“I want to plan my own life. I want to give a new life to my family. I want to build a home of our own where we will live like a family, and where we would not have to feel insecure.”

Samia*, 17, lives in one of Bangladesh’s poorest towns, in the Rajbari District in central Bangladesh, with her grandmother and brother.

Children in the district have historically had limited access to fulfill their rights to healthcare, education, and protection. There is a large sex work industry, and young people are particularly at risk of entering into sex work or other harmful forms of labour.

I know how difficult the life of my friends is when they could not continue their education. Some got married, some joined the sex business. None of these things can give them a dignified and independent life,” Samia says.

Samia completed her primary education at a Save the Children-supported school and is now in secondary school. While Samia may face pressure to leave school and become a sex worker, she is determined to complete her education so she can become a doctor.

“Before COVID-19, when I was living with my mother, I had to drop out of school for a whole year. My mother wanted to keep me safe so I was sent to live elsewhere, and I couldn’t continue my education,” she says. “During this year I constantly tried to make my mother understand that I wanted to continue my study and go ahead with my life.”

“My mother and grandmother were finally convinced to let me return home and I came back to school. Now I am preparing to be admitted to higher secondary school.

Samia, 17, walks with her younger brother near their home in Rajbari District, Bangladesh
Samia* walks home from school with her younger brother.


Save the Children began working with local partners in the Rajbari District, KKS and MMS, over 20 years ago, to establish a primary school and early childhood centre for children living in the area.

The aim is to improve the lives of children living in the district by providing access to quality education. Save the Children is also providing remedial education for children like Samia to help them catch up on missed lessons if they drop out of school.

“I want to be a doctor, so I need to continue my studies. This is my dream and I believe I will achieve it…

“My advice to other young people is to continue your education,” Samia adds. “No matter what, please continue it. Try to get back to school, even if you are married. Make your own life. Don’t allow anyone to control your life. Make your own choice. Don’t make the mistake of dropping your studies.”