Supporting Education

Giving students a chance in Bangladesh

Giving students a chance in Bangladesh

Ten years ago, Birmingham-based Rotary member Azad Choudhury returned to his home village in the Sylhet region of Bangladesh.

His visit inspired him to build a school, and a decade on, with support from Rotary clubs in the West Midlands, his vision has become a reality.

Without a school, the prospect of education for local children was almost nil, with opportunities to enrol in colleges of further and higher education denied to them.

Supported by grants from the Rotary Clubs of Birmingham and Solihull, together with grants and individual contributions, the Asian Azad Choudhury Academy was born, growing from a single structure to a six-storey building.

The school has changed the culture surrounding education in the local area.”

“Six years of students have left the school, many with qualifications they would not otherwise have had,” explained Barry Badham, who serves as a trustee.

“Today, the school has 650 pupils and 23 teachers. Currently, four pupils are studying at university for courses including medicine and business studies.”

“Perhaps, more importantly, the school has changed the culture surrounding education in the local area. Education was maybe for boys, but education for girls was unheard of. Today, 50 per cent of the pupils are girls.”

The school receives no funding from the Bangladesh Government. However, a recent £10,000 grant from the Rotary Club of Solihull will enable the school to tackle some building defects.

Boxes of tools and sewing equipment from Trade Aid International are supporting the students’ skills education, backed up by funding from clubs and individuals in within Rotary in the Heart of England.