Catholic Charity Work in Bangladesh

Catholic Charity Work in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is the eighth-most-populous country in the world, and is slightly smaller than Iowa. Most Bangladeshis are Muslim (89.1%), while 10% are Hindu, and just 0.9% identify as “other,” which includes Buddhists and Christians.
Explore the tabs below to learn of the Projects and Updates in Bangladesh.

Give Education to Tea Farmers’ Children

Give Education to Tea Farmers’ Children

Tea Workers are one of Most Deprived Communities

Tea workers are one of South Asia’s most deprived communities in terms of fair wages, access to education, healthcare, nutrition, and other basic human needs.

At first glance, the lush greenery of the tea plantations of Bangladesh seems beautiful. “This is God’s country,” you might think if you ever visit there. But life in these tea plantations has a dark underside, and a closer look reveals deep suffering.

Tea laborers work long hours plucking, carrying, and weighing tea leaves. They earn only $1.00 USD per day.

When they go home at night, it’s to residences called “labor lines”—row upon row of tiny mud-and-aluminum huts, where they live with their families. The labor line huts have only one or two rooms, no running water, and limited access to clean water and sanitation.Disease runs rampant.

Most tea laborers are illiterate. Many of them were born in the tea plantation and have lived their whole lives there. They’ve never had access to quality education—tea plantations don’t provide good schools because students might get big ideas, and dream of a better life, and leave the tea garden.

Tea workers are given no rights, no benefits, and while they do receive a wage, it is only $1.00 USD per day! They aren’t allowed to unionize or bargain for better working conditions. Tea workers are one of South Asia’s most deprived communities in terms of fair wages, access to education, healthcare, nutrition, and other basic human needs.

Bangladesh - Stats for the Diocese of Sylhet and Bangladesh tea farms

The Catholic Church is Stepping in to Fight this Systemic Poverty

The Catholic Church is stepping in to fight this systemic poverty and provide quality education to Bonnya and others like her.

The Diocese of Sylhet, Bonnya’s local Catholic diocese, has committed as much funding as possible to help educate the children of tea laborers. The Church has provided a school building, qualified teachers, materials, food, and the love of God to these little ones.

Without the Church’s involvement in these communities, Bonnya and countless others wouldn’t be able to attend school. Maramali, little Jahir’s father and a tea laborer, tells us, “Garden management doesn’t help with education. Only missionary support can help my child go to school.”

“Garden management doesn’t help with education. Only missionary support can help my child go to school.” – Maramali, tea laborer and father

Bangladesh’s Catholic population is small—less than 1% of Bangladeshis are Christian!—and the local diocese is very poor. The diocese is giving all the funds it can to the tea plantation schools, but they need help.

Catholic World Mission has committed to partner with the diocese in support of these schools for three years, because we know how generous you are and how heroically you support efforts to rescue God’s beloved children from crushing poverty.


7 Years old


Bonnya, 7, is the youngest child in her family. Her mom and dad are both tea laborers. In the community where she lives, people have been working in the tea gardens for 170 years, generation to generation.

Bonnya dreams of escaping the poverty of the tea plantations and when she grows up, she wants to serve her country by working as a police officer to help make Bangladesh a better, safer place.


8 Years old


Jahir, 8, is also the youngest child in his family. Seven family members live together in Jahir’s tiny labor line hut: Jahir, one brother, one sister, two parents, and two grandparents. While both of his parents are illiterate, Jahir’s dad, Maramali, works as a tea laborer and his mom is a homemaker.

Jahir wants to be a doctor when he grows up.


8 Years old


8-year-old Agnes is in 2nd grade today, thanks to your support. Her dad is a tea laborer, and his $1 daily wage is all the family of four has to survive on. She dreams of being a doctor, and it’s only through your generosity that this dream may one day come true! Her parents never got to go to school, so they can’t read or write, and their only hope for their daughter to have a better life is the school you’re helping to support.


12 Years old


Shipa is 12 and dreams of being an engineer one day. Both of her parents work in the same tea farm, earning just $1 per day. On Sundays, the only day he has off from the tea farm, Shipa’s dad sells firewood at the local market to make extra money for the family to live on. Shipa has 5 siblings, so the extra income is necessary. Thanks to you, Shipa gets to go to school, and her dream of one day being an engineer is closer every day.


12 Years old


Swadhin, 12, is a first-generation learner. He and his brother are the first two in his family to ever get to go to school! Swadhin dreams of becoming a doctor one day because he knows he can help the sick. In his short life, he’s seen so much illness. His family lives in a mud hut with a tin roof, with no running water or plumbing. His parents, both tea laborers, can’t afford nutritious food or clean water, so Swadhin, his brother, and his parents are often sick. Swadhin has big dreams for himself, and so does his mom: “I want to see my son become a doctor, but more than anything, I want to see him grow to be a good human being, happy, and well salaried, so that he doesn’t lack anything when he grows up.”

The Project has Positively Impacted on 250 Students

January 2024

The project has positively impacted on the lives of 250 students in different villages and 13 teachers in tea garden providing stipends for education-related expenses. This support has empowered underprivileged and marginalized students to break the vicious cycle of discrimination and exploitation prevailing in the tea garden.

By distributing stipends and covering various educational expenses (books, monthly fees, clothing, stationery, and entrance costs) the project has undoubtedly contributed to academic success/formal elementary education. The academic results at the end of the year 2023 certainly bring about a positive trend among the supported students.

The project not only provides education, but also positively impacting social cohesion due to supporting both Hindu and Christian students. Moreover, this initiative fosters dialogue and understanding which promotes interfaith harmony and peace.

Arko Xavier Dio

9 Years old


Arko Xavier Dio is 9 years old and grownup in a poor family in a Teliapara village, situated in the Tea Estate.

He has one brother and one sister and his sister studies in class ten. He losts his father when he was only 4 years old. His father was the only earning member in his family, and his mother got sick after her husband passed away.

His elder sister was taking care of her and him as well.

The little boy Arko Dio is a talented student and he dreams to be a good teacher, but financial hardship was a big obstacle in fulfilling his dream.

In this critical situation, the CatholicWorld Mission is subsidizing his studies so that he can continue his studies to fulfill his dream in future.

Philomina Minj

11 Years old


Philomina Minj, a 11 years old girl from Lubachora Tea Garden in Sreemongol Parish, looks like any other teenager from the community.

Unlike many other girls in Tea Garden, however, she was able to refuse her parents’ desire for her to work in tea garden.

Her father is a worker of a tea garden and is the only earning member of the fam-ily of five members. Early on poverty stalled Philomina Minj’s education. “I used to love going to school and enjoyed it. It was like a dream. Poverty, however, brought me back to reality.”

As a poverty stricken family Philomina’s parents decided to mini-mize the burden of the family by sending her to work as labourer.

But she was not prepared to do so. Now with help of Catholic World Mission she able is to continue her studies and working hard to full fil her dream of going to school for education.

Bonnya and Jahir are Now in 5th Grade


Today, Bonnya and Jahir are in the 5th Grade. Thanks to your support over the last two years, they are still in school and receiving a high-quality Catholic education.

Bonnya still dreams of one day working as a police officer,  and bringing safety to her community. Jahir’s dream of becoming a doctor is also alive and well.

Thanks to your support, Bonnya, Jahir, and 150 other children are two years closer to making their dreams come true.

Send Life-Saving Aid for Flooded and Underwater

Send Life-Saving Aid for Flooded and Underwater

Faith Amidst the Floods: Help Bangladesh Now!
Faith Amidst the Floods: Help Bangladesh Now!

Flooded and Underwater

Millions of men, women, and children are suffering from the ongoing torrential monsoon rains that have occurred in Bangladesh this year. These rains have caused 90% of the region to become flooded and underwater. Families including Nurjahan’s are experiencing heartbreaking circumstances completely out of their control as they lack food, potable water, and shelter. YOU can send life-saving aid to 400 families in the Diocese of Sylhet as they lack the necessities to survive. Your kindness and generosity have helped them in the past, and they need our relief now more than ever.

We can make a difference in the lives of many in the Jaflong, Khadim, Mugaipar, and Rajai areas, including Nurjahan’s family. When the floods came, her family, including her gravely ill husband, lost everything and became homeless. She painfully depicts seeing a wall of water rush through their bamboo home in northeastern Bangladesh as the flood disintegrated it. Not only did they lose their home, but they also lost nearby roads and crops essential for transportation and survival. Nurjahan and her family solely survived by selling and bartering chickens and ducks as the floodwaters began to subside in the following weeks, but that source of income has run dry. The Diocese has given aid to her family, but their resources are not enough to care for the hundreds of displaced families who have been affected by the flooding.

Faith Amidst the Floods: Help Bangladesh Now!
Faith Amidst the Floods: Help Bangladesh Now!

As we have fostered hope and change in the Diocese of Sylhet, we can continue to support them during this difficult time as they face life-threatening conditions due to the floods.

Bountiful Blessings in Bangladesh


Your abundant generosity has given the children of tea farmers in Bangladesh a chance to pursue a quality Catholic education! In 2022, the students and teachers were able to have opportunities including:

  • Receiving schoolbooks, notebooks, and other educational materials.
  • Extra math and English classes for students with special needs.
  • Religion classes along with music and singing classes
  • Two organized parent meetings during the school year
  • Salaries for the dedicated teachers in the Diocese of Sylhet

Unfortunately, Bangladesh experienced intense flooding last year and the Diocese of Sylhet was impacted. Schools became flooded and underwater, students and their families lost everything, and many suffered from sickness. We were able to collaborate with the Diocese of Sylhet and provide food, clothes, education, and a medical camp to 1900 families under four civil districts in Sylhet Division and 6 parishes in the Diocese.

“With a grateful heart, we sincerely thank our kind and generous donors for their contribution for the school going children of Sylhet Diocese.– Fr. Jacob Finney, OMI. Procurator, the Sylhet Catholic Diocese

Thank you for providing aid and support to Bangladesh during their time of need!

Support Orphanage Nursing Students

Support Orphanage Nursing Students

Provides a Safe Place for Girls to Grow Up

Located in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Bottomley Home provides a safe place for 130 girls to grow up. According to Orphan Trust, these girls would “otherwise be living in the streets, battling for survival.”

Instead, they grow up in the safety and protection offered by the Associates of Mary, Queen of Apostles (SMRA), a women’s religious order that operates the orphanage and runs the associated school.

Bottomley was orginally a school, but at the end of World War II, it also became an orphanage to serve the many children whose parents were killed.

The sisters continue the important mission of raising, forming, and educating young women to this day. Many of the girls go on to hold careers as teachers or nurses.

After visiting Bangladesh and Bottomley Home last December, our Executive Director, Deacon Rick Medina, made sure to include these amazing girls in our yearly Christmas Miracle program. For the last several years, this program has provided food for children in the Indian subcontinent.

Thanks to your generous support of this program, we were able to provide meat and eggs for a special Christmas meal, as well as beautiful new dresses for the girls to wear.

Thank you for making Christmas 2017 truly a Christmas to remember for the orphans and sisters. Click the “How You Can Help” tab below to give to the 2018 Christmas Miracle fund for Bottomley Home.

Nursing Patients & Dreams

Summer 2022

Your selfless giving has supported ten nursing students enrolled at St. Mary’s Catholic Nursing Institute in Bangladesh to be able to continue their studies! This nursing school, along with the St. Mary’s Mother and Child Care Hospital, is run by the SMRA Sisters in Tumilia, Gazipur area. These first-year students are abundantly grateful for your contributions toward their education and are eager to aid their surrounding community and pave the path out of poverty!

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