Life throws a curve ball, and a young girl drops out of school. A second chance gives her the opportunity of a lifetime—education, income generation, and a say in decision making. It lifts the entire family out of poverty. The future is a brightly shining star where the possible is an endless horizon.
School drop-out to community mentor
(BANGLADESH): The young Shumitra (19) gave up school when her impoverished parents fell into even deep poverty. Her father was a fisherman, who brought home fluctuating incomes which were made even more vulnerable by the seasonal nature of his occupation.
One day he and some friends were picked up by authorities for illegal fishing, and all their nets and fishing gear were confiscated. It was time to search for a new income. But he did not have access to a different livelihood. It became difficult to earn enough money to even feed the family. Shumithra and her brother gave up school thereafter.
“I am fed up”, Shumitra said. “I help mother with household chores but what else can I do?
“We don’t have any land, “We can’t grow anything, “And nothing can be done about it!”
–a young girl in the prime of her youth was out of hope and dreams. Like many others in her village.
“Shonglap turned my life around… I can stand on my own with dignity… I feel empowered”
Shonglap or speed school fast-tracked derailed lives
However, an initiative by Stromme Foundation changed her life—the village Shonglap Centre.
It helped her to develop a positive mindset, acquire life skills, catch up on missed school lessons, and receive income-generating support.
Attending Shonglap helped readmit Shumitra into school and she was able to pass her Advance level examination. “I want to study further and complete a Bachelor of Arts degree,” she said.
“The discipline of Shonglap turned my life around. I want to share my knowledge and skills with the rest of my village” she continued, cognizant of her role-model status in the community.