International Inspiration campaign [continued] – Bangladesh
As shown in our previous post, the International Inspiration campaign to improve children’s lives through physical education and sport activities in 20 countries of the world is a great success story – closely related to the London Olympic Games.
After showing how the programme unfolded in Brazil, we will now look at what International Inspiration has done for Bangladeshi kids:
‘Before International Inspiration I didn’t have discipline and I didn’t know how to interact with different people. Now that has changed, I am disciplined and I enjoy leading other students.” – Afrina, young leader
Due to the special circumstances in Bangladesh (as in every other country touched by International Inspiration) the campaign’s strategy here was different, focusing on the more pressing issues: empowering girls through sport and play, improving confidence and self esteem for kids with disabilities and teaching survival swimming to 250,000 children. Bangladesh, for those who don’t know, has a serious propensity for floods – they happen periodically and claim young human lives every time (statistically 17,000 a year). The SwimSafe scheme developed by the charity and the National Swimming Federation is successfully curbing that number day by day.
What started as a survival swimming lesson turned out to be a ticket out of Dhaka’s suburban slum for 10 year-old Parvez, who proved to be naturally talented at swimming from his first-ever lesson, and now is training for a career in sport with the national butterfly style lot, and has developed the ambition to win international championships.
Considering that almost one third of Bangladeshi girls are married before their fifteenth birthday, it would be fair to say that this social norm obstructs their potential in life. International Inspiration chose to tackle this by empowering 11,000 young women to make their own decisions and think for themselves, through sports leadership activities and training, to astounding effects. Being active parts of cricket and volleyball teams within a safe environment is a good psychic motivator which goes to show how important can one person be for the bigger group, and practicing athletics and swimming strengthens individuality – a winning combination.
This news of positive change brings a lot of joy in our office, where many people have ties to the UK Bangladeshi community. We are proud of International Inspiration and their achievements, and happy to be able to promote their work.
Keep following our blog for future updates on International Inspiration from other countries, or visit the original source at http://www.london2012.com/join-in/education/international-inspiration/.