Children living in North Gojmohol in Dhaka decided to focus on the issue of creating a clean environment in their community. Through various participatory processes, and the findings of a community needs assessment carried out with 1,500 households by the CLARISSA social protection team the children identified this as an important issue. All the children said they had experienced feeling ashamed by the uncleanliness of their streets and buildings when people from the outside came to their community. By prioritising a clean environment, the children aim to improve the overall well-being of the community.
The 14 children (aged 14-16) in this group developed an action plan focused on ‘cleaning up’ the communal spaces in the large buildings that they (and up to 100 families) live in, their schools, and also their rooftops and raising awareness among their peers by sharing their experiences. They have distributed large dustbins to encourage good waste management practices, have held courtyard meetings, distributed posters, met with tea stall owners and other small street business and have performed theatre in front of hundreds of community participants to increase mass awareness about the importance of a clean environment.
The children in this group have also been trained by the CLARISSA team of community mobilisers in life skills such as problem-solving, decision-making, effective communication, critical thinking, innovation, leadership. Having enhanced their agency as a community development group the children are now able to effectively claim their rights to duty bearers and take action towards creating a clean and healthy environment for themselves and their community. A significant number of adults have now involved themselves with the group’s activities.