World Day Against Child Labour 2018
Farzana is 7 years old. She lives with her parents and two sisters in a small hut in one of Dhaka’s slums where living conditions are extremely challenging. Farzana’s father works as a rickshaw driver and receives a small income. Their financial difficulties prevent him from sending his children to school. Farzana works as a house servant washing floors, cleaning dishes, and doing laundry for her employer from morning until evening. She makes less than 3 dollars a week.
The term “child labour” is often defined as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential, and their dignity, and is harmful to their physical and mental development. In its most extreme forms, child labour involves children being enslaved, separated from their families, and exposed to serious hazards or sexual exploitation. Many are left to fend for themselves on the streets of large cities – often at a very early age. In Bangladesh, child labour is illegal but there are not enough officers to enforce the law and 4.7 million children between the ages of 5 – 14 are in the workforce.
International Needs’ Drop in Centre in Dhaka reaches out to children who work in cement factories, small roadside hotels, tea stalls, or portable shops. Many of the young girls work hard as house servants cooking food, washing floors, and doing laundry. The Centre provides a safe and enriching environment where vulnerable children receive social and psychological support, education, recreational activities, nutritious food, clothing and bathing facilities. They learn about God’s love for them and are encouraged to grow in character.
Farzana was excited when she was given the opportunity to go to the Drop-in Centre for two hours each day. She has learned the Bengali and English alphabet and numbers. She is learning about cleanliness and how to make friends. Because hunger is never far away, Farzana is very thankful for the nutritious food she receives at the Centre. When she grows up, she would like to be a Healthcare Worker. Her parents are very grateful for all she is learning at the Centre and for the love and care she has received.
“We would like to thank our valued supporters of the Drop-in Centre. Without your help, working children would not be reached. It is our hope that once the new residential section at the Naogoan School is complete, these children will be able to live there and go to school full time.”
• McDonald Adhikary
Would you prayerfully consider supporting the running costs of the Drop-in Centre in Dhaka? The Centre has become a place of hope and refuge for many vulnerable children who had lost all hope. You can encourage them to dream again. Thank you!