13 February 2024

How Moneca’s Entrepreneurial Dream Uplifts 12-year-old Dhighi’s Life

NAOGAON, Bangladesh - “Papa, hurry up!” Dhighi turns around to call her dad, Md. Mazed Ali Mondol, as they walk to Mst. Moneca Begum’s UNICEF-supported latrine business. It is the only latrine business in the village.  The 12-year-old’s footsteps quicken and her eyes spark as she sees Moneca. Even though usually quiet, Dhighi can’t contain her…, Dhighi doesn’t feel safe, For months, Dhighi has observed the sanitation business shop, where Moneca and her husband, Md. Hatim lay out neat rows of self-made pit latrines 1  in various styles and colors. The shop is next to the village’s main road - one adorned with towering white bark trees and children’s giggles.­­­ Walking by it every day, Dhighi knows that other…, A woman entrepreneur who changes her village, Moneca dusts off the self-made concrete rings in her shop. Concrete rings are embedded in the soil to store human waste. Moneca dusts off the self-made concrete rings in her shop. Concrete rings are embedded in the soil to store human waste. At 40 years old, Moneca is well known in Dhighi’s village as a female entrepreneur who makes a life for…, Moneca beams with pride as she talks about her shop., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Himu Dhighi and her cousin, Khadija (left), all know Moneca who just lives within walking distance from them. SanMarkSystems-06.JPG, Dhighi and her cousin, Khadija (left), all know Moneca who just lives within walking distance from them., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Himu Moneca beams with pride as she talks about her shop. Dhighi and her cousin, Khadija (left), all know Moneca who just lives within walking distance from them. “People can say many things because I am a woman who runs a business. But my business has done good for many people,” adds Moneca proudly. “Even if I no longer…, My dream is to become a doctor, Dhighi shows Mazed the latrine of her choice at Moneca’s shop. Dhighi shows Mazed the latrine of her choice at Moneca’s shop. Holding her father’s hand, Dhighi closely examines each pit latrine. Sometimes, she even takes off her brown slippers and carefully walks on each latrine’s surface. Finally, she chooses a white-tiled one with a pink floral…
04 February 2024

Dr. Naznin Akter’s journey in safeguarding special girl children against human papillomavirus (HPV)

"My mother used to have excessive bleeding and pain during menstrual periods. Later due to the pain becoming unbearable, she had to have her uterus removed through surgery in order to prevent cervical cancer as she was in high risk of contracting the disease since she was not vaccinated against Human Papillomavirus (HPV)," said Dr. Naznin Akter, a…, Battle against cervical cancer, When Dr. Naznin Akter learned about the HPV vaccination campaign during a training session at the EPI headquarters, her personal connection to the impact of cervical cancer fueled her determination to spearhead a session at Proyash Institute of Special Education where her son is enrolled. Proyash  is a specialized institution which provides…, Overcoming HPV myths and spreading awareness, However, organizing the session at Proyash presented its own challenges. Deep-rooted myths and societal taboos surrounding HPV vaccine, such as the misconception that it's ineffective past age 12 and the unfounded belief in side effects like infertility, cast a shadow, making parents hesitant to vaccinate their children. Adding to the reluctance…, A student of Proyash Institute of Special Education getting the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Sumon A student of Proyash Institute of Special Education getting the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine HPV_1159.JPG, A student of Proyash Institute of Special Education getting the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Sumon A student of Proyash Institute of Special Education getting the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. A student of Proyash Institute of Special Education getting the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine “I took my daughter to her school today so she could receive the HPV vaccination. Cervical cancer has always worried me…, A safer tomorrow for girls in Bangladesh, In Bangladesh, millions of women die from cervical cancer, a disease which can be prevented by a single dose of vaccine to girls at an early age. Despite cervical cancer being the second most common cancer among women in Bangladesh and causing the highest number of cancer-related deaths, many people are not aware about the dangers of HPV and the…
01 February 2024

Young innovators on their way to revolutionize the renewable energy landscape in Bangladesh

Three bright minds from Bangladesh – Abdullah Al Araf (25), Johora Gulshan Ara (25), and Rahat Uddin (25) – stand tall among the champions of the 2022 Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge, a global competition challenging young minds across the world to tackle their community’s toughest problems, supporting them to translate their ideas into…, Pioneering change initiative for renewable energy, Bangladesh is heavily dependent on non-renewable energy sources such as coal, oil, and natural gas, which are decreasing with time. Although the country is working on becoming climate-neutral and has set up wind turbines, the popularity of the traditional wind turbines is still low, largely due to the noise pollution they cause along with adverse…, Team BD Highway Turbine presenting their idea at the National Pitching Event of the Generation Unlimited imaGen Ventures Youth Challenge., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Satu Team BD Highway Turbine presenting their idea at the National Pitching Event of the Generation Unlimited imaGen Ventures Youth Challenge. Copy of 0144.webp, Team BD Highway Turbine presenting their idea at the National Pitching Event of the Generation Unlimited imaGen Ventures Youth Challenge., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Satu Team BD Highway Turbine presenting their idea at the National Pitching Event of the Generation Unlimited imaGen Ventures Youth Challenge. Team BD Highway Turbine presenting their idea at the National Pitching Event of the Generation Unlimited imaGen Ventures Youth Challenge., Innovating for sustainability, Their innovative technology, equipped with built-in sensors and an advanced IoT platform, extends beyond energy generation by monitoring crucial city parameters such as temperature, humidity, wind, and CO2 levels. Additionally, a user-friendly mobile app will provide real-time data about the generated energy and measurements made by BD Highway…, Empowering young trailblazers, In August 2023, two teams were selected by the jury at the national pitching event from the competing 19 teams to participate in the global phase of the challenge. Finally, in December 2023, BD Highway Turbine was declared as one of the 10 winning teams out of 40 teams from 20 participating countries in a surprise announcement at the UNICEF…, Abdullah Al Araf and Rahat Uddin from BD Highway Turbine are delighted by the news of winning the global phase of the Generation Unlimited imaGen Ventures Youth Challenge., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Jaser Abdullah Al Araf and Rahat Uddin from BD Highway Turbine are delighted by the news of winning the global phase of the Generation Unlimited imaGen Ventures Youth Challenge UNI01548.JPG, Abdullah Al Araf and Rahat Uddin from BD Highway Turbine are delighted by the news of winning the global phase of the Generation Unlimited imaGen Ventures Youth Challenge., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Jaser Abdullah Al Araf and Rahat Uddin from BD Highway Turbine are delighted by the news of winning the global phase of the Generation Unlimited imaGen Ventures Youth Challenge. Abdullah Al Araf and Rahat Uddin from BD Highway Turbine are delighted by the news of winning the global phase of the Generation Unlimited imaGen…
21 December 2023

A Mother’s Change of Heart

“I gave birth to my first two daughters at home. I was in severe pain, losing a lot of blood, and the baby would not come out,” recounted Ruma Khatun. “I was scared. My family was scared.” At 24, Ruma had already endured two delayed birth deliveries at home. Her first baby, Joti, was born when Ruma was only 16. Five years later, She gave birth to…, Anxious for her third pregnancy, Ruma lived with Johirul, their daughters, two brothers-in-law, and mother-in-law in the village of Dhamainagar, Rajshahi Division, northwest Bangladesh. Their home was situated alone in an isolated, green paddy field that stretched beyond the horizon, far from the main road. “From our house, the Upazila Health Complex is very far away, and in the…, Community health worker, midwife, and a change of heart, Three months into her pregnancy, Ruma met Sadia Islam, a community health worker 2  who had been going from door to door encouraging mothers in the village to visit the Dhamainagarhat Community Clinic, where the Government of Bangladesh (GOB) and UNICEF recently launched Reaching Every Mother and Newborn (REMN) program . With the goal of being…, Sagarika gives Ruma a check-up at the Dhamainagarhat Community Clinic., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Paul Ruma and Johirul visit the Dhamainagarhat Community Clinic. REMN22.JPG, Ruma and Johirul visit the Dhamainagarhat Community Clinic., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Paul Sagarika gives Ruma a check-up at the Dhamainagarhat Community Clinic. Ruma and Johirul visit the Dhamainagarhat Community Clinic., Ruhi, a bundle of joy, Three-month-old Ruhi was bubbly and curious. With cheek against cheek, hands holding Ruhi’s fingers, Ruma softly beamed with pride and happiness. Ruma gives Ruhi a bath in the morning. REMN04.JPG, Ruma gives Ruhi a bath in the morning., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Paul Ruma plays with Ruhi after changing her clothes. REMN08.JPG, Ruma plays with Ruhi after changing her clothes., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Paul Ruma gives Ruhi a bath in the morning. Ruma plays with Ruhi after changing her clothes. “I gave birth to her with confidence because there were skilled midwives who delivered my baby. They made me trust that my baby would be healthy, and I would be healthy as well,” commented Ruma. Ruma holds Ruhi in their house. Ruma…
18 December 2023

Bangladesh cricket team’s practice session with school children at Eden Gardens stadium

Cricket, just like life itself, teaches valuable lessons to individuals. On the field, participants learn the importance of life skills such as teamwork, negotiation, and strategy. These skills translate seamlessly into real life, aiding every individual in navigating life's challenges with grace. For children, cricket is not just a sport, it's a…, Cricket, the game of life, ICC and UNICEF’s initiative, ‘Cricket4Good’, has been using the power of cricket to teach essential life skills to girls and boys in a fun and interactive way. Under this initiative, a practice session was organized for the Bangladesh cricket team and the unique aspect of this session was the participation of 20 girls and boys from various schools…, Determination, resilience, and the spirit of fair play, This training session brought the international players to amplify messages to #BeAChampion through equality between girls and boys and to help them become confident, work together, and pursue an equal world. The #BeAChampion campaign advocates for promoting equal participation in sports and life opportunities for girls and boys, no matter where…, By playing alongside these children, the Bangladesh cricket team inspired the next generation of players, making their dreams come true., 2023 ICC By playing alongside these children, the Bangladesh cricket team inspired the next generation of players, making their dreams come true. C4G02.JPG, By playing alongside these children, the Bangladesh cricket team inspired the next generation of players, making their dreams come true., 2023 ICC By playing alongside these children, the Bangladesh cricket team inspired the next generation of players, making their dreams come true. By playing alongside these children, the Bangladesh cricket team inspired the next generation of players, making their dreams come true. Shuvam Rajwar, a speech and hearing-impaired boy, said with the…, Cricket for building tomorrow’s leaders, Investing in today's children and young people is a powerful catalyst for positive change. They are resilient and dynamic when provided with opportunities and support. Cricket, as a platform, excels in advocating for children’s rights. It plays a crucial role in promoting and generating mass awareness in gender equity by providing equal…, Star players, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad, teaching the children to play each inning with tenacity, grit, and joy., 2023 ICC Star players, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad, teaching the children to play each inning with tenacity, grit, and joy. C4G04.JPG, Star players, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad, teaching the children to play each inning with tenacity, grit, and joy., 2023 ICC Star players, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad, teaching the children to play each inning with tenacity, grit, and joy. Star players, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad, teaching the children to play each inning with tenacity, grit, and joy. By encouraging girls to play and compete on an equal footing with boys, the Cricket4Good…
14 December 2023

From fear to courage: Mim Akter’s success with SwimSafe

On a late afternoon in March 2020, 17-year-old Mim Akter's life had changed into a completely new direction. Her 8-year-old brother, Al Amin, faced the danger of drowning after falling into a pond while trying to climb a tree. Panic gripped Mim as she witnessed her only sibling struggling in the water. Fueled by a mix of instinct and the fear of…, The drowning crisis in Bangladesh, Bangladesh faces a severe drowning crisis, with 40 1  children succumbing to the water every day. Drowning rates are disproportionately high, particularly among rural populations, and 75 per cent of drownings occurred in natural water bodies near homes. The country's vulnerability to flooding only exacerbated the situation. To address this issue,…, Mim Akter in water with her students, showing them breathing, floating, and rescuing techniques., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Kiron Mim Akter in water with her students, showing them breathing, floating, and rescuing techniques. SwimSafe-Saturia-Manikganj-3.JPG, Mim Akter in water with her students, showing them breathing, floating, and rescuing techniques., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Kiron Mim Akter in water with her students, showing them breathing, floating, and rescuing techniques. Mim Akter in water with her students, showing them breathing, floating, and rescuing techniques., A community’s journey to water safety, Through the SwimSafe Programme, Mim taught 200 children in 2022 and more than 200 in 2023. Lessons span three months during favorable weather, ensuring safe conditions for learning. With most sessions occurring after school, accommodating easy attendance for the children, the programme has reached 55,000 children nationally. “After I started to…, Towards collective community empowerment goals, The programme's influence also extends beyond children and practical swimming skills. Through courtyard meetings, the community gains essential skills and awareness about harmful social norms such as child marriage, dowry, child labour, abuse, and different types of violence and exploitation, fostering a sense of community responsibility. Parents…
30 November 2023

When every breath is no longer a luxury

DHAKA, Bangladesh – “My child was having seizures. My mind was not working. I couldn’t figure out what to do,” remembered Sharmin Siddiki about her previous night. As Sharmin talked, her three-year-old child, Fatima, was drifting into sleep. Amid the rhythmic sounds of the UNICEF-supported oxygen equipment, Fatima’s eyes closed. Her mouth and nose…, Seizure, pneumonia, and interrupted oxygen, In the dead of night the day before, Fatima had a seizure. During a moment of despair, Sharmin thought that her only child would not make it till dawn. Holding the feverish girl in her lap, Sharmin left the house and waved for a rickshaw to rush to Mugda Medical College Hospital. As soon as she made it to the hospital, Fatima had the next seizure…, During COVID-19, breathing was a luxury, For years, Efteara had taken care of sick children like Fatima and saw firsthand the heart-wrenching impact of lacking oxygen care. Many patients and newborns needed uninterrupted oxygen but had to take turns using oxygen cylinders, which also couldn’t meet the needs of all patients. And when oxygen therapy was available, there were potential fire…, Fatima’s recuperation, To Sharmin’s relief, Fatima was immediately moved to a bed equipped with a UNICEF-supported centrally supplied oxygen outlet, which delivered oxygen directly to each patient. Medical staff and nurses like Efteara no longer had to move oxygen cylinders from bed to bed. Instead, patients could easily receive uninterrupted oxygen from their beds. “My…, Planting seeds for a better future, During the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to the contribution of donors, UNICEF supported the Government of Bangladesh to strengthen oxygen infrastructure and equipment throughout the country. “What we didn’t have in the beginning was a vision of what an oxygen system looks like. And this initiative has helped us to discuss this and develop a system of…, Nurses at Mugda Medical College Hospital attend a UNICEF-supported training workshop on fire safety in the hospital., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/ Paul Efteara learns how to put out a fire during a UNICEF-supported training on fire safety at Mugda Medical College Hospital. OS19.jpg, Efteara learns how to put out a fire during a UNICEF-supported training on fire safety at Mugda Medical College Hospital., UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Paul Nurses at Mugda Medical College Hospital attend a UNICEF-supported training workshop on fire safety in the hospital. Efteara learns how to put out a fire during a UNICEF-supported training on fire safety at Mugda Medical College Hospital. “The central oxygen system has made the treatment easier and accessible for…, For every child like Fatima, quality oxygen care, Since 2021, thousands of children in Bangladesh like Fatima have benefited from the UNICEF-supported initiative. UNICEF will continue to support the Government of Bangladesh to strengthen its health system and improve the quality of care for newborns and children, ensuring that every child like Fatima can survive and thrive to their full potential…