Shaping his life | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 29, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:21 PM, June 29, 2016

Shaping his life

Arieful has never had the chance to consider what he wants to be when he grows up. At just 12 years old, Arieful has been working for longer than he can remember. He started in the fisheries when he was in the  first grade, and then later began an 'apprenticeship' in the brickworks – unpaid labour that typically comes with a meal. Today, he is a regular labourer at a brick factory where he works alongside much of his family. During the off-season, his mother borrows money from the factory owner just to make it through the rest of the year. The entire family works to pay back  the  loan the  following  season. 

Arieful, who missed the opportunity to go to school as a young boy, is now enrolled in a second chance education programme that runs in the evening. The programme provides a small stipend, but it's not enough to compensate for the US$3 a day he earns as a brick worker. During brick season, when work is busy, his attendance is irregular. Because children experience poverty in multiple ways, simply providing services – such as health care and education – is not enough to provide each a fair chance. Even if education is free, a child like Arieful, may not be able to afford to miss out on a day's work. The most disadvantaged children need the means to access these services.

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