Dressing for Success in Bangladesh

Dressing for Success in Bangladesh

CARE’s school management committees in Bangladesh stitch learning into the lives of kids and their parents.

The start of a new school year brings much excitement and anticipation for students and parents alike. Many poor families, however, miss out on that because they can’t afford the uniforms required for their children to attend school. And when resources are scarce, families often cover the cost of the boy’s uniforms before the girl’s, thereby closing the book on their daughter’s education. 

CARE’s School Management Committees (SMC), however, are changing that, particularly in three villages in the Sunamganj area of Bangladesh, where the cost of uniforms had kept kids from school. This was especially true for girls whose families couldn’t afford the necessary school dresses. 

The SMC in Perua village raised money to help those families cover the uniform cost, while the the SMC in Charnerchar village took an advocacy approach by urging parents to prioritize the cost of uniforms, and thereby education, particularly for their daughters.

The SMC in Madurapur village engaged community leaders around the issue and appealed to a local water management committee for funding. 

Before, only some students at our school wore uniforms, but now we all have them.  It makes us happy and we no longer feel indecisive about attending school. 

- A grade 3 girl

The outcome of the SMSs’ efforts? More kids, especially girls, are getting the uniforms they need — and an education that is rightfully theirs. But the positive changes don’t end there. With the community support and new uniforms, parents are more motivated to send their children to school —and their children are more excited to attend.  

“It used to make me cry, not being able to go to school because I had no uniform, “said Moni, a fifth grader. “My parents didn’t have enough money.  Now that I have a school dress. And I’m really happy because I can spend happy time with my friends in school.”