Follow developments with Shonglap, the Kavli Trust’s anniversary project in Bangladesh
The Shonglap project provides a one-year education for girls aged 11-19 who have missed out on school through poverty. It will give them pride and independence, teach them their own rights and provide opportunities to earn their own money. They will thereby be helped to avoid child marriage, forced prostitution, assault and exploitation. With support from the Kavli Trust, 5 400 girls are due to pass through the Strømme Foundation’s Shonglap schools over the next three years.
What has happened since the first 20 Shonglap centres opened?
- Another 20 centres opened in September
- 500 girls are enrolled, and 99 per cent attend regularly
- More than half have stated practising what they learn, at home and in the local community
- A fifth of the girls have become more involved in family decisions
- Many now want to contribute financially to their family
- Girls aged 15-18 are particularly motivated for vocational training
- 50 per cent have started saving money alone, in small groups or together with their parents
- The Shonglap support team (SST) monitors that the girls get to school safely and attend lessons
- Three girls who withdrew have returned thanks to close follow-up
- Two child marriages were averted with help from the SST
From silent and oppressed to masters of their own lives
The posters read:
Girls also want the right to go to school
We don’t want to marry until we’re 18
We want the right to walk in peace
No to dowries
Courageous Shonglap girls demonstrate for the right to go to school and against child marriage, dowries and discrimination against women.
Learn more about the Kavli Trust’s collaboration with the Strømme Foundation, Shahina and the other Shonglap girls at www.kavlitrust.com
Read the Narrative Report – 2012 here
Inger Elise Iversen, March 2013.