Due to the physical inability of Sepali's (16) father, her mother is the only income earner of family who barely meets all educational needs of Sepali. Moreover, their poor income resulted in Sepali's elder sister's marriage at an early age and the same would have happened to Sepali unless ActionAid had helped her continue her education with mentoring support in the child space and her mother with increased livelihood skills.
People of her community used to pressurize her parents to arrange Sepali’s wedding driven by the concept that there is no need to carry the burden of girls' education in such a dire financial situation. But they did not step on the path because their involvement with ActionAid Bangladesh in the women farmers group and child forum has raised their awareness about the negative impact of child marriage. Being involved in a women’s farmer group, Sepali’s mother received livelihood-related training on livestock rearing, climate-resilient agriculture, and savings which help them with a sustainable income. Additionally, Sepali is trained in a leadership capacity for her engagement in the child forum which ensures her stand against the practice of child marriage. However, Sepali dreamed big, and ActionAid tried to guide him, which has reflected in her remarkable result of Golden A+ (GPA 5) in the Secondary School Certificate examination.
Sepali said, “Before the exam, I realized some lack in my preparation and I was struggling to understand some complicated issues of math, physics, and chemistry. ActionAid always helped me and my family to overcome difficult situations and this time also helped me by providing tuition facilities. A teacher taught us two months before the final examination. I have also planned for future and want to be a police officer.”
There were 28 SSC candidate children who are involved with ActionAid’s program in the Ghoraghat area of Dinajpur who have successfully passed the exam.