With a view to providing services to small ethnic groups, minorities, disadvantaged and at-risk mothers and children in the hard-to-reach remote areas of Moulvibazar project sharing meeting of Accessing Learning Opportunities to the Young, Adolescent and Livelihood Options for Women (ALOY ALOW) Project was held in Sreemangal. The five-year project will be implemented through four partner organizations namely Breaking the Silence, Multi-purpose Socio Economic Development Association (MSEDA), Institute of Development Affairs (IDEA) and PROCHESTA. Educo will act as the technical partner while ChildFund Korea will provide its financial support.

The primary objective of ALOY ALOW is to ensure rights to education and dignity of life of children following an integrated development program approach in the hard-to-reach areas of Moulvibazar district in Bangladesh. The project will address local problems including poor access to education, high prevalence of malnutrition, water borne diseases, limited livelihood opportunities, lack of child protection and poor water and sanitation facilities in the targeted tea gardens and haor areas of Sreemangal and Kamalganj upazilas of the district. The project will ensure various government services in this area by strengthening cooperation with the government and tea garden authorities at the local and national levels.

Educo Country Director Johnny M Sarkar presided over the function and Mallika Dey, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Executive), Moulvibazar was present as the chief guest. Special guests were Nazrul Islam, Upazila Nirbahi Officer, Sreemangal and Mosaddek Hossain, District Primary Education Officer.

In her keynote address, Mallika Dey noted the government’s efforts to work with various development partners. “The project will work towards achieving the SDG targets, ensuring the rights of neglected children in tea gardens and haor areas,” she said.

Asserting the importance of the ALOY ALOW project, Nazrul Islam said, “If the activities of this project are implemented, we all will be able to enjoy the benefits.” “This project will train teachers, it will open new doors for children’s education,” he added.

Mosaddeq Hossain said that special care should be taken to avoid duplication of activities with the pre-primary program of the government. At the same time, he said, emphasis should be laid on the admission of children who have completed pre-primary education in higher classes.

“Leave no one behind – we are working to protect children’s rights with this message,” Johnny M Sarkar said quoting from the Convention on the Rights of the Child. “With this same goal, ALOY ALOW will keep working in the remote tea gardens and haor areas,” he added.

About 19,64 families in 30 tea gardens and two haor areas of Moulvibazar district are included in the “ALOY ALOW” project. Proper implementation of this project will not only increase the educational opportunities of the children, but also improve the quality of life of their families. Establishment of ECD centers and pre-schools, infrastructure to provide quality education in primary schools, provision of technology and materials, installation of tubewells and health centers, training of children and their families in nutritious food, provision of livelihood opportunities for youth and adolescents, disaster management mitigation procedure formulation and strengthening advocacy at the national level are part of the core action plan of this project.

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