Today is World Day against Trafficking and in Bangladesh, home to The Sreepur Village charity, every year thousands of people face this issue. In Bangladesh the traffickers notoriously target street children and mainly girls, which is why The Sreepur Village opened a night shelter, to keep girls safe away from abuse, trafficking and danger.
Currently in Dhaka there aren’t any other girls’ night shelters, another major reason for setting up a place of safety where girls can come and rest and sleep without having to look over their shoulders in fear of being abused or kidnapped.
The Sreepur Village opened the Girls Night Shelter in October 2017 at their Dhaka Office (near the airport railway station). At the shelter the girls can take showers, use all toilet facilities including sanitary care, they can wash their clothes, have breakfast, play games, watch TV and sleep, all of which takes place in a safe and secure environment. While at the shelter, The Sreepur Village also provides counselling on different issues, like the importance of family life and education, health and hygiene and drug issues.
In the whole of July, a total of 200 street children visited our girls’ night shelter but on average, 10-12 girls stay per night.
We asked a couple of girls what life is like on the streets:
Morzina, a street girl, said,” we face lots of problems on the streets, like sexual abuse and harassment. I’m afraid that one day some people will buy me and send me to another country. I am very scared about that and that’s why I stay at The Sreepur Village Night Shelter.”
Halima, another street girl, said “the streets are my home, but sometimes bad people come and offer me to do bad work which is almost every night.”
Did you know it costs The Sreepur Village approximately 55,000 Tk, approx.£536 per month, to run the Girls Night Shelter, providing vulnerable and desperate girls with the security, facilities, counselling, medical care and reassurance that will keep them from the hands of human traffickers! So, a one-off donation today of £18 would help to keep 18 girls off the streets for just one night. If you would like to donate, then please click here.
Life can sometimes throw unimaginable challenges at us, but it's the human spirit's resilience and determination that can lead to remarkable stories of triumph.
Lia's life is a testament to this spirit, marked by adversity, courage, and ultimate success. Lia's story draws parallels to other stories of perseverance, and highlights the crucial role of organisations like Sreepur Village in transforming lives.
Out of the blue, at the tender age of 13, Chia found herself sitting on a bridal stage, about to marry a man who was 35 years old. Her parents had arranged the match, finding the man from their nearby locality in Bhairab.
He was a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) businessman who occasionally sold vegetables and fruits on the street. Chia's aspirations and youthful dreams were abruptly interrupted by this sudden marriage. Instead of books, she found herself with kitchen utensils in her hands. She went from feeling like a princess to becoming a servant overnight.