Support the Bangladeshi surf girls
Give these girls time to develop their dreams, to learn, to play.
The Bangladeshi surf girls are a group of eight outgoing and spunky girls ranging in age from ten to thirteen years old living and working in Cox's Bazar. Poverty is forcing them into an early adulthood, as they are obligated to shoulder the responsibility of earning money to help feed their families. Early each morning, rain or shine, they leave their homes, some of which are perched on the side of steep inclines, and make their way to the beach where they work selling jewelry and eggs until late into the night before returning home. Their families are unable survive without the girls' income.
The girls are;
Shobe Majaraz, 12
Bangladesh has the second highest rate of child marriage in the world. Outside of the relatively progressive cities, girls are married off as young as 9 years old because they are seen as a burden for their families. The view is that men can earn a wage, but that women cannot. Girls older than 20 are considered old maids, unfit for marriage, which is generally a girl’s only realistic aspiration. Women and girls are harassed in the street. There have been cases of acid attacks against girls resulting from spurned marriage proposals or dowry disputes. Dozens of women and girls commit suicide each year because they are sexually harassed, which is infuriatingly referred to as “eve-teasing”.
As the surf girls are getting "older", men frequently harass them on the street or on the beach while they work. Their parents have been pushing them to wed, or get more “appropriate” work as domestic workers, which can put them in an unsafe environment.
In a conservative Muslim country it is uncommon to see these very vivacious, spirited, confident girls learning to surf and skateboard. They know that there is an alternative to the patriarchal, conservative lifestyle that they see imposed on women around them in their villages and communities. They’re up against so much, but rather than despair, they have dreams. The Surfer Girls all want something good for their lives; safe, stable and dignified jobs, an education, and the ability to choose to delay marriage until they are adults. One aspires to be a doctor, others dream of being professional surfers, and still others plan to work as lifeguards on the beach.
For the cost of only $50 per month, each girl will be guaranteed one healthy meal per day and safe transportation to and from work.
EVERY PENNY COUNTS.
Even the smallest amount will make a tangible difference in their lives.
Give them a chance to learn how to be themselves before they are forced to become someone's wife or mother. With knowledge and confidence these girls have the strength to forge their own path. They will be the ones who have the power to begin to change the face of a society that is very cruel to young girls and women. This money will take the pressure off the girls and their families. All they need is a chance to breathe.
Please help us to make this dream a reality.
Venessa Rude + Allison Joyce
We are happy and proud that the girls have been featured in publications worldwide!
New York Times
Bangladesh Surf Girl and Boys facebook page
Get to know the girls in the photos below from an ongoing photo project by Allison Joyce;
Soma is doing much better and got back a few weeks ago fro Dhaka for a follow-up- and she will be good:) Thank you to everyone who helped out, Rashed will take her back in 3 months for a check-up:)
Allison is visiting now and connected Rashed and the girls with Criticalink who came to Cox's Bazar and did a emergency medical, self defense and women's health class with them. Allison took some amazing photographs of the class and we will share pictures of it in a few days, we also have some pictures posted on their facebook page:)
I am so happy to see these young girls get a chance at doing what they want to do in life! All children should have that opportunity! Thank you Allison for your committment to this wonderful project!
Very commendable!I would like to support the cause in a small way.Where can I give my suggestions?
Sarah, yes we need swimming instructors in Bangladesh, a lot of youngsters drown every year as they dont know how to swim. There r one or two NGOs teaching swimming these days and u may contact them. You may also fb msg me.
I need 500$ imidiatly.my fathers eye oparetion
I want to come teach swimming skills! (i can speak Nepali- which is related to Hindi)
Any pics of them popping up? Or up?
Thanks for the update ! One day I will get lessons from them ;-)