Grace Munro of the Amarok Society spoke with the Club about the inefficiencies of education in rural areas such as Bangladesh. While school is free, there are many costs associated with it, leaving many children unable to attend. Oftentimes there are 60 students to one very underpaid, under educated teacher. When parents find their children aren’t learning enough, they pull their children out of school in order to work and help provide for the family.
    The Amarok Society found that over 250 million children worldwide couldn’t attend school because their families needed them to work, and working hours often conflict with school hours. They developed the Amarok Approach – teaching mothers who then teach their children at more convenient hours of the day. One school will teach 25 mothers who then return home to teach 5 children each, both children of their own and neighboring kids. They found that now there are even children so excited about education that they are teaching their friends and holding their own little classes for family members and friends. This education for the children will protect them from being vulnerable to extremist groups and underage marriage.
    The mothers, once educated, said, “If we can do this, what else can we do?” This incredible empowerment led to women taking a stand for:
    • Women’s Rights
    • Children’s Rights
    • Religious Tolerance
    • Domestic Violence
    • Creating soup kitchens and food banks
    • Setting up dowry strikes to eliminate child marriage