Bangladesh Schools Reopen!

Bangladesh Schools Reopen!

After 18 months of closure due to Covid lockdown, schools across Bangladesh have finally reopened. Students are once again back to in-person learning which to many families is a huge relief considering the challenges they faced with remote learning due to lack of a device or internet connection. Covid-19 protocols set by the Bangladeshi government will be enforced to ensure the health and safety of the students.

The students of Piet Van are so thrilled to be back in school with their fellow classmates and teachers. Many of them expressed how much they missed social interaction and learning in person. Zahid from Grade 3 says, “I am very happy to get back to school after Covid. My favorite subject is Bangla and my favorite Thrive food is apple.” Suraiya, age 10, is also very glad to be back in the classroom. “My favorite subject is English.” She particularly enjoys receiving malta oranges from Thrive. These green fruits are rich in Vitamin C and the kids love them!

Seeing all 120 students return to Piet Van brings a lot of joy but also a sense of relief. During lockdown Bangladesh has witnessed a significant increase in child labor and child marriage. Because of cut wages or unemployment, parents have had to send their children to work forcing them to drop out of school. Girls have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic as many families have married off their daughters in order to ease financial burdens. Often times the girls never return to school. We at Thrive feel fortunate knowing all the boys and girls at Piet Van have been given the opportunity to return to school and pursue their education. The support from all our donors allows us to provide the proper nutrition these children need in order to continue on a path to a brighter future.

If you would like to make a donation for Piet Van or if you would like to share our project with friends, please click on the link below.

Importance of Thrive’s Healthy Meals

When children at schools in Bangladesh and community programs in the Philippines see a Thrive delivery coming, they know that their bellies will soon be full with delicious fruits, vegetables, eggs, and peanuts. They know they’ll soon have more energy and attention for their schoolwork.
What Thrive kids might not realize is all of the ways the food is nourishing their growing bodies and brains.
In Bangladesh and the Philippines, it is rare for people to suffer from outright starvation. However, malnutrition levels remain perilously high.

The most recent Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) (2017-18) reports that children in Bangladesh:

    • 31% of children under age 5 are stunted (short for their age); 9% are severely stunted
    • Among the poorest families (lowest wealth quintile), 40% of children are stunted
    • 8% of children percent are wasted (thin for their height)
    • 22% of children are underweight

The primary causes of stunting are too few calories, and/or eating foods that lack growth-promoting nutrients.

The primary causes of stunting are too few calories, and/or eating foods that lack growth-promoting nutrients.

A malnourished body has a weakened immune system, and is more susceptible to illness.
At the same time, when a child is ill, their body suffers from poor nutrient intake, absorption, and utilization.

Children who are frequently ill cannot attend school regularly.

Girls who were stunted as children are even at risk of complications later in life during pregnancy due to their small size.
In short: It is difficult for a malnourished child to reach their full potential.

Thrive Bangladesh and Philippines, delivers not just calories, but seasonal fruits and vegetables with vitamins and essential micronutrients. We always include a source of protein, such as eggs or peanuts, because we don’t just feed children, we nourish them, so they can thrive!

This post was written by one of Thrive’s amazing board members, Rebecca Arnold. You can find out more about Rebecca and the rest of the team here.

To learn more about nutrition and the food we serve at Thrive go here.

Weekly Blog Post #1

Weekly Blog Post #1

Thrive Teaches Students the Importance of Proper Hand Washing
By Rose Blanchard, Thrive Advisor Council and Public Health Professional
Diarrheal diseases are one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among children in Bangladesh. This not only impacts their overall health but their ability to attend and perform well in school. Children with diarrhea tend to eat less, and their bodies cannot absorb all the nutrients from the foods they consume, which can ultimately lead to undernutrition and stunting. However, numerous studies show that knowing when and how to wash hands with soap properly can prevent infections and save lives.
Thrive has held hygiene presentations at schools to promote awareness and understanding about hand washing to students, their family members, teachers, and other school staff. Thrive shares information on the relationship between hygiene practices, children’s nutritional health, and academic performance. It also addressed the critical times for hand washing: before cooking, before eating, after using the toilet, cleaning a baby’s bottom, and before and after taking care of a sick person. The presentation was well-received by everyone who attended, and students were eager to share what they learned with others in their community. The schools now keep soap available for students and staff, and hand washing has become routine.
Changing people’s behaviors can be challenging and can take time. Other factors can influence people’s decision to apply proper hand washing in their daily lives, such as the hand washing station’s location. But children can be effective agents of change, and they can share what they’ve learned at school with their friends and family members. This creates the potential to really make meaningful changes within a community. We are incredibly proud of all the students for their desire to be advocates for good hygiene practice.