Aside from Bangladesh's severe natural disadvantages, it has suffered from ineffective and corrupt governments ever since being established as a country in 1971. Planned democratic elections in January 2007 were suspended by a military-backed caretaker regime. Economic growth has been held back by the poor business practice of state-owned enterprises, the failure to exploit natural gas resources and inadequate civil infrastructure.
The average Bangladeshi earns little over £1000 a year – a mere pittance when compared with the average British salary of £26,000. One third of Bangladesh's surface area floods annually, the affects of which are devastating to the 153 million people crammed into the delta area of the Bay of Bengal. Poverty is deep and widespread, and basic health and education facilities are inadequate.
The people of Bangladesh are in great need of the life-changing hope that child sponsorship can bring to their families and communities. You can sponsor a child in Bangladesh through ActionAid, one of the world's leading relief and development agencies. They have developed a child sponsorship scheme which links people in more affluent countries with individual children in developing countries around the world.
ActionAid has worked alongside communities in Bangladesh since 1983 to improve access to basic sanitation, health and education facilities. It has invested in the training of health workers and the provision of health services. It also invests in the improvement of education facilities, and it has championed the need for poor people to know their rights, and to come together to fight for them.
ActionAid supports micro-finance companies that make small loans and credit available to business start-ups. It also works with community organisations to fight for the rights of women, and young girls in particular. Homeless, landless or disabled people, and those suffering from HIV/AIDS are also a particular focus for ActionAid. At times of natural disaster ActionAid has been on hand to provide emergency relief.
In the 37 years since its inception, ActionAid has reached many millions people in Africa, Asia and the Americas, and it has developed a wealth of expertise in fighting poverty. The charity partners with local organisations and recognises the need to work with communities on their own terms, and not impose solutions. By getting to know the culture intimately ActionAid workers have the best possible opportunity to affect a lasting end to poverty.
Sponsoring a child in Bangladesh today will cost you only 50 pence per day. Your money will also go towards development efforts in the town in which the child you sponsor lives. This will ensure the most efficient and effective use of your money.
As a child sponsor you will be able arrange a personal visit with your child and to communicate with them. You can also look forward to receiving special letters and drawings, including a new photograph every two years. Additionally, you get to see where and how your money is being spent by keeping in touch with your child's local ActionAid office, and through regular editions of Common Cause, ActionAid's newsletter.
You may also like to consider sponsoring a child in Bangladesh through World Vision: