 100 taka ($1.45) per day on average. Her parents and older brothers use tree branches for washing their teeth. Pomi shares her toothpaste with her brothers.

As she dresses in her school uniform, she is thankful for how beautiful it is. The uniform costs $5.07; her family could survive for four days on that amount. It is only because of the Compassion center that she has this costly attire. She also receives a new pair of shoes ($2.17) from the center each year.

A Day in the Life

On her way to school with her friends, Pomi arrives at a river and removes her shoes. Every day she crosses the river twice, once to go to school and once to get back home. Class starts at 8 a.m., and today she will study Bengali, English, and mathematics.

She also learns drawing and sewing. Her monthly school fee is 72 cents. In addition, her yearly admission fee is $4.34, and her schoolbooks cost $7.25. Compassion has given her everything she needs for her studies, lifting the burden of her education from her parents.

The Compassion child development center is right next to her school. At noon, she goes next door to have lunch. It's Monday, and today the menu is rice, eggs, vegetables, and lentils.

"I love eggs. I am very happy when there are eggs," says Pomi. Four eggs cost 43 cents, so her family never has eggs at home. She also enjoys seasonal fruit and milk at the center.

After lunch the children enter the church for their Compassion activities. Pomi joins the other second-graders to learn songs and dances and receive help with her homework.

Before they leave, the children are reminded of their upcoming medical checkup. The checkups occur every six months and cost $1.45 for each child. Most of the parents and guardians are not aware of their children's health, so these exams are very necessary children.

Each Day Marked With Hope

When the center activities end at 5 p.m., Pomi crosses the river again and goes home. After helping her mother collect water, she plays with her best friend, Jui, bathes, and sits at her family's table to complete her studies.

"Pomi will become a doctor," says her mother. "That is my only dream."

Pomi eats rice and vegetables with her mother and waits for her father to come home. Before falling asleep, Pomi thanks God for her sponsor and looks ahead to another hopeful day.

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