In Bangladesh over 5 million children between 5 and 14 years old are sent out to work, often in dangerous conditions, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
Laily here lives in Cox’s Bazar. When her father was taken ill with a critical disease, Laily and her mother had to earn small amounts of cash by making oyster wreaths and selling them in the market. Laily was sent out to collect leaves and oysters from the beach every day and her parents couldn’t afford to send her to school.
One day staff from the Children on the Edge Learning Centre came to talk with her parents. They said that she could learn at the Centre each afternoon with no charge, be given free school materials and still have time left in the day to help her mother.
Laily started almost straight away. She says she loves it much more than collecting oysters! Here she is given snacks, has time with friends, receives care from the teachers and focuses on what she calls ‘joyful study’.
Sandra and Nick