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Project report

Children’s Safe Home Program, Rajbari 2008 Bangladesh , RUN BY: Save The Children Australia | STATUS: COMPLETED

8 year-old Ritu, in front of the Children's Safe Home, Bangladesh

This project is 100% Funded



AUD 28,961

Raised from 11,380 people

Funding for this project has provided one year's safe accommodation, educational assistance and protection from abuse for the girl children of sex workers in the Safe Home for Girls, in the Daulatdia area, Rajbari.  Below the case study is a detailed project report.

CASE STUDY : 8 year-old Ritu is thriving in the Children's Safe Home

Eight-year-old Ritu lives at the Save the Children Safe Home in Bangladesh, which provides a protective environment for the daughters of sex workers from nearby  Daulatdia brothel.

Sex work is the main profession in Daulatdia, with 1,500 sex workers employed at the  brothel. Life for children living inside the brothel – which consists of a community of tin or brick and bamboo homes – is difficult, with many girls pressured into sex work as they get older. Ritu’s mother was sold into the brothel when she was 15-years-old and has worked there ever since. Like the rest of the community, Ritu’s family is very poor and the threat of trafficking is a major concern.

Now, as a resident of the Save the Children Safe Home with her older sister, Ritu attends a local school where she mixes with children from surrounding communities. While children living in the brothel – the largest in Bangladesh – have difficulty sleeping and reading due to the noise, Ritu can do her homework in the peace and quiet of the Safe Home study.

Along with close to 50 other girls, Ritu enjoys regular meals, music lessons, religious instruction and free time for games. She also sees her mother regularly and has become a member of a local Child Council where she discusses issues of concern with  other children.

“Safe Home is quiet and it is fun and I play games with other girls. I play with some students at the school too and I can learn writing and reading,” says Ritu.



  • Funding from The Footprints Network contributes to the following activities:  
  • Provision of shelter, food, clothing, counselling to Safe Home residents and the opportunities to explore their talents in activities such as sports, music dancing;
  • Access to health services and primary and secondary education. Tuition is also available to provide support as required;
  • Vocational education to provide potential alternative livelihoods to sex work eg. paramedic training, life skills training to support greater self-esteem and ability to manage their own lives;
  • A fund is being established with contributions from the mothers of the girls to meet their future needs; and
  • Engagement with the broader local community, including local government agencies being involved in discussions to reduce discrimination and build support for the girls.

Outcomes in the reporting period:

  • 46 girls have received food and medical support;
  • 46 girls living at the Safe Home have access to education through KKS Primary
  • School (30), Daulatdia Model High School (15), and a local college (1);
  • Educational materials such as books, pens, pencil etc. are provided to 46 girls; 
  • 12 girls attend music lessons and 21 girls received dance lessons;
  • All girls attend regular Arabic classes;
  • 15 girls participated in cricket and handball and the majority of girls took part in indoor games;
  • All girls are attending schooling and are achieving good academic results. All children are passing their primary school exams; 
  • The good results in school and cultural competitions (dance, drama), have increased the confidence and self-esteem of the girls and their mothers;
  • Mothers meetings are held regularly to update them on their children’s progress; 
  • Through community discussion and awareness-raising about discrimination and child rights, there has been an increased acceptance within the wider community around children of sex workers.

Highlights during the reporting period:

  • Four girls plan to sit government level scholarship examinations at the end of the year, for funded places at high school;
  • 11 girls won prizes at the high school awards ceremony;
  • 2 girls won 1st place in a local government competition for song and dance category. Another girl won 2nd place in the ‘comedy’ category.

Will the project continue?

Footprints will continue it's support of the Children's Safe Home project for another year, from Sept 2008 - Sept 2009.   Details here.

(Update posted 12 January 2009)

How was it this funded?

Thanks to hundreds of tiny donations from these online businesses and their customers.

World Nomads USA
World Nomads Canada
***World Nomads UK
Travel Insurance Direct AU
Travel Insurance Direct NZ
Save The Children Australia

Save the Children Australia aims to ensure that all children, regardless of gender, race, country of origin or religious belief have the means for survival, receive protection and have access to nutrition, primary health care and basic education.