In 1962, my great-grandfather Mojibur Rahman Bhandari founded the Bhandari Girls’ School, one of the first all girls’ school in Bogra, Bangladesh. My great-grandfather was a social reformer and progressive visionary who understood that educating girls was essential for the betterment of society as a whole.
He believed so strongly in the value of education that the school ultimately became a leader in offering scholarships to girls who otherwise, wouldn't be able to afford to attend. Today, the student body has grown to over 1,200 students in grades 3-10, with more girls continuing to apply for enrollment. The Bhandari Girls School has worked hard to accommodate as many girls as possible, particularly for those whom a lack of education would mean relegation to the very margins of society. As a result, the school has stretched its limited resources thin and has been forced to make difficult sacrifices, many of which directly impact the quality of education the girls receive.
What is life at the school like?
Many of the classrooms have gaping holes in the roof, which makes holding class difficult in the rain and nearly impossible during monsoon season. A lack of adequate classroom space means that there are often 65+ girls to one class. Bhandari students don’t eat a full breakfast or lunch at school. Only a daily snack. Yet, some are so poor, they come to school for this snack alone. Facilities are cramped and dilapidated, educational tools are out of the question, and basic resources are a luxury that are often unattainable.
At Knotty Gal, our mission is to honor my great-grandfather’s vision and help improve the quality of education these incredible girls are receiving.
Since founding Knotty Gal in 2013, we’ve raised enough funding to partner with BRAC, the world’s largest NGO, to provide computer education training to all 1200+ students at Bhandari. Additionally, the school has been able to outfit three new classrooms with 150 benches, reducing classroom sizes and lowering the student teacher ratio.
Prior to our involvement, Bhandari’s “computer lab” consisted of three outdated, barely-working desktops. Today, the girls have access to new desktop computers and the training to develop the skill sets necessary for success in the modern workforce.
Our work is far from over. Visiting the school earlier this year, we learned the number one request from teachers was for new classrooms. We’ve committed to raising funds to build new learning spaces, are in talks with school to improve sanitation facilities and have been working at developing relationships that will help Bhandari provide daily meals for the girls.
But to do this, we need your help!
Every Knotty Gal purchase is a direct investment in the future of the students at the Bhandari Girl’s School.
Please join us and do some good by being Knotty.