Dreaming of a fairer world – Bangladeshi children described their lives, dreams, challenges, and everyday life

Lapset esittävät lääkärin vastaanottoa.

In a workshop held in November 2022, Bangladeshi children and young people were able to share in their own words and pictures about their everyday life and what their dreams are.

In a small village in the picturesque countryside of Bangladesh live young people with big dreams. 15-year-old Joyeta wants to be a doctor when she grows up and 15-year-old Keya wants to be a singer. Avijit who is 19-year-old wants to be a politician. 

Keya, Joyeta and Avijit and their friends reflect on what they want to do when they grow up and why. These young people have dreams and goals that they are willing to work for. From their dreams, they designed and presented their vision for the future. Their enthusiasm, ingenuity and commitment were wonderful to follow. However, will they be allowed to pursue their dreams? Or will Joyeta and Keya, for example, be married in a year’s time? 

Keya kuvaamassa Avijitia.

The girls designed a vlog and interviewed their teacher 

Morondi, a teenage girl, filmed a video blog in which she talks about her everyday life and what it’s like to be a girl in 2020s Bangladesh. As she photographs the family’s shop, goats, and home, Morondi reflects on her future. 

In my opinion, it is not safe enough for girls in Bangladesh.

– I don’t think it’s safe enough for girls in Bangladesh, Morondi says, explaining that she wants to work to protect girls when she grows up. 

Tytöt kuvaamassa vlogia.

Girls know the reality of where they live. Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in Asia. Almost 60% of girls are married underage, some even at the age of 11. Community pressure, the financial situation of families and fear of shame drive parents to marry their daughters young. Teenagers Mitali, Orpita and Shangita interviewed their teacher on the subject. 

Childhood games become a reality too early

13-year-old Simla and Toma filmed an old lady cooking in their village. The story of millions of Bangladeshi women is the same. Through child marriage, they have had to learn cooking and housekeeping far too early. Instead, girls dream of finishing school and getting a profession. They do homework, as Morondi does in the picture taken by Rojina. 

Child marriage destroys a girl’s life. We must prevent child marriage so that girls’ lives are not destroyed.

– Child marriage destroys a girl’s life. We must prevent child marriage so that girls’ lives are not destroyed. If child marriage is planned, we will prevent it. We try to convince the parents and tell them that they should not marry their daughters too young, writes 14-year-old Isha in an article she wrote in a writing workshop. With the support of Fida’s sponsors, Isha, who got into school, has herself prevented her friend’s child marriage by boldly talking to parents about what she has learned at school. 

I do not want fine words. I just want the rights of an ordinary person. Food, education, health, home. (Excerpt from 15-year-old Arafat’s poem on girls’ rights)

Child marriage violates children’s rights in many ways. Together with our local partner, Fida works long-term in communities to eradicate the harmful practice and give girls the opportunity to dream, go to school and have a future.