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Project information

Education for children of waste pickers in Dhaka

To provide education and care to the children of waste pickers working on Dhaka's dumpsites. Life there is dangerous and they have little access to the opportunities they deserve. This project will meet their immediate needs of a safe place to stay, food and healthcare and provide vital education.

April 2013 - March 2016

Charity information: ChildHope UK - children's charity

ChildHope UK - children's charity logo
  • Need


    In Bangladesh living below the poverty line is a daily reality for millions of children. Poverty in rural areas pushes many families to migrate to the capital city in search of work and a better future. Struggling to find work they are often forced to eke out a living sorting items for recycling on the city's rubbish dumps. They work 12 hour days just to earn £1.50. It is a dangerous place and children are particularly at risk; but parents have no choice but to bring them to the dumpsite.


    Working with our local partner, GramBangla, this project will support the establishment and running of a community-based day centre and a non formal school which will provide children of waste pickers access to education and care which they would otherwise be denied. Through meeting the children's immediate needs and providing access to education the children will have a better start in life and an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty that brought their families to the rubbish dump.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Meet the immediate needs of the children of waste pickers.


    » Provide children, who would otherwise work or accompany their parents to the dumpsite, with a safe place to rest, learn and play in a day care centre.
    » Provide children with a nutritious mid-day meal everyday and access to quality health care facilities for children and their parents.

    What success will look like

    Success will be ensuring 150 children (aged 2-14) immediate needs are met through provision of a safe place to stay, a nutritious meal and health care in the day care centre.

    Aim 2

    Improve access to education for the children of waste pickers.


    » Establish and run a day centre for children (aged 2-5), providing a place they can learn and play, which is vital for for future development.
    » Establish a non formal school for children (aged 6-14) providing them with access to basic education and support enrolment into formal education.

    What success will look like

    Success will be ensuring 150 children (aged 2-14) access nursery and non formal primary education giving them a better start in life.

    Aim 3

    Expand and strengthen the waste pickers worker's association.


    » Provide training, education and capacity building opportunities for waste pickers to improve their livelihood opportunities.
    » Raise awareness of the value of education, health and safety practices, and the need to protect children from hazardous labour, abuse and exploitation

    What success will look like

    Success will be ensuring 400 waste pickers access training programmes and awareness is raised of their rights and the rights of their children.

  • Impact


    Evidence shows early years development is vital for future health. By getting the children away from the dangers of the dumpsite, providing a nutritious meal and healthcare the project will improve the long term development outcomes of the children. With access to quality education the children will have the chance to break the cycle of poverty. Also awareness raising activities to better protect and value children in the community will create safer environments for children in the long-term.


    A possible risk is that mother's may not see the value of education for their children and want them to work to help support the family. To mitigate this risk GB has been increasing understanding of the importance of education, resulting in mothers themselves identifying a need for the centre. A further risk is the hazardous environment. Our project, has created a safe space near enough to where families work so it is convenient but where children are safe from these risks associated with dumps.


    Donors will receive quarterly updates on the progress of the work and financial reports and a review done at the end of the year measuring progress, setbacks and learnings. Donors will also be invited to meet with ChildHope and Gram Bangla staff to find out in-depth about the progress of the work.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £88,648

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £57,578 Day care and informal school Running cost, materials, meals, equipment, teachers & staff for day care centre and informal school
      £6,573 Healthcare facilities Running costs of healthcare services including doctors and medicine
      £9,532 Training and awareness raising Provision of training for waste pickers, materials, awareness raising activities in community
      £14,965 Project support costs Bangladesh and UK staff and office costs, monitoring visits and production of updates & final report

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Corporate supporter £7,500 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The project is based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Matuail dump site. Mutuail is the largest dump site in Bangladesh and receives around 65% of the 5 million tons of waste deposited on dump sites each year. Here, unable to find alternative work, people sort through waste to recycle for as little as £1.50 for 12 hours work. There are approximately 2000 waste pickers working at Matuail, over 50% of whom are children. The conditions are extremely hazardous, exposing children to sickness and accidents.


    The project will benefit 150 children of waste pickers aged 2 - 14 years old who would otherwise be accompanying their parent to the dumpsite or working their themselves. The project will also provide training and capacity building support to 400 waste pickers. We envisage this learning will be disseminated through the workers association. Also community members will have an increased understanding of the importance of education for children and a need to protect them from hazards and abuses.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    ChildHope has over two decades experience, working in 10 countries worldwide to achieve our vision of a world in which all children can enjoy a life free from injustice and abuse. We recognise the value of working with local partners that understand the issues and context. ChildHope has worked in Bangladesh since 2001. GB has been working since 1994 supporting excluded and vulnerable groups (gypsies and waste pickers) through children's education, healthcare, micro finance and advocacy.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Amit Arulananatham

    Amit, ChildHope's Asia Partnerships and Programmes Manager is dedicated to working in partnership with Gram Bangla and delivering the project aims.

Lessons at the community centre

Lessons at the community centre

When mothers are at work on the dump children can have accidents. This project stops this happening. Our children are safe!

Joyeeta, mother and waste picker