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'Floating Schools' for Kids in Bangladesh

Floating School
Photograph by Getty Images

What if instead of catching the bus, your kid caught the boat instead? Well this is certainly the case for many Bangladeshi children, who, as a result of terrible floods in the area, can't attend school in the traditional manner.

Flooding in Bangladesh is not a once-every-10-years type of problem. It's a rampant danger that affects everyone, not just kids, yearly. In fact, because of the country's geographical location, over 1 million citizens stand to be displaced by climate change and permanent flooding by the year 2050.

So, to address the issue with regard to young students, Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha, a nonprofit, has worked to put together boats with "floating schools" aboard in order to make sure the kids can still get the education they need, according to the New York Times. The school has been responsible for helping over 70,000 children in the time it has been in service, since 2002.

The boat idea came by the nonprofit's founder, Mohammed Rezwan, who wanted to help his neighbors and friends who had children needing an education, and with only $500 of his own startup money, he realized his vision.

“Many friends and relatives were denied access to education,” he said. “I thought, if the children cannot come to school because of floods, then the school should go to them by boat.”

And in 2005, the organization had gotten much more funding, including a $1 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, helping to modernize the boats, making for 20 schools and 10 libraries that are resistant to monsoons and other climate dangers.

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