Putting Plan into action in Bangladesh

Putting Plan into action in Bangladesh

Plan International are helping to improve the lives of Bangladesh's children through education and MAF are helping them work faster.

Despite a decade of economic growth, the majority of Bangladesh’s population lack opportunity and continue to live in poverty. 

The statistics are bleak: a third of the country’s infants are stunted due to an inadequate diet and the percentage of Bangladeshi girls who are married off in their adolescent years is one of the highest in the world.

The MAF floatplane at Barguna - Photo credit MAF/Richard Hanson

MAF Bangladesh team consider it a privilege to fly staff working with Plan International, an organisation working to champion the rights of Bangladesh’s children - ensuring they have access to education, healthcare, clean water and toilets.

A few months ago two female Plan workers – Dr. Asad and Ms. Chakraborty – used the floatplane to travel to Barguna in the country’s south for a three-day field project visit.  Together, they have been with the organisation for just 18 months, so the field trip helped them to better understand the work happening on the ground in this remote region.

'The school Plan has established tackles issues which result in teenagers dropping out of the education system' 

All of the NGOs projects are tailored towards benefiting the next generation, and the specific project Dr. Asad and Ms Chakraborty were visiting in Barguna concentrates on supporting local adolescents.

A School in Barguna Photo credit - Richard Hanson/MAF

The school which Plan has established tackles issues which result in teenagers dropping out of education. Classes deliver relevant training instil the practical values of being a responsible citizen. Teachers are supported to recognise the abilities of all students, especially girls.

The two ladies were extremely positive about the experience of flying with MAF. Dr. Asad is a ‘frequent flier’ embarking on her fifth flight on MAF's Amphibious Cessna. In contrast, Ms. Chakraborty was about to experience her very first journey. She showed little hesitation as she climbed on board. 

'The percentage of Bangladeshi girls who are married off in their adolescent years is one of the highest in the world'

Their enthusiasm  is easily understood when the alternatives are considered. The overland route to Barguna would have meant a combination of buses and ferries and taken a gruelling 14 hours. Flying with MAF on the other hand allowed the women to reach their destination in just half an hour, and arrive with energy enough to begin working for Barguna’s poorest citizens immediately.

Barguna Ferry terminal in 2011 - Photo credit MAF/Richard Hanson