The Chalantika Centre
Chalantika is an education centre for poor children and their families living in a slum of the same name in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It was founded in 2013 by the humanitarian organisation ADRA with the support of Czech donors. The centre helps 121 children from the poorest families to fulfil their big dream - to go to school and complete their education successfully. It also educates their parents through literacy courses and other programs.
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What problem are we solving?
In Bangladesh, 22 million people live in extreme poverty on less than $2/day (about 50 CZK). More than 40 million people (that's a quarter of the population) are illiterate. Without education, it is very difficult to find decent employment. These people, often slum-dwellers, are exploited for inhuman labour for meagre pay. Children are no exception.
They are forced to contribute to the family budget through their own labour, they do not study and they do not receive an education that would help them to get out of these conditions. The cycle of poverty thus continues into the next generation.
The Slum Education Centre helps to break this vicious circle.
Why do so many people fail to get an education?
The classrooms in public schools are overcrowded and teachers cannot devote enough time to students. Parents in Bangladesh therefore have to pay for tutoring for their children to achieve at least a basic education. After Grade 5, they all have to pass the national comparative examination or they cannot continue to secondary school. However, public schools are unable to prepare them for this exam. Thus, children from poor families whose parents cannot read and write cannot achieve education.
What help do the children in the center receive?
The Chalantika Education Centre provides children from the poorest backgrounds (single-parent families, parents with disabilities, etc.) with systematic education that deepens their knowledge of the content covered in public schools and prepares them to successfully pass the state benchmark exam at the end of grade 5. In addition, it takes care of children's health and opens up awareness-raising topics with children.
How we help children´s families
Involving the family, especially mothers, is key to the success and sustainability of the project. Parents are the ones who decide whether a student will continue his/her studies after completing five years of primary school. If they themselves are involved in education, they are more aware of its value for their children's future and ultimately for themselves. The pension system in Bangladesh is virtually non-existent and if children do not take care of their parents, no one else will. By working systemically with families, we are also helping to improve their health, hygiene and awareness of important social issues.
How do we involve parents?
- literacy classes (a large part of the slum population cannot read or write)
- health, hygiene and childcare education
- regular visits to families, counselling, assistance with everyday challenges
- workshops on various social issues: human rights, domestic violence, importance of education, Child rights
Education centre needs and budget
The Chalantika Education Centre operates thanks to Czech and foreign donors. ADRA organises fundraisers and campaigns to support the centre. We have been supported by the Czech clothing company MALFINI for a long time, and our partners are foreign ADRA organisations - Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden, Italy and France.
The fundraising for Chalantika has also been organised by well-known personalities, such as the band Pio Squad, reporter Tomáš Poláček, blogger Weef or adventurer Marek Jelínek.
Each year, the centre needs to raise CZK 1.2 million to run the centre. Are you in?
In 2021, Chalantika education center became a finalist in SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) Awards among 238 other projects.