ICA Bangladesh was established in order to create a vibrant culture of participation from the grassroots and to empower individuals, groups, communities, and organizations to contribute to the reduction of poverty and the betterment of society. The mission is to operate as a people-oriented and human-centered agent of change based on inclusive, participatory planning and development initiatives. ICA uses well-tested participatory methods and tools to affect positive change in areas of poverty reduction, environment, agriculture, education, health and natural resource management. ICA Bangladesh actively promotes and organizes workshops for training facilitators, as well as for training individuals and groups for fundraising, team building, project management, and research. The organization targets marginalized individuals and works to empower them to be active leaders and contributors to social change.
To support ICA activities in Bangladesh, please send your donation to the following official Bank account or via online or through ICA International:
Account Name: Dhaka Institute of Cultural Affairs
Saving Account No. 083834124539
SWIFT Code: AGBKBDDH001
Agrani Bank Ltd.
National Press Club Branch
Head Office Address:
83/B New Circular Road
Mouchak Tower Suit# 1513 (14th Floor)
Malibag Moor Dhaka-1217, Bangladesh
Donate for the Phulki Project
The Sparks and Call of Dhaka Street Children During 2009 we initiated a new program for Street Children.There are about 333,920 (75% of the total street children of country according to a 2001 survey) street children in Dhaka City who are marginalized kids who have no access to education, live in poverty, ignorance, and with poor health, and are subject to child labor, criminal activities, and lack basic child rights. The Bengali word ‘Phulki’ means spark or stimulant or catalyst. In this manner, we are improving the quality of life of street children project through educational and life skills training, keeping an eye on their discovering their individual callings in life.
Imagine the streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Imagine 15 million people in a country of at least 150 million. Imagine six lanes of traffic on each side of the street where at most three should fit, almost no public transport (a few buses per day). Picture endless old bike rickshaws, often with breathtaking seconds of avoiding a collision with other vehicles. Imagine the horrendous noise and smells–the traffic lights that often do not work or are not obeyed, even if police are present, everyone trying to get through as fast as possible.
Now picture in the midst of all this maze and chaos of moving vehicles: little kids. Yes, right there in the danger zone, where traffic is stopped for a moment, kids trying to sell you something—a piece of gum or candy, a flower, popcorn, newspapers, magazines and even books. Other kids just beg for money, whatever you can give. If you give and have to wait another minute, ten others might rush over to also ask for something.
These are the “Street Children”. No one knows what to do with them. They are very poor, their parents usually came from the country, where great rural poverty pushed them out in hope of some odd jobs in the city. They live on empty lots at the river, and when thrown out from there, on the sides of streets. They help the family survive by getting a few takas (5 cents) through their street sales. Most of them do not go to school–at least not once they are eight years old and can contribute to self-support. Some of them are orphans. Some of them intentionally damaged physically–by families or organizers–to awaken more compassion when people notice their lost hand, arm or leg.
These are the kids our colleagues in Bangladesh are helping. Their conscience responded since government services are not available. For almost two years now they have offered two hours of basic education and life-skills training for about thirty of these kids in one small part of the city. They gained the necessary permission from local government officials, secured the free use of a room and the ongoing agreement and some participation from parents. They engaged volunteers to provide meaningful instructions in very limited conditions. Life skills include information on health, sanitation, hygiene and how to prevent diseases like HIV/AIDS and STD. They teach decision making and discuss the rights of children–especially girls and efforts to overcome poverty and inequality. They even include initial employable skills such as dress-making and work with computers.
The project is called “phulki”, meaning sparks, expressing the hope of its intent. The teachers aim to build on what the children know and have experienced already, excite them about learning and possibilities and to share what they have learned with their parents. The school is a spark for hope, the children are treated as sparks and their sparks can influence others and help create a different future. The kids and many parents feel honoured and willing to go for less income earning and food in order to learn more.
Unfortunately this project has not received regular funding yet and is in great need to be able to continue. Any donation will directly serve the kids and improve their future chances in life.