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In Bangladesh, for every child who is lucky enough to live in a good home and receive a good education, there are three children who are doomed to live below the poverty line. As time goes by, Bangladesh is slowly losing its educated population to the lure of better opportunities abroad, and the number of poor people who have no means to help themselves increases daily.

Korvi Rakshand was expected to take over the family business upon completing his education. To everyone’s surprise, Korvi decided that he would use his education and skills to bring about a change for the impoverished of Bangladesh. Understanding that charitable acts are often temporary and unsustainable, Korvi was determined to improve the lives of these people in the long term. Together with university friends who shared the same vision, he set off on a mission to combat poverty by creating an educated future generation.

The project began in November 2007 with a small room containing a white board, a marker, and a little mat for the 17 students to sit on. Now this free-of-cost-school in the slum area of Rayer Bazar runs classes for nearly 600 students. In March 2011 JAAGO opened another school in the Karail slum area of Banani, and in September 2011 opened its first online school in Gazipur, Tongi.

The schools follow the English standard curriculum – which up until now was only taught in public schools. Education is free and only children living in slum areas are admitted.

JAAGO Foundation believes in working towards a better society—one in which every child can and has access quality education. Through access, each student served can capitalize on his or her dreams and take life to be the opportunity it is.

Slum in Rayer Bazaar- home to Jaago students

Funding:

Jaago have been very fortunate in that Funding for new schools, improvement of existing infrastructure, equipment has been done through individual donors or corporate social responsibility programmes by companies operating in Bangladesh. As large companies have donated specific amounts enabling them to expand very quickly throughout Bangladesh, and in some remote and impoverished area’s of the country.

The Challenge for Jaago is maintaining the day to day running costs of the schools.

The funding for their day to day running costs (teacher’s salaries, books, weekly lunch etc.) comes from their 1 on 1 sponsorship programme. It costs BDT 1,500 (£13) to sponsor a child for a month. For day-to-day running costs this method of funding is preferred to large corporate funding, which is here today and gone tomorrow so cannot be relied upon in the long term. Also if an individual donor sponsoring 3 children drops out it is easy to find a replacement and the shortfall is much smaller than say if a corporate donor sponsoring 100 children suddenly drops out.

They currently have 11,000 students of which 500 have a 1 on 1 sponsor (45%).

Most of the BDT 1,500 goes on teacher’s salaries. In order to provide an English standard education Jaago need to build a stable school environment with teachers qualified to teach at this level. This means that staff attrition must be kept low and salaries offered should be comparable to the market rate.

The main concern we have for Jaago is their rate of expansion. With only 45% of their students having sponsorship there appears to be a risk that the existing model cannot be maintained or at the very least quality of education will decrease with continued growth. Jaago need to increase more of their 1:1 sponsorship.

We are working with Jaago to help them maintain their day to day running costs which will essentially ensure the schools can remain open and continue to provide high standard of education.

Jaago Headquarters

If you are interested in making a donation towards the Jaago project you can do so through our website.  For more information on the organisation please visit their website: http://www.jaago.com.bd/

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