International Day of the Girl: The Story of Confidence

October 20, 2017

We at The Sreepur Village are proud to share with you a story of confidence and determination. Empowering women and children so they feel confident and equal in society is key to every single girl child, and the story of Setu shows that with love, encouragement, support and education, dreams can come true.

Setu is 12 years old and is in grade 5 at Sreepur Village’s school. She lives in our half way house with her mother, two sisters and brother. Three years ago, the family came to Sreepur Village in desperate need of shelter and food. On her own, Setu’s mother had struggled to meet the needs of all the younger children. Setu watched her other siblings drop out of school because their tuition fees could not be paid and they could not wear proper clothing. At one point, her mother gave up all hope of schooling the children, but now it is a completely different picture. Now, everyone goes to school and they have a plan for the future.

Setu really enjoys school in The Sreepur Village. After five days, she was provided with a school uniform. She said, “This came to me as a miracle because I never thought somebody could provide me with a uniform. I could not wait to come to school the following day, and stay comfortably in class without being sent back home for not wearing a school uniform.”

Setu became popular in the village for a special reason; The Sreepur Village Girl’s Cricket Team. When we formed the team, Setu as fielder, used to assist the players in the practice sessions. Then last year she was the team’s wicket-keeper. She was the youngest player on the team to play against the national women’s team, and witnessing one of her team mates, Ismat, being asked to join the national women’s cricket team camp, was not only inspiring but also a boost to her morale and confidence.

With the ambition to become a cricketer, Setu works really hard despite all the other challenges she still has to face. Her family, who will be discharged next month, is preparing to move to the nearby community. Setu still wants to stay close to The Sreepur Village so she can continue to engage in cricket and follow her ultimate dream of playing for a national team.

“I am sure I will achieve my goals because I know somebody somewhere thinks and cares about my life and future”, she said.

In Bangladesh, girls are the most vulnerable and are faced with many obstacles that prevent them in participating in education and other developmental activities. Thanks to The Sreepur Village, many women and children are able to achieve gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals.

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