Shumitra’s (Left) life has changed drastically since she joined Shonglap. Her mother (Right)is pleased that her daughter is self-reliant.

Everything is possible, and a little help goes a long way.

Life throws a curve ball, and a young girl drops out of school. A second chance gives her the opportunity of a lifetime—education, income generation, and a say in decision making. It lifts the entire family out of poverty. The future is a brightly shining star where the possible is an endless horizon.

School drop-out to community mentor

(BANGLADESH): The young Shumitra (19) gave up school when her impoverished parents fell into even deep poverty. Her father was a fisherman, who brought home fluctuating incomes which were made even more vulnerable by the seasonal nature of his occupation.

One day he and some friends were picked up by authorities for illegal fishing, and all their nets and fishing gear were confiscated. It was time to search for a new income. But he did not have access to a different livelihood. It became difficult to earn enough money to even feed the family. Shumithra and her brother gave up school thereafter.  

“I am fed up”, Shumitra said.  “I help mother with household chores but what else can I do?

“We don’t have any land, “We can’t grow anything, “And nothing can be done about it!”

–a young girl in the prime of her youth was out of hope and dreams. Like many others in her village.

“Shonglap turned my life around… I can stand on my own with dignity… I feel empowered”

Shonglap or speed school fast-tracked derailed lives

However, an initiative by Stromme Foundation changed her life—the village Shonglap Centre.

It helped her to develop a positive mindset, acquire life skills, catch up on missed school lessons, and receive income-generating support. 

Attending Shonglap helped readmit Shumitra into school and she was able to pass her Advance level examination. “I want to study further and complete a Bachelor of Arts degree,” she said.

“The discipline of Shonglap turned my life around. I want to share my knowledge and skills with the rest of my village” she continued, cognizant of her role-model status in the community.


"I learnt to sew and mend fishing nets, which damage after every fishing trip. This specialised skill has helped to bring in a stream of income as demand from nearby fisher families is high."


"The Shonglap training on doing income generating activities in livelihood opportunities such as agriculture, livestock, tailoring, embroidery, and fishing net sewing helped me to earn multiple incomes."

Stable incomes and better savings

“I am thankful to the Goddi Fund for the support I received to start rearing goat," said Shumitra.

“I sold three goat I nurtured and earned a handsome profit. An interest-free loan I received has helped to expand my fishing net sewing business. I also conduct classes and give lessons to students in my community and get paid monthly for it. I even have a roost of hens and some ducks for poultry rearing.”

Pleased with the progress she has made in life, Shumitra says “Thanks to Shonglap I can stand on my own with dignity. My family looks up to me as a mentor and consults me when it comes to making important decisions. I feel empowered.”

Goddi Fund

Goddi fund has been supporting Shonglap adolescent girls through an interest-free loan scheme in order to promote income-generating activities that would secure regular incomes and improve livelihoods, enhancing their life chances.                                

In order to create opportunities for adolescent girls to obtain life skills that would enable them to generate their own income, the Goddi Fund was integrated into the Shonglap programme.

As a result of the intervention, adolescent girls who have been supported through the Goddi Fund have been able to channel their earnings towards their education while maintaining savings.

The adolescents who have benefited from the programme have been able to build their own assets such as poultry and livestock at the household level while equipping them with improved decision-making skills.

The guidance and financial support received from the intervention has been instrumental in developing empowered adolescents who are capable of transforming their lives and those of their community members. The opportunities provided through the intervention have had a direct positive impact on their lives, empowering them to take charge of their lives.