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Marist publishers offer scholarships for tea garden children

11/07/2016: Bangladesh - Photo gallery

Three Marist publishers have promised to make annual donations for five years as scholarships to help students who cannot afford an education in Bangladesh.

During the International Assembly of Marist Publishers held from May 30 – June 3, FTD Educação, Grupo Edelvives and Gram Editora agreed to make the donations for a new two-story secondary school for impoverished children in Moulovibazar, Sylhet.

From 2016 – 2020, the publishers will make the transfers to Marist International Solidarity Foundation Onlus, or FMSI, who will in turn collect the sum and pass it to Marists working in in the country.

The construction work has been a co-funded by at least eight NGOs, Marist provinces, church organizations, private donations, and Marist schools of the United States, Spain and Germany.

The construction is part of the ‘Moulovibazar Project,’ which aims to create a boys and girls high school and a hostel for girls – children working and living in tea gardens. 

A hall in the school’s first floor will serve as a dormitory for the boys for a couple of years until a proper hostel is set up for them. 

Three wells were dug back in October to provide the school and hostel with the necessary water and toilet facilities, funded by FMSI, L’Hermitage Province and a Spanish bank. 

Ninety out of the 163 tea plantations in Bangladesh are located in the Moulovibazar District, with the world's three biggest tea plantations located in the area.

There are currently 37 primary schools in different communities within the tea plantations, coordinated by priests of the Sreemongol parish, 9km away from the new school.

Tea workers are one of the most disadvantaged social groups in Bangladesh and receive an average of 89 Euro cents a day.

The overwhelming majority cannot read or write and belong to minority ethnic groups in the brink of extinction, with their own language.

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