On a visit to the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research at Dhaka, Bangladesh, in February 2010, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn saw many people who suffered from diarrhea. Her greatest concern was for children who are the most vulnerable. Malnutrition among children can be further aggravated by diarrhea and other infection diseases. Consequently, children cannot achieve their full potential growth and cannot attend school regularly because of illnesses. These can contribute to a decrease in a child’s ability to learn and lower school performance.
This collaboration started in July 2010 with a study visit for highranking officials led by Hon’ble Minister of the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education and principals from two selected schools situated in reachable rural areas. The collaborative project aims at improving the nutrition and health status of children and youth in rural Bangladesh with a major emphasis on promoting health and hygiene. At first, hand washing facilities, sanitary latrines, and safe and clean drinking water were provided to both schools. Teaching media, such as hand washing posters, were prepared for children for practicing proper hand washing. In addition, school agriculture was also promoted. In the long-run, it is expected that the schools can be good models for families and communities in terms of strengthening their capacity in sanitation and hygiene practices as well as food production. A total of 1,224 children have gained benefit from this collaboration.
Her Royal Highness paid a visit to these two schools in December 2011. During her visit, Her Royal Highness learned that local people in Gazipur set aside land for establishing vegetable plots so that children can practice and learn about school agriculture. One company in Dakar donated tanks to schools for storing water for daily use. These actions demonstrate that through the collaborative project, more partnerships at the local level have been created to support child development.
1) Mariali Government Primary School
Mariali, Gazipur Sadar, Gazipur, Dhaka
2) Azampur Government Primary School
Sector -6, Azampur, Uttara, Dhaka
1) School nutrition and health services
2) School sanitation
3) School agriculture
4) Vocational Education
5) Quality basic education
6) Environmental and Cultural conservation