Changing Children’s Future in Bangladesh

Certain parts of Bangladesh, particularly in the north, the rural families are very impoverished and most children do not receive any formal education. An organization that has made a significant difference to the life of the people of Bangladesh over the past nine years is Learn Foundation. This not for profit organization has taken a quantum leap in bringing modern technology into the lives of these poor people.

The project had its humble beginnings in a small school in the remote Durgapasha village, Sunamganj about forty km away from Sylhet in northeast Bangladesh. They began by providing computer education to young students with the help of two old computers. These classes on the weekly holiday of Friday grew so much in popularity, that not only children between the ages of 10 and 16 attended the courses but their parents and teachers joined in too!

With the support of the community and Bangladeshis from Sylhet living abroad, more centers were started over the years. The number of children who have benefited from the program since its inception is overwhelming. A further development has been the sensitization of these children to their environment and its ecology. Educating these children has been linked with planting of trees.

Indiscriminate deforestation has lead to degradation of the environment and many climatic changes in Bangladesh. Learn Foundation has created a win–win situation by linking education of children with a path breaking forestation programs. Partners of the program TEEF (“Tree Education Endowment Fund”) can, for a small donation of $15, make a revolutionary change to the lives of these young children and the environment.

People can invest in forestation programs and reap rich dividends in a few years time. They are issued TEEF redeemable bonds that pay for children’s computer education and towards forestation of certain areas. Part of their investments ensures a better future for young children who are being educated in a way that brings them on par with their peers elsewhere in the world. Partners of the programs will be encouraged to set up IT parks in the area that will bring progress and prosperity to the region.