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Pandemic dropouts

Our Dhaka colleague, Dr. Nazmul Huda, has shared a report on the effect of Covid on children’s education in Bangladesh. When the pandemic first hit, concern initially focused on girls being forced into marriage, as struggling families tried to reduce their costs by marrying off their daughters. Now however, most of those missing from the classrooms are adolescent boys who have become wage earners for their families (photo shows family breaking bricks for concrete aggregate).

Donations from BHP supporters tackle these problems directly: Since Covid started, OFP has provided food aid to the ultra-poor in Nilphamari District. After the government closed all schools, Bluebell teachers took readers and other learning materials to students in their homes. OFP also awards scholarships to deserving but needy high school students (young woman standing in photo is a straight "A" high school student). Several OIST students have also been awarded tuition waivers to enroll in vocational training that will prepare them for decent jobs.

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