In Bangladesh close to 70 percent of the urban population or close to 20 million people live in the slums. These people find it difficult to make both their ends meet and cannot afford education for their children. This creates a social problem where millions of children remain illiterate and are easily susceptible to child labor and petty crimes. Most of these slum dwellers don’t get a chance to rise up the social stature and create a better life and have to live their entire lives in slums.
To bring in change in the lives of these children, Touching Souls International a nonprofit organization has initiated schooling for the slum kids in collaboration with Nurture. The New York based nonprofit organization conducts regular awareness programs in the slums to motivating parents to send their children to school. In such campaigns the importance of education for the girl child is given importance. Majority of the girls born in the slums are deprived of education and are engaged in daily chores at home.
Under this program kids from the slums are provided with free educations with books and other materials being made available to them. Since malnourishment is common among these kids they are provided with nutritious lunch to help them grow physically. Touching Souls International puts in extra effort to retain these students in school as the dropout rate is high among slum kids. These slum schools have specially trained teachers to understand the needs and the challenges of the slum kids.
Apart from the education of the slum kids Touching Souls International in collaboration with Nurture General Hospital carries out 12 surgical operations per months for hysterectomy, hydrosil, hernia, piles and tumor by hired Surgeons & Anesthetists at Nurture’s operation theater. Nurture General Hospital also provides paramedics and free beds for these surgeries. This has been a saving grace for many slum dwellers who cannot afford such surgeries due to poverty.
The results of this initiative have been very encouraging for the entire team of Touching Souls International. The real success of this project hasn’t just been the number of students who have taken to schooling but the kind of awareness that the team has been able to create in these slums. Many slum dwellers are taking the education of their students seriously as results of these campaigns.
The school for the slum kids is a part of Touching Souls International’s larger initiative to transform the society through education. It is also running another school for the village children of Banail in the district of Kishoregong. The charity organization also provides scholarship for meritorious students from grade 5 to 10 who are unable to bear the educational expenses due to extreme poverty. This is brought in much needed hope in the lives of many.