Mashrur H Shurid, Tahmidul Abedin Anik and Rezaul Hassan, three graduates from AIUB, are the founders of Kolpojontro Foundation, where they run different non-profit social projects.
Their project, Pathshala, started in March 2016. This project aims to provide guidance to school dropouts, ensure quality education, develop skills of young people and eliminate gender disparities in education. “After intense research, we found out that most girls drop out of schools when they are in the fifth grade and most boys drop out when they are in the eighth grade,” explains Mashrur, the president of the foundation. “This is because most parents are not aware of the importance of continuing education. In some cases, financial problems push families to send their sons to work and get their daughters married. We faced many hassles when we talked to the parents about the physical changes girls and boys go through as they age and about the importance of education and scholarships. So far, we have received good responses from the parents.”
Kolpojontro Foundation has successfully teamed up with Shelter Home and Talim Uddin Madrasa in Mohammadur, Bauniabadh Model High School in Mirpur and Kalidas Kalim Uddin High School in Shakhipur, Tangail for this project, which has a total of 113 beneficiaries as of now.
In these schools, the team runs a library, scholarship and science and technology-based supplementary educational programmes. “Students do not alwaysdropped out due to family pressures. In many cases, they just lose interest in their studies. “So, we hope to make studies interesting for them through technology and practical examples from the courses,” says Rezaul, the general secretary of the organisation.
Probin Chhaya, another one of their projects, was initiated in December 2017.The objective of this project is to create an environment where senior citizens can exercise their rights and explore their full potential.
Kolpojontro hires volunteers under their Projonmo’ programme. As of now, they have 137 volunteers from institutions including University of Dhaka, BUET, AIUB, NSU, BRAC and others. The volunteers from the Projonmo programmes are trained under the Unmesh programme, where they learn how to work in the different projects of the foundation.
Teachers, educationalists, service holders and other professionals assist the team of Kolpojontro Foundation as advocates in policy-making and strategy formation. “We believe in training people, helping them develop their businesses or completing their education so that they can make sustainable changes,” says Anik, the vice-president of the foundation. Three projects of the foundation are currently under construction. They are: Angana, Bayanno and Vimrul. Angana focuses on raising awareness about women’s health issues such as cervical cancer, PCOS and PCOD, while Bayanno aims to revive the language, Bangla, through online campaigning. The project, Vimrul, which is running experimentally at the moment, provides assistance in emergency cases such as fires, natural disasters and winter clothing drives.