Alleviate suffering. Illuminate the mind. Ignite the Spirit.

Click here to give to CWM's Bangladesh fund and help feed and educate children today!

Bangladesh

Population:  157,826,578

Percent Below Poverty Line:  31.5%

Bangladesh won its independence from West Pakistan in 1971, and is governed by a parliamentary republic style of government. Bangladesh is the eighth-most-populous country in the world, and is slightly smaller than Iowa. It's located between India and Myanmar (Burma), and in 2017, saw a major influx of refugees from Myanmar as a result of religious persecution there. Pope Francis visited in December 2017, and our own Deacon Rick Medina was able to visit at the same time! Most Bangladeshis are Muslim (89.1%), while 10% are Hindu, and just 0.9% identify as "other," which includes Buddhists and Christians.

Read through the tabs below to learn more about the ways you can bring hope to Bangladesh and change the lives of hundreds of people.

Tea Kids: Give Education to Tea Farmers' Children

Bangladesh - Stats for the Diocese of Sylhet and Bangladesh tea farmsTea 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.

Click through images from Bangladesh's tea gardens, below:

Bangladesh - 75% of tea laborers are women
Bangladesh - Tea plantation labor lines rarely have running water or sanitation, meaning streams and rivers are laborers' only source of water for drinking and cooking, bathing, and cleaning
Bangladesh - tea laborers only earn $1 USD per day
Bangladesh - Tea laborers are among the most deprived groups of people in South Asia, with little to no rights, benefits, or access to healthcare and clean water
Bangladesh - 10 million people live in this region of Bangladesh, and 64% of them work in tea plantations
Bangladesh - Most tea laborers are born on tea garden grounds and live their whole lives there. Most are illiterate and are never given the opportunity to get a quality education.

BonnyaBangladesh - Bonnya, 7, in front of her school

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.

 

 

JahirJahir, 8, stands in front of his family's labor line hut on a tea plantation in Bangladesh

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.

Bangladesh - Tea children pictured with some of their missionary teachers. For most tea children, the only way they'll ever get an education is through the schools opened by the Diocese of Sylhet.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.

Photos from some of the missionary-run schools for tea children:

Bangladesh - Tea children learn to read in the Diocese of Sylhet's schools
Bangladesh - these students are so excited to be in school, especially the little guy in the front!
Bangladesh - Diocesan schools are also working to educate students with special needs, like this student with Downs Syndrome
Bangladesh - Play time!
Bangladesh - Morning stretches
Bangladesh - schoolgirls playing with jump ropes during recess

This is a brand new project, so no updates yet. We'll be sure to let you know when there's news!

Bangladesh - tea laborers picking tea leaves in the field

Bangladesh - When you give just $200.40, you educate a Bangladeshi child for three yearsTo educate 125 children for the next three years, and pay five qualified teachers, will cost $25,051. That's just $200.40 per child!

Your dollars will truly go the distance with this project!

$33.36 pays for all of a student's school costs for six months
$66.80 provides a student with textbooks, school supplies, uniforms, and shoes for a whole year
$200.40 pays for all costs for one student for three years
$601.20 completely pays for three children to go to school for three years!

Click the green Give now button below to give the gift of education to these amazing children.

Be the key to freedom from poverty for Bangladesh's tea children

Bangladesh - Stats for the Diocese of Sylhet and Bangladesh tea farmsTea 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.

Click through images from Bangladesh's tea gardens, below:

Bangladesh - 75% of tea laborers are women
Bangladesh - Tea plantation labor lines rarely have running water or sanitation, meaning streams and rivers are laborers' only source of water for drinking and cooking, bathing, and cleaning
Bangladesh - tea laborers only earn $1 USD per day
Bangladesh - Tea laborers are among the most deprived groups of people in South Asia, with little to no rights, benefits, or access to healthcare and clean water
Bangladesh - 10 million people live in this region of Bangladesh, and 64% of them work in tea plantations
Bangladesh - Most tea laborers are born on tea garden grounds and live their whole lives there. Most are illiterate and are never given the opportunity to get a quality education.

BonnyaBangladesh - Bonnya, 7, in front of her school

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.

 

 

JahirJahir, 8, stands in front of his family's labor line hut on a tea plantation in Bangladesh

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.

Bangladesh - Tea children pictured with some of their missionary teachers. For most tea children, the only way they'll ever get an education is through the schools opened by the Diocese of Sylhet.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.

Photos from some of the missionary-run schools for tea children:

Bangladesh - Tea children learn to read in the Diocese of Sylhet's schools
Bangladesh - these students are so excited to be in school, especially the little guy in the front!
Bangladesh - Diocesan schools are also working to educate students with special needs, like this student with Downs Syndrome
Bangladesh - Play time!
Bangladesh - Morning stretches
Bangladesh - schoolgirls playing with jump ropes during recess

This is a brand new project, so no updates yet. We'll be sure to let you know when there's news!

Bangladesh - tea laborers picking tea leaves in the field

Bangladesh - When you give just $200.40, you educate a Bangladeshi child for three yearsTo educate 125 children for the next three years, and pay five qualified teachers, will cost $25,051. That's just $200.40 per child!

Your dollars will truly go the distance with this project!

$33.36 pays for all of a student's school costs for six months
$66.80 provides a student with textbooks, school supplies, uniforms, and shoes for a whole year
$200.40 pays for all costs for one student for three years
$601.20 completely pays for three children to go to school for three years!

Click the green Give now button below to give the gift of education to these amazing children.

Be the key to freedom from poverty for Bangladesh's tea children

Bottomley Home Girls' Orphanage

Bangladesh - Deacon Rick Medina, CWM Executive Director, pictured with Sister Hima, SMRA, and residents of Bottomley Home Girls' OrphanageLocated in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Bottomley Home provides a safe place for 140 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 originally 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.

Check out the photos of Bottomley Home's Christmas celebration below! 

Bangladesh - The sweet Christmas card we received from Bottomley Home thanking you for your generosity! Look at those big smiles!
Bangladesh - More thanks from the girls of Bottomley Home, here showing off their new Christmas dresses
Bangladesh - Special Christmas meal including eggs and meat for the Bottomley Home residents. They normally only eat rice and lentils for their daily meal.
Bangladesh - Bottomley Home residents eating their Christmas meal and wearing their new dresses!
Bangladesh - Bottomley Home residents eating their Christmas meal and wearing their new dresses!
Bangladesh - Bottomley Home Christmas...notice the girls dancing in the foreground, and the sisters wearing Santa hats over their veils in the background.
Bangladesh - Bottomley Home residents perform a Christmas song for Deacon Rick Medina during his 2017 visit

This is a new project, so no updates yet. Be sure to check back often for the latest news!

Give now to send aid and love to the Bottomley Home girls year round!It is only thanks to your ongoing generosity that these girls received new dresses and a special Christmas meal this past holiday season. 

Click the green "Give Now" button to send a gift to the girls of Bottomley Home. Your donation will feed them, clothe them, and help the sisters give them a high-quality education. 

Give today to bring hope to these deserving girls at Christmas and all year long!

Bangladesh - Deacon Rick Medina, CWM Executive Director, pictured with Sister Hima, SMRA, and residents of Bottomley Home Girls' OrphanageLocated in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Bottomley Home provides a safe place for 140 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 originally 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.

Check out the photos of Bottomley Home's Christmas celebration below! 

Bangladesh - The sweet Christmas card we received from Bottomley Home thanking you for your generosity! Look at those big smiles!
Bangladesh - More thanks from the girls of Bottomley Home, here showing off their new Christmas dresses
Bangladesh - Special Christmas meal including eggs and meat for the Bottomley Home residents. They normally only eat rice and lentils for their daily meal.
Bangladesh - Bottomley Home residents eating their Christmas meal and wearing their new dresses!
Bangladesh - Bottomley Home residents eating their Christmas meal and wearing their new dresses!
Bangladesh - Bottomley Home Christmas...notice the girls dancing in the foreground, and the sisters wearing Santa hats over their veils in the background.
Bangladesh - Bottomley Home residents perform a Christmas song for Deacon Rick Medina during his 2017 visit

This is a new project, so no updates yet. Be sure to check back often for the latest news!

Give now to send aid and love to the Bottomley Home girls year round!It is only thanks to your ongoing generosity that these girls received new dresses and a special Christmas meal this past holiday season. 

Click the green "Give Now" button to send a gift to the girls of Bottomley Home. Your donation will feed them, clothe them, and help the sisters give them a high-quality education. 

Give today to bring hope to these deserving girls at Christmas and all year long!

Deacon Rick Visits Bangladesh

Bangladesh - Deacon Rick Medina, CWM Executive Director, and Danny Sequeira, CWM partner, present Cardinal D'Rozario of Bangladesh with a new chalice and paten.Pope Francis visited Myanmar and Bangladesh in 2017. His visit was in response to the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, which killed thousands of people and caused thousands more to flee to neighboring Bangladesh. During his visit, Pope Francis preached equality and human dignity, and forgiveness. While the Rohingya have technically begun to return to Myanmar in the months since the pope's visit, most of them remain in Bangladesh. We continue to pray for a peaceful resolution in both countries.

Our own executive director, Deacon Rick Medina, got to travel to Bangladesh during Pope Francis' visit. He was joined by Danny Sequeira, Catholic World Mission partner. It was a blessed and fruitful trip, and opened the door for Catholic World Mission to help support the Church in Bangladesh.

Read a full article about Deacon Rick's trip in the Georgia Bulletin, originally published on December 21, 2017. 

Visit the "Photos" tab to see more pictures from Deacon Rick's trip to Bangladesh!

Take a look at some of the incredible photos from Deacon Rick Medina's December 2017 trip to Bangladesh below:

 

Bangladesh - Dhaka
Bangladesh - Dhaka
Bangladesh - Dhaka
Bangladesh - Deacon Rick (far left) pictured after mass with an Indonesian bishop, with several Bangladeshi friends, including Sr. Mary Bojiya of Bottomley Home Girls' Orphanage
Bangladesh - Deacon Rick (far left) pictured with several seminarians moments before they were ordained to the priesthood by Pope Francis
Bangladesh - Holy Spirit Major Seminary in Dhaka
Bangladesh - St. Paul's Mission School, St. Christina Church
Bangladesh - Deacon Rick with his translator at the entrance to Suhrawardy Udyan Park, where Pope Francis ordained 16 new priests
Bangladesh - banners hung throughout Dhaka welcoming Pope Francis
Bangladesh - Deacon Rick got to meet many cardinals during his visit. Here, he's pictured with Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi, India
Bangladesh - Bishop Vincent Aind of the Diocese of Bagdogra, India and Bishop Cyprian Monis of the Diocese of Asansol, West Bengal, India.
Bangladesh - Archbishop Valles of Philippines and Cardinal Alencherry of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Kerala, India
Bangladesh - Deacon Rick pictured with Bishop Victor Lyngdoh, Bishop of Jowai, Meghalaya, India and Cardinal Alencherry of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Kerala, India
Bangladesh - Danny Sequeira, CWM partner (left), and Deacon Rick Medina (right) pictured with Bishop Sebastian Tudu of the Diocese of Dinajpur, Bangladesh, just before Mass with Pope Francis
Bangladesh - Right before the papal mass!
Bangladesh - Danny Sequeira, CWM partner, with a Missionary of Charity (Mother Teresa's order) before the papal mass
Bangladesh - Distribution of Holy Communion during mass with Pope Francis
Bangladesh - the pavilion with the altar; here, Bangladesh's newly ordained priests line up before the recessional
Bangladesh - Deacon Rick Medina and Danny Sequeira
Bangladesh - Deacon Rick and many others got to have a "close up" with the papal pavilion after mass ended
Bangladesh - the Popemobile!
Bangladesh - Deacon Rick in the Popemobile
Bangladesh - Deacon Rick and Danny Sequeira try out a rickshaw
Bangladesh - Deacon Rick Medina, CWM Executive Director, presents Cardinal D'Rozario of Dhaka, Bangladesh, with a new chalice and paten to mark the visit and the newly ordained priests
Bangladesh - Deacon Rick Medina with Cardinal D'Rozario
Bangladesh - Dhaka
Bangladesh - Special Christmas song and performance by the girls at Bottomley Home

Bangladesh - Deacon Rick Medina, CWM Executive Director, and Danny Sequeira, CWM partner, present Cardinal D'Rozario of Bangladesh with a new chalice and paten.Pope Francis visited Myanmar and Bangladesh in 2017. His visit was in response to the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, which killed thousands of people and caused thousands more to flee to neighboring Bangladesh. During his visit, Pope Francis preached equality and human dignity, and forgiveness. While the Rohingya have technically begun to return to Myanmar in the months since the pope's visit, most of them remain in Bangladesh. We continue to pray for a peaceful resolution in both countries.

Our own executive director, Deacon Rick Medina, got to travel to Bangladesh during Pope Francis' visit. He was joined by Danny Sequeira, Catholic World Mission partner. It was a blessed and fruitful trip, and opened the door for Catholic World Mission to help support the Church in Bangladesh.

Read a full article about Deacon Rick's trip in the Georgia Bulletin, originally published on December 21, 2017. 

Visit the "Photos" tab to see more pictures from Deacon Rick's trip to Bangladesh!

Take a look at some of the incredible photos from Deacon Rick Medina's December 2017 trip to Bangladesh below:

 

Bangladesh - Dhaka
Bangladesh - Dhaka
Bangladesh - Dhaka
Bangladesh - Deacon Rick (far left) pictured after mass with an Indonesian bishop, with several Bangladeshi friends, including Sr. Mary Bojiya of Bottomley Home Girls' Orphanage
Bangladesh - Deacon Rick (far left) pictured with several seminarians moments before they were ordained to the priesthood by Pope Francis
Bangladesh - Holy Spirit Major Seminary in Dhaka
Bangladesh - St. Paul's Mission School, St. Christina Church
Bangladesh - Deacon Rick with his translator at the entrance to Suhrawardy Udyan Park, where Pope Francis ordained 16 new priests
Bangladesh - banners hung throughout Dhaka welcoming Pope Francis
Bangladesh - Deacon Rick got to meet many cardinals during his visit. Here, he's pictured with Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi, India
Bangladesh - Bishop Vincent Aind of the Diocese of Bagdogra, India and Bishop Cyprian Monis of the Diocese of Asansol, West Bengal, India.
Bangladesh - Archbishop Valles of Philippines and Cardinal Alencherry of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Kerala, India
Bangladesh - Deacon Rick pictured with Bishop Victor Lyngdoh, Bishop of Jowai, Meghalaya, India and Cardinal Alencherry of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Kerala, India
Bangladesh - Danny Sequeira, CWM partner (left), and Deacon Rick Medina (right) pictured with Bishop Sebastian Tudu of the Diocese of Dinajpur, Bangladesh, just before Mass with Pope Francis
Bangladesh - Right before the papal mass!
Bangladesh - Danny Sequeira, CWM partner, with a Missionary of Charity (Mother Teresa's order) before the papal mass
Bangladesh - Distribution of Holy Communion during mass with Pope Francis
Bangladesh - the pavilion with the altar; here, Bangladesh's newly ordained priests line up before the recessional
Bangladesh - Deacon Rick Medina and Danny Sequeira
Bangladesh - Deacon Rick and many others got to have a "close up" with the papal pavilion after mass ended
Bangladesh - the Popemobile!
Bangladesh - Deacon Rick in the Popemobile
Bangladesh - Deacon Rick and Danny Sequeira try out a rickshaw
Bangladesh - Deacon Rick Medina, CWM Executive Director, presents Cardinal D'Rozario of Dhaka, Bangladesh, with a new chalice and paten to mark the visit and the newly ordained priests
Bangladesh - Deacon Rick Medina with Cardinal D'Rozario
Bangladesh - Dhaka
Bangladesh - Special Christmas song and performance by the girls at Bottomley Home